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    Bush is crap, says Prescott
    Deputy PM criticises US handling of Middle East, condemning 'cowboy' President at private meeting

    John Prescott has given vent to his private feelings about the Bush presidency, summing up George Bush's administration in a single word: crap.

    The Deputy Prime Minister's condemnation of President Bush and his approach to the Middle East could cause a diplomatic row but it will please Labour MPs who are furious about Tony Blair's backing of the United States over the bombing of Lebanon.

    The remark is said to have been made at a private meeting in Mr Prescott's Whitehall office on Tuesday with Muslim MPs and other Labour MPs with constituencies representing large Muslim communities. Muslim MPs wanted to press home their objections to British foreign policy and discuss ways of improving relations with the Muslim communities.

    Some of the MPs present said yesterday they could not remember Mr Prescott making the remark. He has been at pains to avoid breaking ranks with Mr Blair in public although he is believed to have raised concern about the bombing of Lebanon at a private meeting of the Cabinet. But Harry Cohen, the MP whose constituency includes Walthamstow, scene of some of the police raids in the alleged "terror plot" investigation, said Mr Prescott had definitely used the word "crap" about the Bush administration.

    "He was talking in the context of the 'road map' in the Middle East. He said he only gave support to the war on Iraq because they were promised the road map. But he said the Bush administration had been crap on that. We all laughed and he said to an official, 'Don't minute that'." Mr Cohen added: "We also had a laugh when he said old Bush is just a cowboy with his Stetson on. But then he said, 'I can hardly talk about that can I?'

    Last night, an official from the Deputy Prime Minister's office said: " These discussions are intended to be private and remain within the four walls. They are private so that there may be frank discussions."


  • #2
    ha ha ha ...thanks a lot Mr Prescott for summing it up in one word..


    • #3
      LOL - first intelligent thing he's said this year



      • #4
        I think he's pretty good for entertainment value. I can't even pay even that much of a backhanded compliment to the rest of them...


        • #5
          Bush is crap, Prescott tells Labour MPs

          John Prescott faced further embarrassment last night after it was claimed that he had described George Bush as "crap" in a private meeting with Labour MPs.

          The deputy prime minister criticised the president when he met six backbenchers to discuss the terror crisis on Tuesday. Harry Cohen, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, told the Independent Mr Prescott had called Mr Bush "crap".

          Last night one of those present at the meeting told the Guardian: "He used disparaging remarks but I think Harry has been very foolish to relay that. It was a private meeting where he [Mr Prescott] was forthright, put it that way."

          Mr Prescott said in a statement last night: "This is an inaccurate report of a private conversation and it is not my view." His spokeswoman would not be drawn further. "We never comment on private discussions and private meetings," she said.

          Mr Prescott held talks with four Muslim MPs, as well as Mr Cohen and Neil Gerrard, MP for Walthamstow, whose constituencies have large Muslim populations. Some of the 24 arrests last week were in Mr Gerrard's constituency.

          According to some of those present, Mr Prescott also discussed the police operation with the MPs and said some of those arrested would be released without charge.

          The row is further damage to Mr Prescott, who has been in charge of Whitehalll while Tony Blair has been on holiday. But he has played second fiddle to John Reid, the home secretary, during the terror alert.

          The revelation will disappoint Mr Blair, the US president's key international ally. And it will do nothing for Mr Prescott's prickly relationship with the media, not least because the story surfaced in an article by his biographer, Colin Brown.

          But the view Mr Prescott expressed privately is standard among Labour backbenchers and is held widely in the cabinet. Colleagues inside the parliamentary party are likely to be more critical of Mr Cohen for breaking ranks.



          • #6
            So is he.



            • #7
              The alliance between George Bush and Tony Blair is in danger after it was revealed that the Prime Minister believes the President has 'let him down badly' over the Middle East crisis.

              A senior Downing Street source said that, privately, Mr Blair broadly agrees with John Prescott, who said Mr Bush's record on the issue was 'crap'.

              The source said: "We all feel badly let down by Bush. We thought we had persuaded him to take the Israel-Palestine situation seriously, but we were wrong. How can anyone have faith in a man of such low intellect?"

              The disclosure comes ahead of a mini recall of Parliament to allow MPs to vent their fury over Mr Blair's handling of Israel's war with Hezbollah and whether the recent terror plot in Britain was affected by his role in the Iraq war.

              Foreign Affairs Minister Kim Howells, who has criticised Israeli attacks on women and children, is to be summoned before an emergency meeting next month of the Labour-dominated Commons foreign affairs select committee.

              The highly unusual move to allow a Parliament evidence session during the summer recess mirrors emergency meetings called after the July 7 bombings in London.

              The rift between No10 and the White House stems from British anger that Mr Bush failed to do enough to pursue the 'road map' to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, which he approved, at Mr Blair's instigation, on the eve of the Iraq war.

              "We have been banging on at them for three years about the need to address the Palestinian problem but they just won't engage," said a senior Government insider. "That is one of the reasons there is such a mess now."

              It is understood Mr Blair hopes to undertake a highly controversial one-man mission to the Middle East when he returns from his holiday, including a trip to war-torn Lebanon.

              Until now, the Prime Minister has given Mr Bush 100 per cent backing on all foreign policy issues since the Iraq war in 2003. But Mr Blair's refusal to distance himself publicly from the White House's all-out support for Israel's attacks on Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon has enraged Labour MPs and several Ministers.

              However, a Downing Street official said: "We believe our best approach is to use our influence with the American government to persuade them of the importance of making progress to achieve peace in the Middle East."

              Mr Blair's advisers say his portrayal by critics as Mr Bush's 'poodle' is a travesty and claim he gets results by hammering out their differences in private.

              But they do not deny that, behind the facade of public support, Downing Street's patience with Mr Bush has never been stretched so far.

              The decision by the foreign affairs committee to stage its emergency debate on September 13 - after Mr Blair opposed calls for a full recall of Parliament - is a further reflection of backbench unrest.

              MPs have been demanding that the Government explains its stance on the crisis, which saw Mr Blair back Israel's use of force against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon which has left hundreds of civilians dead and thousands homeless.

              Mr Howells will be questioned over the Government's handling of the crisis, which has seen the Cabinet deeply divided over Israel's actions. He will also be asked to update MPs on the latest UN peacekeeping efforts which will see thousands of international troops deployed into a buffer zone on the Israel-Lebanon border.

              Labour committee member Eric Illsley confirmed that the committee would take evidence from Mr Howells on September 13. He said: "There has been a public clamour for a full recall of Parliament."

              Meanwhile John Prescott has been involved in another foul-mouthed incident over Tony Blair's policy on the Middle East, it was claimed last night.

              He is said to have had a heated exchange with Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, one of the few Cabinet Ministers to defend Mr Blair's stance on Israel's war with Hezbollah, when the conflict was raised during a Cabinet meeting and Lord Falconer denied that Ministers had disagreed on the issue.

              Mr Prescott, one of the Ministers who led the revolt, allegedly snapped at Lord Falconer: "Of course they f****** did, you were f****** there."

              Blair 'feels betrayed by Bush on Lebanon'


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