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another opportunity !



Another opportunity to put your anti-sanctions questions to Tony Blair !

Mr Blair will be answering your questions, live, on ITV at 7pm on Tuesday
December 12th. You can e-mail your questions to myquestion@askthepm.co.uk .
I've no idea what sort of length questions they'll allow.

Don't forget, if you haven't already done so, to e-mail an anti-sanctions
question to the PM at yourquestions@independent.co.uk (for this one,
restrict you probably want to restrict your questions to 23 words maximum).

Finally, here's a snippet from today's Guardian.

Best wishes,

Gabriel.

The Guardian
Diary
Matthew Norman
Thursday December 7, 2000

 And so to the full list of runners and riders for the Diary's Turncoat of
Turncoats competition, which runs from now until Mr Tony calls the election.
Please select whoever you think most deserves our special garment ... a red
coat with 30 yellow circles on it to represent pieces of silver, which then
turns inside and becomes a bright yellow coat with 30 red rectangles
representing red boxes. A fee of 250 (plus materials) is on offer to anyone
willing to make it. Please apply in the normal manner.
But who will win the coat? Diary pundit Steptoe will soon provide first show
of betting, but here are eight of the runners in alphabetical order: Paul
Boateng, Robin Cook, Peter Hain (see below), Margaret Hodge, Lord Macdonald,
Alan Milburn, John Prescott and Clare Bomber Short. There is room for four
more, should anyone have a nomination, and in the weeks ahead we will run
sketches of all contenders to assist anyone yet to make up their mind.
Turncoats - good luck to you all.

 An ante-post favourite helped his chances yesterday with a letter to the
Guardian. Peter Hain's response to our item about the FO delaying a
humanitarian aid plane to Iraq for three days in Morocco was tremendous. My
claim that the FO "blocked" the flight was untrue, Peter insists, when in
fact all it did was "place the flight on hold ..." An intriguing semantic
distinction indeed. Well done, Peter!

 We must, however, correct a couple of points. Peter mentions being falsely
accused of blocking (or placing on hold) one "humanitarian flight" organised
by George Galloway, and placing on hold (or perhaps blocking) another George
was on "from Bulgaria last month". In fact the original flight was not
humanitarian, containing only anti-sanctions journalists and activists, and
George cancelled it after Peter continually blocked or placed its departure
on hold.

As for the one "from Bulgaria", one can see why Peter the Sanctions King
would rather not admit this but in fact it was from England: it took off
from Maidstone, merely stopping briefly in Plovdiv for refuelling. We can
all creep and crawl towards Mr T's post-election cabinet, Peter, but we must
keep at least one eye on those facts.


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