With the football season nearing a close, all of Europe is abuzz with transfer speculation. Will van Nistelrooy stay at Manchester United? Is Henry Barcelona-bound? What’s going to happen at Real Madrid – a clear-out?
Blackburn has a large Muslim population, some of whom are unhappy that Mr Straw invited to the town a key figure in the decision to invade Iraq; a local mosque refused to allow her to visit yesterday.
And when the foreign secretary and his guest visited the Pleckgate school in the town, they were greeted by a group of parents protesting against Dr Rice’s presence.
Rabiya Adam, a mother of five who had kept her children at home during the visit, said Dr Rice “is not welcome” in their home town. “She was behind all the killings in Iraq. When I found out she was coming here to speak to our children, I didn’t want her to preach what she did in Iraq,” Mrs Adam said.
Earlier in the day, Dr. Rice had visited Liverpool and had faced even more embarrassment there.
After a day spent valiantly trying to ignore the hundreds of peace campaigners who gathered to protest at the visit of Condoleezza Rice yesterday, Jack Straw must have drawn a sigh of relief as America’s most powerful woman settled down in Liverpool’s Philharmonic Concert Hall for a medley of classical favourites.
But the Foreign Secretary was set to find himself beset by diplomatic embarrassment beyond his own worst imaginings, as singer Jennifer John began a rendition of John Lennon’s peace song Imagine – then switched to the late Beatle’s most famous anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance.
Liverpudlian singer John, who had introducing the song by acknowledging “the people demonstrating outside peacefully” said she had deliberately staged a protest.
[pictures and quoted text, courtesy: The Scotsman]
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