Friday, January 29, 2010

I believed in Blair ....

I believed in Blair over Iraq.

I was in the far east when he published his dossier for the general population. ( I was against its publication as I could remember how carefully Conservative and other Labour Prime Minister's had protected intelligence material. Its seemed a bit reckless, perhaps even with the safety of the country's own operatives, but since it went into the public domain I downloaded into my hotel room in South Korea. )

In almost every other aspect I had always been an opponent of Blair. I warned people in 1997 after may what Labour would do to politics, freedom of religion and the economy - at that time no one wanted to listen, but I have been shown right on every point.

But still a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom would not mislead parliament on the matter of going to war and the inevitable death of thousands - would he ?

Colin Powell believed British intelligence on Uranium exports and mobile WMD labs, so much that he destroyed his reputation in front of the UN with it.

After all it wasn't just Blair, or Labour, but the civil servants and intelligence services also.

You could be opposed to war in principle - and many were - but no one believed no WMD would be found ! ( Well except the Tunisian Engineers who had worked in Iraq I met a few weeks before the invasion who assured me there were no such things. )

I've just heard David Blunkett on radio 4 this morning suggesting that Blair was justified because he believed in the war, indeed he almost went as far as self-sanctification.

In many ways this is to be expected of Labour politicians who grew up as socialist flat earthers denying the changes Margret Thatcher had to bring about and saving the country from the sort of mystery Labour has just pushed us back into.

But it also shows this New Labour fault line that if you believe in your narrative really hard it becomes true.

Its doesn't and hundreds of thousands of people died.

Blair's conversion to Catholicism cynically after he left office, shows that he's not a straight forward or honest man. But he may be a troubled one. He looks haunted, and maybe that's why he was sneaking into Westminster Abbey when some of the bones of that young French girl were being paraded and the Catholic church had started handing out indulgences again.

The problem with Blair has not been faith - though he broke faith with the nation and the sacred duties of his office - but the lack of scepticism, doubt and humility. Perhaps if he'd been a real protestant he'd have been more aware of those failings and more humble.

I certainly should never have trusted Tony Blair, and nor should anyone else. I wasn't scpetical enough.

6 comments:

Letters From A Tory said...

Believing that something was the right thing to do doesn't mean that they are blameless if it all goes horribly, horribly wrong.

marksany said...

I never believed him, never trusted him, never voted for him. He is a socialist politician , therefore a liar. I always knew it would come to this, it just took longer because the Major/Thatcher legacy eas so good.

Man in a Shed said...

@LFAT - I think there's a common thread from sofa govt, through "New Labour" and onwards to socialism in general of make believe and denial or ignorance of hard facts and experience.

The "modernising" phase of New Labour is all too easily forgotten. But they dismissed all sorts of things as old fashioned ( like cabinet govt and announcing to parliament instead of the press ) which were important after all.

@Marksany - This is why I kick myself for ever believing Blair for a few seconds.

Cetewayo said...

I agree with Marksany. Right from the time I first saw him campaigning for the 97 election the body language he was giving off, in relation to him being a lying conniving little shit, was self-evident.

BilloTheWisp said...

I must admit that I believed him too. War seemed the only course when you expected the anthrax bombs to come whistling down with 45 minutes. Perhaps we all got too cosy and trusting with our politicians. I certainly did.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I think the Iraq war was his tragedy because without it he could have been a great PM.