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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blair: a sign of repentance

Mr Blair was also forced to admit his public statements about the legality of the war contradicted those of the then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.

He said he was making a ‘political point’ not a legal argument ‘but I accept entirely that there was an inconsistency between what he was saying and what I was saying’. - Daily Mail

The Spectator says the Tories are in thrall to Blair - ‘There are two things I’ll always try and clear my diary for,’ one minister told me, ‘watching Brian Lara bat and Tony Blair talk.’

It seems to me that the present administration's admiration is coldly, immorally professional - and deeply mistaken. For the last few years under Blair, as my wife will witness, I simply switched the sound off when he was given airtime on TV news - I couldn't bear to hear the brazen lying.

This is the man for whom current PM David Cameron got his then Opposition party to give a standing ovation in Parliament - a break with that House's tradition. Honourable exception: "Mike Penning, who had been a Tory communications chief before the 2005 election, remained defiantly seated with crossed arms." Perhaps there were others who stayed in their seats that day, and if so I'd like to know who.

But there is some evidence that Blair may not be quite as sold on himself as the rampaging Tory toffs. Although he will defend his wicket stoutly against those, quite possibly no better than he, who are trying to stump him, I begin to suspect that there is still an atom of shame and decency in him, as the end of the following extract shows:

At the end of his testimony, Mr Blair was approached by Reg Keys, whose son, Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, was killed by a mob in southern Iraq in June 2003. Mr Keys said: ‘I just wanted to say that you are a disgrace to your office.’

Mr Keys told the Mail: ‘He wouldn’t look me in the eye.’

He may yet, and probably as he sincerely wishes, be saved.


Nick Drew said...

Well you know what I think, Sackers

and again, with feeling

Sackerson said...

Shame is a beginning, Nick.

Paddington said...

Having watched him in his recent debate with Hitchens, I am fairly sure that he wasn't 'lying' per se, but is completely deluded. This has always been much more dangerous than a pragmatist like Brown.

James Higham said...

You take the more proper stance, Sackers and yet Nick Drew and I take a more extreme view. He should be, Blair, tried for war crimes at a minimum. My dream of him being executed will have to remain on hold, of course.

And yet imagine the message that such an execution would send. That's the reason I want it, not just retribution.

Sackerson said...

James - a propos Nick (and yourself) there is not necessarily "an inconsistency between what he was saying and what I was saying."

Sackerson said...

Padders - I was asking friends if they though he was mad, as early as 1999 I think. But there is David Miliband's 2001 anecdotal evidence that Blair is fully aware of his duplicitousness: Blair "advised him 'to go around smiling at everyone and get other people to shoot them'" -

Paddington said...

Sackerson - I don't think he's 'mad'. I think he was 'lying for a good cause', and was convinced by his fellow evagelist, President Bush, that they were doing the right thing. Lying in the name of the Lord was specifically encouraged by Luther.