Thursday 29 January 2015

Tony Blair

The British public's fascination with Tony Blair amazes me. Journalists, Politicians, Joe Public all have a view on Tony Blair.

The two main contenders to be the next Prime Minister either want to distant themselves from him or wish to lay claim to the title of his natural successor.

Joe Public is largely infuriated with Tony Blair's 'lies' with respect to the Iraq War / WMD. Journalists generally focus on the fact that Tony Blair has made shed loads of money since he left power. They sort of insinuate this is somehow untoward and it is wrong in the way he has become rich shortly after leaving Number 10.

I don't get the bile directed at the man though. The same people who moan about Tony Blair's lies will readily admit and claim that all politicians lie. The current crop of politicians running the government are lying. It is inevitable that the next lot will lie too. You might think that is a tad harsh and unfair. However what they call 'spin', I call lies. Telling half truths is a lie as far as I am concerned.

In the minds of those who moan about Tony's lies though, the fact that many people died as a result of the Iraqi invasion is something unforgivable. According to statistics on (using MOD data) from 2003 - 9, a total of 5970 soldiers were either injured or died with 179 actual fatalities. So in a nation of about 55 million people, 0.001% of the people were impacted by Tony's decision to go to war. To put these figure into perspective, please review my post of 21st December 2014 and realise the following:

1) In each of the last 10 years, at least 500 people have lost their lives to a murder / homicide in the UK.

2) In the winter just past,  18, 200 people lost their lives. Their death is somewhat linked to seasonal low temperatures.  Of these, 14,000 were over 75. 

3) In the last 3 or more years, there have been at least 1000 people per year who die from drugs poisoning (both illegal and legal).   

I suspect the number of deaths or injuries to soldiers is not really the issue here. My opinion (based on no scientific experiment and very little logic) is that many are upset with Tony Blair because he has personal attributes we sometimes wish we have. 

He is smart. Mr Blair is a smoothie. He is the colleague type we all secretly loath. The type that can talk his way out of any trouble, get himself noticed by people of influence and dazzle with  his personality and tongue (substitute for BS). As far as I am concerned, this is the source of all the animosity and bile towards Tony Blair.

Collectively as members of the voting public, we like politician to tickle our tummies, to tell us what we want to hear. This desire partly explains Nigel Farage's meteoric rise to the centre of today's UK politics. He says what people want to hear. 

Politicians who are willing to speak the unvarnished truth are quickly cast aside, rendered unelectable. The smooth talkers and 'smarties' are welcomed with open arms. Tony recognised these things and successfully exploited them. Yet we blame him. 

I am not too keen to defend the rights or wrongs of the Iraq wars but I am convinced that Saddam Hussein is equally as depraved as Hitler and so were the Mad Mullahs running Afghanistan. 

I also don't buy this line that the Iraq war radicalised Muslim youths in the UK & Europe and brought terrorism to the street of England. There was no invasion of the Middle East when all the hijackings took place in the 70s / 80s and 90s. Lockerbie had nothing to do with the invasion of any country. The Jihadist were always going to bring their battle to the West with or without the invasion of the Middle East. The West is some form of collateral damage, an outlet for the expression of the pent up frustration the Jihadists.  Buying in to the logic that invasion led to radicalisation is providing justification for the barbaric acts that have been witnessed on the streets of Western Europe & America. 

Please lay off Tony Blair. This tendency towards envy really isn't good for our collectively health. We should be glad that a former Prime Minster of the UK is not poor and leaving the rest of his life above the bread line. He had decisions to make as Prime Minister, he made those decisions. Like all decisions, some turned out to be spot on while others did not quite turn out well. That is the nature of decision making. 

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