Wednesday 23 February 2011

Tony Blair - still a nasty after-taste.

It's impossible to glean any pleasure from seeing the Gaddafi-inspired horrors currently going on in Libya, but I do derive some gloating satisfaction in seeing our news channels replaying footage of Tony Blair's visits to that maniac, greeting him with the traditional double kiss, warm, smiling embrace and handshakes. Blair certainly never took too much trouble in choosing his friends (that buffoon, Berlusconi, was another of them!) and I can only hope he's doubled-up and cringing with embarrassment as he sees yet another aspect of his foreign policy history replayed to a world, a large part of whom knew at the time that he, Blair, was making such a fool of himself and would live to regret it. As he hides away in his multi-millionaire world, I'd love to hear him come out now and try to defend his acts at a time when money and oil did the talking. (Did I just say 'did'?)
Blair was always a conundrum. Coming to the fore in the 1990s as a champion of the working classes; a Prime Minister, many of whose domestic social policies were truly commendable, and for which he fought for against the odds; and yet when it came to foreign policy (one does not even have to mention Iraq) he was so ham-fisted and plain wrong that it's virtually impossible to square the circle. Meanwhile, nearly four years since his grudging resignation as Prime Minister, he now travels the world, receiving astronomical sums for giving speeches about his political experience laced with his advice and, erm, 'wisdom'. He ensconces himself away in his multi-million pound residence (I think he may have several), still protected by bodyguards (very telling that he still needs them!) which we British taxpayers have to pay for.

His wife, through her legal career even wealthier than he was at the time he was Prime Minister, is also on the speeches-for-money binge-circuit as well as receiving her regular fees for her judiciary work, which in many single cases would dwarf what most people earn in a full year. She also originated from a 'working class' background. (Her actor-father, a lifelong socialist activist, and still so, long since denounced his son-in-law's politics and refused to vote for his party.)
Of course one can say that if the Blairs are still receiving colossal sums, then good for them. But I do wonder how often they, in their ivory towers, think of their roots and the people they left behind, those very people whom they at one time championed. Or are they just too busy totting up their bank balances?


  1. There is no way Mr. Blair cannot feel the sting of this post.

  2. At the present time, I am reading Piers Morgan's book and I love his take on Tony and Cherie. As they left Downing Street, Cherie screamed at the photographers: "We won't miss you!" as they drove off. It was then Piers realized how much he would miss Blair - not Tony, but his wife. To quote Piers:

    "Cherie has been quite wonderfully awful. A rude, grasping, self-deluded Scouse banshee prone to relentless hypocrisy, shocking manners and High Office greed on a scale rarely seen since Imelda Marcos went shoe-shopping."

    His take on Tony was that this man was going to transform Britain in a truly, dramatic, positive way. And he didn't. Simple as that.

  3. Yes, Paul. T.B. promised so much (and we expected it) but he didn't deliver, except for one or two domestic areas, notably gay equality, for which I, for one, am genuinely thankful. But a lot of us watched the Blair family leaving Downing Street with a thought of 'Good riddance!'
    Cherie once gave me a personal smile. A few years ago I was sitting on a bench waiting for a train at one of our mainline stations, which happened to be near her hubby's Parliamentary constituency. She walked past me pushing a luggage trolley, displaying her socialist-equality credentials, even though there were 3 or 4 be-suited men with her. I looked up and because I did a double-take on suddenly recognising her she gave me a special smile from those letter-box lips.
    She's an enigma. Bossy, shrill, rich beyond many of our dreams, yet in her judicial work often fiercely supportive of the commoner and underdog.