Tony Blair. Just go away

Tony Blair was arguably the worst thing that happened to the Labour Party in Britain. Admittedly, we had Neil Kinnock and Michel Foot, and they were never going to win anything. But victory at any cost has never been something I supported, and the arrival of the smarmy Blair in 1997 was the kiss of death to moderate left-wing politics in this country.

Little more than a closet Tory, sucking up to the Royal Family and America, he even changed the whole idea of the party, going so far as to change the name to New Labour, whilst disassociating himself from the trade unions and working classes who created and supported it. At the earliest opportunity, he plunged the country into pointless and deceitful wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, so that he could have ‘his war’, just as Thatcher had The Falklands.

Facing criticism and possible investigation, he resigned as Prime Minister and as a Labour M.P. in 2007. That should have been the end of him as a political figure. But no. He was immediately appointed as Special Envoy to the Middle East (Who by? I don’t know either) on a huge salary, and began the usual round of incredibly profitable public speaking, and selling his memoirs. This a man shamed for lying to his own government, and the British Public, to take them into a war he knew to be based on falsehoods and big business corruption.

He now runs this outfit, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Supposedly a non-profit organisation (whenever I see non-profit, I always know there’s a lot of profit there somewhere) that was funded to the tune of almost $10 million. I have no idea who put up this money, but I have my suspicions. The first thing that Blair did with this new institute was to become active in the Remain campaign, urging people to vote to stay in the EU. He was interviewed as if he was some kind of revered expert, and allowed to offer his opinions unchallenged. Once the vote went against his ideas, he returned to agitate for a second referendum, and keeps popping up with his ‘I told you so’ soundbites and comments.

Then yesterday, he appeared again, this time pontificating on the nerve agent issue in Salisbury. Warning us about Russia, Putin, and a new Cold War, as if he was the only one to be counted on to have drawn the right conclusions. This man has personal wealth in excess of £60 million. He is completely out of touch with any ordinary person in Great Britain, and owns no less than ten houses and some 25 apartments around the world. And his family is just one wife, and three children, so they have plenty of space to spread out in. And in case you think this is a personal attack, here is part of a newspaper report, from The Guardian.

“How much money will it take to make Tony Blair happy? Given the opportunity, most people would surely rest after a decade of running the country. Blair, on the contrary, appears to have spent every waking hour focused on amassing as much wealth as possible, seemingly intent on increasing his worth to match that of a small country. It should come as no surprise that the Blairs have thrown themselves into the property market, since no dollar is too dirty for them. Blair did, after all, give paid public relations advice to a Kazakh dictator after the police shot 15 protestors dead.
Tony and Cherie Blair’s property empire worth estimated £27m
So of course the Blairs have jumped on the property gravy train, snapping up more than two dozen flats in Manchester through a company Cherie and one of their sons, Euan, own; passing on properties from Cherie to her children as gifts, thus avoiding stamp duty, and ultimately amassing £27m worth of property, much of which is let out and has all already risen in value.”

This was a man who supposedly represented the working classes of this country and was the head of the only socialist party left in Britain. A man with no shame. A profiteer. A man who used his position and influence for personal gain, and family fortune. Why is anybody interested in what he says?

He needs to go away. he really does.

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19 comments

  1. Ros

    Never had much time for Blair and still don’t. As far as I’m concerned he *has* gone, so I no longer bother listening to him. He and Cameron both always reminded me of little boys in the playground who have never grown up. The only thing they know how to do is taunt one another, plot together in corners and then lie about what they are doing.

    I do think the country was better off under Blair than under Cameron and Osborne. I’ll give him that much. Those on low incomes were treated better, disabled people had more support and the unemployed weren’t scapegoated to quite the same degree. But the way he presided over his little war was odious to say the least. It all seemed to be about his own, personal status.

    During said war, it was noticeable that he aged considerably and I did hope that he might learn something from the experience. Unfortunately, if he did, it doesn’t seem to have been what I hoped he might learn. Maybe one day…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eddy Winko

    I heard him this morning whilst listening to the Today program, a great way to pass the time whilst milking goats (the latter not the former) and his inability to answer the questions posed to him was a masterclass in slipperiness. Cast from the same mould as Cameron.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Ah Tony Blair, more a series of essays on the human condition than a man.
    Y’know how it goes. After the Dark Ages of Thatch’ and then five years of shaking my head sadly at folk who voted for John Major’s hodge-podge and wailing ‘But I thought I was doing the right thing!’, I was at the stage of the old South Wales joke ‘put a red rosette on a donkey and they’d vote it in’. All would be better.
    Yes, I would turn a blind eye to Mr B going to see Murdoch to plead his case instead of saying ‘If he wants to speak to me, he knows where to find me’
    I was with him all the way over Kosovo and the Blood Diamond Wars in Sierra Leon (I’m a sometime interventionist- so sue me!). And as a civil servant, what fun having to explain to some employers that The National Minimum Wage applied to them too ‘cas it was The Law! Then as time went on, and things weren’t nationalised and the private company interference in public services continued and the daftest intervention since Suez, ah even my old weary refrain to the family ‘But the alternatives are so much worse’ lost the ‘zing’.
    There were also the minor points like sort of suggesting how the Vatican and Catholicism could be run better.
    But he will not go away. He will be forever there waiting for His People to call for Him to save them from…..oh, everything that is not Blair.
    Why Drake’s drum has not been thundering away these past 40 years I’m never know (mind you, as I write it, I suppose since Drake was a privatised official pirate-there’s my answer!)
    (High Holy Pete! I just realised next year in May it will be 40 years when Darkness descended over the lands)
    But we shall never give up on Hope, shall we?
    All the best
    Roger

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      I was never an apologist for the man. As soon as I saw the rise of him and his ‘men in suits’, I could see the end in sight. I was in the faction that more or less thought ‘better nothing, than Blair’. It is no satisfaction to me to have seen my worst fears made flesh, then and now. The minimum wage has become little more than a chain around many necks. Those who will never escape it, and have no hope of rising above it, those employers not needing to bother to pay more, as they don’t have to deal with strong unions any longer. Yet this is his supposed legacy to the working class, many earning that £7.83 an hour in 2018, while some M.P.s spend more than twice that on a bottle of wine with their lunch, knowing full well that £10 an hour is the least anyone can live on decently, in modern Britain.
      I would like to say something witty or throwaway about him, but there are no words to describe how much I despise him. The Labour Party died with him and his cronies, and I doubt Jeremy can successfully resuscitate it.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Woebegone but Hopeful

        Sheila and myself used to speculate; was there a stage when he thought about whether to become Tory or Labour? Bit like Boris J deciding whether to be Brexit or Remain- which suited their ambitions best.
        That thing about the NWP Pete, the number of employers who tried to kick against it, so used to ‘Thatcherism’. IT was fun to begin with to tell the worst of them, they had to comply… There was spluttering..
        And now what is to be done? The days when workers would gather in their social clubs or pubs and debate whether ‘we’ should intervene in the Spanish Civil War are echoes. A vibrancy seems to be missing. Are there causes, or just fashions?
        Is there anyone out there with the fire?
        Or is it our turn as other nations, just to fade?
        Hope I guess, there is always hope
        All the best Pete
        Roger

        Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      Strange you should mention Spain, Roger. I have been using that example since the 1970s. Would we have done the same, knowing about WW2, and Vietnam? I doubt it, even though many of us had enough spirit. Those International Brigade volunteers have been inspiring me since I was in secondary school, and I have always admitted that I would not have been brave enough to follow their example in the modern era.
      Real Left-Wing politics are all but dead in this country. Drowned in a sea of wooly liberal Socialism, where activists became more concerned about the plight of coffee pickers in Brazil, and less about the poverty in their own country. More concerned about how many women were on a committee, rather than what the committee had been convened to discuss. But of course, I was never a Socialist. I was a hard-line Soviet-style Communist, an infiltrator inside the Labour Party as a member of Militant Tendency, even though I had none of their Trotskyist leanings. So I was infiltrating them too, in a way. Of course, we had hope then. We hoped to overturn the Labour old guard, and convert it into a new Communist Party, hiding behind the familiar Labour logo.
      That was a vain hope indeed.
      I digress, but it was nice to remember…Thanks for jogging that memory.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Woebegone but Hopeful

        Ah Pete, you I salute. You had the vision and you had the plan. This was a joy to read, even if (apparently, or so I am told) I have Keynesian tendencies. Like many groups Militant Tendency seemed to have its share of folk who got too fond of being in the public eye (shadows people…shadows…that’s how it’s done when the tabloid media is against you)
        To me the ultimate truth is The State has a duty to ensure the health, education, safety, and employment (where practical) of the citizen. As part of this covenant, all citizens should show responsibility in their contributions to society (yeh I know ‘define ‘Responsibility’- quick form a sub-committee! ).
        This should be the basic drive behind a true Socialist Party. In this there needs to be a united, focused and disciplined organisation. The party faithful must realise their principal duty is to ensure this for the good of the society. It is their job to promote and convince on the basics. Anything else is a distraction, and quite frankly sometimes just vanity or being fashionable. (For instance amongst those concerned about the state of Israel; how many have ever thought of making contacts with any of the radical groups; like The Da’ Am Workers Party?).
        There is a nation (or group of nations) to be saved here from the grip of world-wide corporate capitalism.
        There is a country (or countries) to be made liveable in, where Food Banks are just a thing of history. Where HM Treasury serves the nation, not the other way around.
        But…oh….
        Marx was sure The Revolution would start in Britain……
        And eventually Thatcher was voted in, and again, and again……..
        OH well.
        Nice to be swapping old dreams
        All the best
        Roger.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. theshammuramat

    Hi Pete as you know I am against individuals accumulating huge amounts of wealth – it’s greedy and unnecessary and it prevents others from living good lives. I follow along with many of the Christian rules – although I am not one only an admirer of that philosophy (I am more likely a Taoist). Now I must take you on regarding non profits. I have worked my whole life in them. What people do not understand is they do make profits – however these profits cannot accrue to individuals or be distributed to shareholders. The profits go back into the organization and create operating surplus’s which allow the non profit to float their own lines of credit and develop new programs. Boards of Directors govern them and decide on the renumeration of the staff etc. I agree that there has been mismanagement by Boards which have led to CEO’s making more than they should and doing things they should not – the Boards tend to be volunteers and are often too hands off. It would also add that this goes on in all of the places where people are employed – a level of human corruption and greed seems inevitably part of the make-up of our species.

    Liked by 2 people

    • beetleypete

      Thanks for your detailed explanation , Felicity. I think I am instinctively cynical at times, but there you go. If you are aware of non-profit organisations doing good work and not making money for individuals, then I am more than happy to take your word for that.
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

      Like

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