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Tag Archives: tony blair
An imaginary conversation with the Labour leadership.
Me: “Was it right to push your MPs to vote for Brexit with no conditions attached? None of your amendments have passed, aren’t you just handing Britain on a platter to the anti-migrant ultra-nationalist vision of Theresa May?”
Labour leadership: “It’s all Tony Blair’s fault”.
Me: “What about your defeat to the Tories in Copeland in the recent by-election? Sure, Labour’s decline has been there for a while, but you held that seat since 1935, Tories went up dramatically, UKIP wasn’t really a threat…”.
L: “It’s the Blairites’ fault”.
Me: “You did win in Stoke, does that mean that the Blairites help you win Stoke? Given that they are to blame for Copeland…”
L: “It’s a sign of the great victory of the working classes led by Jeremy Corbyn and a new radical agenda, it will be a socialist revolution, Stoke is the proof”.
Me: “Yet, despite all the door-to-door campaigning, of course it was a by-election, but the turnout was still pretty low, and even if one looks at the vote shares compared to 2015, you lost two points, and UKIP and Tories went up a few points…”
L: “It’s Tony Blair’s fault”.
Me: “The Blairites have caused great damage to the party, and they will do everything they can to oust Corbyn, but are you going to take responsibility for the mistakes done since you took over the leadership? And isn’t the fact that you are still claiming to be ineffectual because of the Blairites a clear sign of failure on your side as well?”
L: “It’s the Blairites’ fault, they are here to get us, no matter what”.
Me: “Was McDonnell’s latest message to Labour members the best response to the Copeland defeat? I mean, what kind of message are you giving to your base by focusing only on the conspiracy of the Blairites and the Murdoch media to get you? Isn’t this just another bit of exaggerated one-way propaganda with no hopeful content about what you are offering, what you are about?”
L: “You said it, it’s a conspiracy, it’s Tony Blair’s fault”.
Me: “Do you think it is wise to pander to rampant right wing nationalism and abandon solidarity with migrants? Doesn’t this betray your socialist internationalist principles? Doesn’t it push you dangerously close to May’s rhetoric and the far right?”
L: “These are minor issues, now we have to respect people’s will – they want migrants out, you know – but we will reopen the borders later, we are absolutely committed to open borders. We have the opportunity to bring about a socialist democracy in Britain, it’s just around the corner, we can’t be let down by these sterile debates. We condemn hate and racism against migrants and people of colour, always…
Me: “You mean like David Cameron and Theresa May…”
L: “… and anyway, it’s Tony Blair’s fault”.
Me: “I find it interesting that despite the vitriolic anti-Blairite rhetoric, you are actually finding common ground with the old guard on anti-immigration policies. Tom Watson recently proposed an apartheid-style system of internal controls for migrants, he said it’s currently being debated within Labour.”
L: “I have no time for you, the revolution is waiting. Bye”.
Today Sir John Chilcot released his report on the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath (you can download the report here). He summarised his findings in a televised speech (available here). report on the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath – the report is now available online. The very first impression from Chilcot’s statement is that the findings are damning for the US-led coalition that decided to invade Iraq, and particularly Tony Blair, whose actions were at the centre of the British inquiry.
The report expresses major doubts over the legality of the intervention, and it makes it clear that military intervention at that stage was not necessary. The strategy of containment as per UN Security Council resolution 1441 could have continued for some time – Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was given the option to disarm under international monitoring. Blair and Bush went to war before all options for peaceful resolution were exhausted.
The intelligence on the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq used by Blair to justify the war was flawed, and Tony Blair and his government did not challenge it, as they should have. Tony Blair was warned of the risks of increased terrorist activity, internal strife and regional insecurity posed by a military intervention, but he did not make effective plans for a peaceful and viable post-conflict strategy.
Although it comes several years after the fact – the inquiry was set up in 2009 – this remains a major indictment on an event in world history that continues to affect the global current state of affairs. Several hundreds of thousands of civilians died in Iraq since the invasion, and many more were displaced. Soldiers on both sides also died for an unjust an unjustified war.
The report gives some hope at a time when similar mistakes are being repeated over and over again in Syria and the Middle East, and increasing militarisation across the globe is fuelling deaths, unrest and instability.
De-escalating existing conflicts and pushing for a concerted effort to re-establish world peace remains the key priority of our age. The grave mistakes of the Iraq War clearly show that peace cannot be delivered through war and conflict.