Sunday, 7 January 2007

I despair of Blair

The more time goes on the more I despair of Tony Blair! If ever a government leader is past his sell by date it is him. His silence on commenting on Saddam's execution is absolutely deafening; Margaret Beckett, John Prescott, Gordon Brown and now "Downing Street" itself have spoken so what is holding back Mr Blair? The aforementioned politicians have spoken fairly diplomatically about Saddam's hanging and the circumstances surrounding it (I could have written the script for them!) so why is our leader so reticent? He could have made similar comments without creating a diplomatic incident I'm sure. We are told he will talk about it during this coming week so why is he holding back?

Let me advance a couple of alternative theories: we know that Tony's mentor George W is going to make a speech to the Americans in the next few days so perhaps Bush has told Blair to "sit and stay" for the moment. Another possibility, perhaps Iraq has so got to Blair now that, while he is sunning himself in Florida, he just can't face up to dealing with such things. One has to remember that Blair is a control freak and what two things are exercising his mind right now? I would suggest that they are how we now proceed with the quagmire that is Iraq and what happens with the "cash for honours" investigation being carried out by Yates of the Yard. These are events that are taking on a life of their own and have largely spun out of Blair's control.

Listening to Blair and looking at his body language he seems to have lost his edge; certainly the swagger has gone and he is in an incredibly weak position with it seems very little power to influence anything. I suspect he will still put in some good performances at PMQs unless Cameron can floor him with totally unexpected questions but so far as his party and the country are concerned he has lost all authority. We will now see more and more ministers aligning themselves with Gordon Brown (it will be funny if Reid gets the job) so now we have a government in power but with no real direction or purpose. I know that Blair let it be known that he wasn't seeking a fourth term as leader when there were anxieties about his long term health but what a terrible misjudgement on his part for creating all this uncertainty.

But the bottom line is this: Blair falsified the reason for going to war with Iraq, a country that had not declared war on us and which was not attacking our interests. This is fundamentally wrong. Blair is now reaping the whirlwind, the trouble is that hundreds of thousands are dying because of the folly of Bush and Blair.

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