The trick to liking ex-P.M. Blair • 28 June 2007 • The SnowBlog
The trick to liking ex-P.M. Blair
I could almost be happy with what I think I'll call the Blair Presidency but for two things. The first is that you have to imagine that Labour lost the election in 1997 and Tony Blair was the Conservative party leader who came to power instead. Replace the elation with nervousness and replace expectation of labour policies with fear of a move further to the right. If Mr Blair had been a tory, I'd be looking back on this last decade thinking it could have been a lot worse. For a right-winger, he had the beginnings of a social conscience, and along with helping out big business and the already-rich, he also did quite a few favours for the rest of us.
The second thing you have to imagine is that two-thirds of the way through his tenure, Tony Blair didn't decide to help kill more than a hundred thousand civilians and then lie to us about it. Because in reality, it's just not one of those things you can set aside. You can't say, "Apart from killing more women and children than most of us meet in a lifetime, would you say Tony Blair cares for people?". "Setting aside the fact he put us at the heart of an illegal war, would you say Tony Blair has the best interests of the country at heart?" "Excluding the time he lied in order to start a war, would you say Tony Blair was a trustworthy man?"
So, if you somehow imagine those two things were true - he was a Conservative premier who stayed out of the Coalition of the Willing - then, on balance, I'd be 'OK' with the Blair years. Lots to worry about, but quite a bit to celebrate too.
But since he said he wasn't a Conservative, I have to say it seems a little bit deceptive of him to govern so like one, albeit a rather amiable one.
And since he really did use our taxes to blow up thousands of little kids in Iraq, nice man that he otherwise is, and modestly good leader that he's been, I really, really hope he ends up in prison for his horrible crimes. Otherwise what sense is there in having laws?