PHILOSOPHY comparisons take a back seat as Blair emerges from the woodwork
This week I was planning to write about the comparative differences between the philosophies of Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Schopenhauer. Quite brief. Provocative. And thrilling. You’d have loved it. Trust me. I’m a journo … Never mind!
But then something happened. My blood pressure started rising rapidly. Again. And not in a good way. After weeks of depressing news about Syria, refugees, Putin, Corbyn, population figures, plane crashes, who unexpectedly emerges from the woodwork? Yes. You’ve guessed: Tony Blair.
And his mealy-mouthed declaration: “I’m ready for history’s judgment.” In an interview with the US news channel CNN, the former PM admitted ‘mistakes’ and the conflict’s role in the rise of Islamic State but defended armed intervention in 2003. He apologised for the intelligence being wrong, ‘mistakes’ in planning and ‘mistakes’ in understanding what would happen after Saddam Hussein’s removal.
Hang on there, Tony! Whilst you’re about it, what about all the other ‘mistakes’ you could apologise for apart from that ‘illegal’ war? How about some of the following: opening the doors to immigration; innumerable quangos; overpaid public servants; the PFI school/hospital programme; public spending (the national debt now exceeds £1.5 trillion). Let alone approval of Gordon Brown’s financial decisions as Chancellor that caused huge damage to the UK’s economy.
But why is Blair making this statement now? And why to a US network rather than British broadcasters or newspapers? Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, immediately accused him of conducting a ‘spin operation’ now that the long-awaited Chilcot Inquiry – expected to be highly critical – is due to be published. The war led to large-scale public protests and rebellions against Mr Blair and the Labour Party. Saddam Hussein was toppled but around 500,000 people were killed in war-related deaths from 2003.
Yes, Mr Blair. You’ll go down in history as having transformed the country. From something great and promising to something confused and poorer. Your premiership was all spin and bluster.
Nora Johnson’s thrillers Landscape of Lies, Retribution, Soul Stealer, The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. All profits to Cudeca charity.