WARNING: the following contains strong language right from the start!
What the **** … Well, I’d better tone it down a bit as it’s a family newspaper!
I thought at first it was a belated April Fool’s joke but no. The BBC interview I just watched is only too true, and my blood pressure’s rising rapidly. And not in a good way.
After weeks of depressing news about Brexit, Putin, Corbyn, Trump’s latest shenanigans, who unexpectedly emerges in the headlines? Yes. You guessed: Tony Blair.
Tony Blair relied on emotional beliefs rather than facts in his decision to take Britain to war in Iraq, Sir John Chilcot, chairman of the seven-year inquiry into the legality of the conflict admitted in the interview.
Right, so next time I’m caught out blatantly lying, I can claim I was “from my perspective and standpoint, emotionally truthful.” Thanks, Sir John, for clarifying that.
Well, apart from the odd timing of Sir John’s admission (the inquiry was published a year ago), what’s also striking about the interview are the oddly evasive answers.
Makes you wonder why he agreed to it at all. And as for Blair’s decisionmaking process, what stands out most starkly is the fact that instead of providing a reasoned argument, he’d simply say: “I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do,” ‘right’ having the smug tone of a vicar’s inner convictions.
Is Sir John correct in describing that as ‘emotion’? Blair meddled in things he didn’t bother to analyse deeply and regularly mistook his own personal convictions for facts that they certainly weren’t.
Astonishingly, he still spins this into big bucks. Some people can, apparently, fool others (almost) all of the time.
So, we’ve now entered the post-truth era where emotions, not facts, inform human behaviour and there is no doubt that Tony Blair acted with total ‘emotional’ integrity.
Lawyers will be doubtless be pondering the extent to which this constitutes a plausible defence against other forms of criminality apart from war crimes. Crimes such as: I just killed my husband/ wife/child/friend in an ‘emotional’ reaction to his/their behaviour? Heck!
Nora Johnson’s psychological/suspense crime thrillers ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-john son.net) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99; £0.99) and iBookstore. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.