What is life about? I am not having an existential crisis, but I wonder about Tony.
The Knife has written before about Tony’s 21st century performance as the Wandering Jew, and his efforts at atonement. In a brilliant undercover piece from Malaysia in the Daily Mail today, David Jones details in uncomfortable close-up just how grim Blair’s new life is, however lucrative:
“If he appeared on the stump people would accuse him of meddling, he explained, but if he didn’t they’d say he didn’t care.
So what did he think of Nick Clegg, I asked, telling him that my two daughters, both in their early twenties, had been impressed by the Lib-Dem leader’s performances during the live TV debates, as had many of their friends.
Sensing, perhaps, that I was a mite too curious for a garden furniture importer, Blair said nothing.
But his gaze – sardonic and open-mouthed – spoke volumes. Before I could press him further, he was rescued by a brusque female assistant from his agency, the Washington Speakers Bureau, who ushered him away to glad-hand the other guests and pose for souvenir photographs.
Surely he must get fed up with all this, I said, tagging along behind him. ‘No, this is the easy bit,’ he said through his fixed grin, and seemed to mean it.
Then suddenly, without saying goodbye to us VIPs, he was gone. Whisked to a limo strategically parked so he would not see the hundreds of angry protesters who had massed outside the convention centre before his arrival with placards accusing him of being a ‘war criminal’…”
It’s not just Iraq, Blair really did, at least partly intentionally, unpick the fabric of Britain, for selfish egotistic and party political ends. His great domestic criime was to unshackle Brown, and then run scared of the havoc and plunder he created. Alex Brummer, writing about the destruction of private pensions, which was essentially an upmarket form of burglary by Gordon, Blinky et al:
“.. It’s perhaps not surprising that Brown’s plans were hatched and tested in extraordinary secrecy. It’s how he works. But what is astonishing is that Blair was among those kept in the dark.
Even when the new prime minister was finally made aware of the pensions proposal, he seems not to have been told the full extent of officials’ doubts. Then, when a civil servant warned him that the costs of Brown’s plans could be ‘enormous’ and the consequences ‘unsolvable’, he took no action.
It was an early sign of the dangers caused by their fractured relationship – of Brown’s stubborn determination to do his own thing regardless of Number 10 and of Blair’s unwillingness to confront him, even when the livelihoods of millions of people were put at risk…”
The Knife feels no sympathy at all for these people. It goes beyond incompetence, to a point where spite, anger, egomania, pride and bullying spawn a raging monster of the state in a perverse New Labour variation of the Gettysburg Address:
…and that government of the people, but not by the people, and not for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Except that by May 7th, it willl…