3 November 2015

Blair

Messianic Tony Blair
Photo from his official website
Back in 1997 when Tony Blair became our prime minister, I was delighted. It meant an end to Conservative rule under Thatcher and Major and the possibility that the British state would once again adopt a kinder approach to the poor, the needy and the downtrodden and a more imaginative approach to commerce and industry. No more "I'm alright Jack - pull up the ladder".

The next few years were good. The ship of state did indeed appear to have changed course. "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland were soothed, a massive programme for the building of new schools and hospitals commenced and in  general people seemed a lot more optimistic than they had done under the "no such thing as society" Tories. We were perhaps in Cool Britannia.

But then those aeroplanes hit The World Trade Centre in New York and everything changed. Anxious to remain best buddies with America, Blair was drawn into vengeful and highly questionable military adventures in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It wouldn't have been too bad if he had parachuted in on his own wearing a helmet and a khaki flak jacket but leaders so rarely go to war themselves do they? They just view warfare from afar as other people's sons die.

In 1986
All that killing. All that misery. All that harvesting of bitterness. The British people had made it very clear to Blair that we didn't want our forces to go into Iraq or Afghanistan but he ignored our protests. He ate barbecued meat at George W. Bush's Texas ranch where no doubt he strummed a guitar and sang, "Home, home on the range" as Dubya, in his barbecuing apron, drank a six pack of "Rolling Rock".

It was around that time that I changed my opinion of Tony Blair and began to see him for what he has become - a messianic, unapologetic, self-absorbed, contradictory Catholic convert who has developed dangerous addictions to both wealth and the intoxicating smell of power. He is now as far away from socialism as his £8 million Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in West London is from Mount Buggery in Australia.

Nowadays, Blair often charges £250,000 a time for public speaking jobs - nine times the average annual salary and heaven knows how much he earned as the blundering United Nations Middle East peace envoy for eight unfruitful years. As "The Independent" said when he resigned from this lucrative post in May of this year - "Only Israel will miss him". 

Blair was born in the same year as me but unlike him, I am unable to buy London homes for my children. Blair bought his three older children homes that cost £1.35 million, £3.62 million and £1.2 million. So much for learning the life lesson that you have to work for what you get. Blair and his scatty wife Cherie own several other properties and it is widely estimated that their combined fortune is around £100 million though naturally Blair would dispute this with his habitual weasel words.

As regular visitors to this blog may recall, I am a lifelong atheist - having "seen the light" when I was a child. On the other hand Christianity has apparently played a big role in Blair's life. He agonised for years about converting to The Church of Rome and made that leap in 2007.

In addition to his appetite for money, Catholicism has become his guiding light. For example here he is at a conference in Rimini, Italy  in 2009:- "In seeking this path of truth, lit by God's love and paved by God's grace, the church can be the insistent spiritual voice that makes globalisation our servant, not our master."

And now I reach the notion that sparked this blogpost in the first place. Isn't religion supposed to be about goodness, love of one's fellow man, humility, recognising that personal wealth is a false and dangerous idol, living a decent life - things like that? As Tony Blair travels between his luxurious Buckinghamshire mansion and his equally luxurious London townhouse, as he refuses to apologise about the killing he helped to unleash in Iraq, as he leaves Labour's core values way behind him, as he signs copies of his odious autobiography "A Journey", does he ever stop to consider that it is all at odds with his purported Christian beliefs - his starry-eyed Catholicism? Personally, I very much doubt it.

14 comments:

  1. I suspect that I like you was taken in. Attila the Hun, Hitler and Stalin would have been a breath of fresh air after Thatcher.
    As for religion then that has always been about money and power. I can't remember history very well but Henry VIII and Cromwell both recognised that though replacing Papists or the established church with them was not any improvement.
    What I can't understand is how anyone could be a creationist but then I have trouble understanding anything about Republican America.
    A grand little essay today.

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    1. Thank you reading my homework essay Mr Ward. Will you be coaching the first fifteen after school tomorrow? My mum says she will be happy to wash your academic gown for you...

      Adherrents of creationism might be called nitwits if they were not so damned scary.

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  2. Sociopathic liars always seem to win elections , Mr Corbyn seems to be far to decent and honest to survive , but I suspect to have survived in politics for so long he may be much more than we realise yet

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    1. Thanks for calling by Kate. Though I have only ever voted Labour I must admit to being somewhat confused about Mr Corbyn.

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  3. I know this is a serious topic - so serious, actually, that I hesitate to really comment about the actual content of your post. A long time ago I have decided for myself to stay away from sex, politics and religion when it comes to my utterances in the blogosphere; call me a coward, but I am afraid of arguments turning really nasty when different opinions clash. I admire you for your courage to express your opinion on such matters.
    So, instead of picking up any of the points raised, let me just say that my very first association when I saw the subject of your post today was "Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction".
    I am sure you know Adrian Mole, and maybe you have even read the book...

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    1. No I haven't read that book Meike. I will look out for it in Oxfam. My blogging philosophy means that pretty much no subjects are out of bounds. I will blog about what I want to...but I must say that I am rather uncomfortable about bad language and often shiver when I see it in other people's blogs. That is not to say that I would never employ swear words in this blog.

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    2. I have no fear of political argument, it's just so difficult finding anyone with an opposing opinion who can engage in intelligent discussion. I've had some hope for the young Libertarians, and then they jumped behind candidates who oppose abortion and couldn't even discern how that opposes everything else they claim to support.

      Your post today makes me examine Bernie Sanders more closely. At least he doesn't appear to have religion braided into his agenda. And, on the other hand, there is 91-year old Jimmy Carter who is still out doing good deeds because of his religious convictions.

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  4. He and those like him hide under the hypocrisy of religion.

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    1. Very few leaders have been brave enough to declare themselves non-believers. Atheism doesn't seem to win votes. But your Julia Gillard once said, "I don't believe in God. I'm not a religious person". Another notable atheist leader was Nehru in India.

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    2. Gillard was never "mine"! I couldn't stand the woman; but she was honest in that one regard, I'll allow her that much. ;)

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  5. Things took a decided turn for the worse in our politics here in the States after 9/11 and I begin to think we're never going to recover from the political fallout. I'm certainly sorry Blair was a crony of W's and your country ended up involved in that whole mess in Iraq. :(

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    1. On behalf of the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, I accept your apology Jennifer, I wonder if Dubya has ever apologised for his warmongery.

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    2. Dubya still appears to be ensorcelled by the Cheney-Halliburton gang. Or maybe they've actually threatened him.

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  6. I do have to agree. Not sure if he was always rotten or if success turned him bonkers.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.