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The journey of a certified delusional

It is true of politicians (as of others too) that their enemies never do as much damage to them as they do to themselves.   Blair is a living proof of this observation.   His diaries abound with his self-righteousness, his constant spin to gloss over his real motives, his inability (or dogged refusal) to admit to his own considerable failings, his lust for wealth and global self-promotion, his contempt for his party and for all others apart from those with power he couldn’t cross, his obsessive obsequiousness to Bush and all things US.

But what comes across most strongly is his instinct to mislead others and his own self-delusion.   We were told Iraq was about WMD, then it was Saddam’s atrocities, then Middle Eatern democracy, then that Iraq was in the end a better place, when actually it was about aligning himself with Bush as a global power figure.   We were told that no decision had been made on Iraq till virtually the first night’s bombings, when actually it had been taken secretly and without consultation 10 months before in a private meeting with Bush.   We are told in the memoirs (almost risibly) that “I adore the Labour Party”, when actually he defined himself by his unmitigated opposition to it.   He repeats, wearily, his New Labour mantra that the party can only win by focusing on middle Britain and voters in the south of England, when actually New Labour lost for precisely those reasons by utterly alienating its working class vote in the rest of the country.

Again what constantly strikes one so forcibly about these diaries is how they reveal Blair in a way he clearly never intended or expected.   His antipathy to the State’s role over the banking crash reveals not only his fixation with market fundamentalism but also (misquoting his comments on Brown) his own economic intelligence zero.   Blair’s statement that he can’t apologise for invading Iraq because Saddam still had the intent to develop WMD shows his endless capacity for self-justifying rationalisation, as though slaughtering over 100,000 Iraqis and leaving the country in ruins can be based on judgements about intent with not a single shred of evidence.

But perhaps his biggest delusion is that is his claim that New Labour will come to be seen as a “great reforming government”,  when in fact history will judge it as a huge wasted opportunity between Thatcherism mark 1 and the Thatcherism mark 2 to which New Labour has now delivered us.   It is however an enormous relief that on the very day the diaries are published the voting begins on a new Labour Party leadership which will finally close the door on the tragedy of the Blair interregnum.

One Comment

  1. Matthew Stiles says:

    Thanks for the recommended reading re Kevin Maguire at the Mirror:

    “I laughed when I read the five policies Tom Clark, a former special adviser, imagined might be on Tony Blair’s new Labour pledge card:

    1 Get State out of banking; 2 Bomb Iran; 3 Cut taxes on pay over £150,000; 4 Repeal Freedom of Information Act; 5 Kill foxes

    I stopped laughing after about two seconds. The truth hurts. “

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