Friday, March 24, 2006

Tony Blair, Destroyer of Worlds

Commentary by Martin Kelly
February 10, 2005

Throughout its history, the country of Iraq has been of no consequence to the interests of the United Kingdom, other than as a purchaser of arms and a vendor of oil.

By the hand of the worst Prime Minister the UK has ever had, the Iraqi people are now dying in their dozens in pursuit of a mirage called ‘democracy’, apparently a good thing, except that its practice in the United Kingdom has been so deeply wounded by the machinations of Blair and his disciples that it is changing into a country that many of its citizens do not recognise.

More importantly, and seriously, it is becoming one we wish to have nothing to do with.

Consider the events of Wednesday February 9. That day, Blair gave two more examples of triangulation and hypocrisy. The triangulation illustrates just how badly Blair and his band have tainted the quality of discourse in the public square. The hypocrisy illustrates just how little his words can be trusted on the subject of terrorism.

In all likelihood, the UK will be holding a General Election within three months. Some of the first shots of the campaign have already been fired, through the Labour Party’s abuse of the Freedom of Information Act.

On February 9, the Treasury issued documents relating to the worst single example of Conservative free-market incompetence, the events of Wednesday September 16 1992, ‘Black Wednesday’, when sterling crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and George Soros made one billion pounds betting against it. These documents had been requested by the Labour Party.

The more sensitive sections had been blacked out - however, it was later revealed that the blacked-out sections had been e-mailed to the BBC.

The spin machine spun into action immediately, and the Treasury released a statement saying the e-mail was the work of a junior official. And if you believe that, you’ll believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

The sections that should not have been revealed are, of course, highly damaging to the electoral interests of the Conservatives – however, the Freedom of Information Act does not provide for sensitive information about Blair’s government to be made public.

It is rare for any British government to be so lacking in public trust that we do not believe a word it says, but that is the stage that has been reached with Blair’s. There have been so many lies, so much spin, that its pronouncements are now all viewed with downright suspicion, a natural consequence of over-triangulation.

The second example ostensibly relates to the rectification of a long-standing miscarriage of justice, but which instead is a hideous example of hypocrisy, pandering to the terrorists on his doorstep while young men are being killed fighting terrorists in Iraq.

In 1974, 11 entirely innocent people, mostly from two families, were convicted of carrying out IRA bombings in Guildford and Woolwich. Their real crime was being Irish in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were convicted on tainted evidence, largely obtained by torture, and many spent up to 15 years in custody. A fictionalised account of Gerry Conlon’s case was made into a movie, ‘In The Name Of The Father’.

Gerry’s father Giuseppe died in prison in 1980, entirely innocent of the offences for which he had been incarcerated.

However, the convictions of the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven were overturned in 1989, part of a landmark series of appeals that showed how deeply corrupted English justice had become in pursuit of Irish terrorists. Although compensation for wrongful imprisonment would have been paid, one would have thought that an apology would have been forthcoming before now.

One should never expect any Leader of the Conservative Party to apologise for state-sponsored injustice perpetrated on Irish Catholics – just not their bag, old boy. But why has Blair waited until seven years after taking office to issue an apology that was 16 years overdue?

Because, just last week, the Provisional IRA issued two strongly worded statements protesting the perfectly constitutional demands being made upon them to surrender their weapons and against the announcement made by Hugh Orde, the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, that he believed they were behind a £26 million pound bank robbery in Belfast before Christmas.

So, as a sop to keep the IRA from shooting again, which would illustrate the failure of his Ulster policy of real appeasement of real terrorists, Blair issues an overdue apology to a group of people who had injustice done upon them by the British state, whose continued imprisonment had great propaganda value for the IRA and who were, with I think one exception, ultimately proved to have had nothing to do with it in the first place!

However, the Guildford and Woolwich cases do illustrate that, as with so many instances since 9/11 both here and in the USA, the fear of terrorism per se makes liberal democratic governments do some very strange things, and every citizen had better be concerned for their liberty when the word ‘terrorism’ passes a politician’s lips. Right now, Blair is advocating house arrest and detention without trial for terror suspects.

So much for Magna Carta. But one can’t help but wonder, with so many foreigners being sent home from Guantanamo, just how many of them were just Muslims in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Blair is the man who’s shoulder to shoulder with George W. Bush in taking the so-called ‘War on Terror’ to Syria and Iran; the man who’s abetted the destruction of the country of Iraq and the unleashing of its inner Islamist djinn in order to satisfy his lust for a place in history; the man who has destroyed politics in the United Kingdom as know it.

He is like some figure from Hindu mythology, a destroyer of worlds. Or at best the tin-pot leader of a third-rate banana republic.