Well, I sort of missed “Thatcherism” because I just wasn’t around; in the UK I mean, I left in 1979 and although I did have stints back there to go to university in Northern Ireland and London …… well, I wasn’t really there, meaning that I wasn’t really that interested in “Blighty”, what was going on in “Blighty” and, with the British government still willing to give me money to “study”, I wasn’t exactly suffering from Maggie’s “Thatcherism”. Still, I do remember visiting my sister in Sheffield for a few days in 1997 and I do remember that heady night at the beginning of May when New Labour swept to power and there we were, a big crowd of people, in my sister’s living room all glued to the television watching Tony sweep to power. Hopes and expectations and all of that and this seemed like a nice guy and …. well, we know the rest of the story.
Tony hasn’t really been in the news, of late. However, he has turned up in the newspapers a couple of times today. Firstly, we have him in his capacity as a special Middle East envoy saying that a quick ceasefire in Gaza is possible if the routes used to smuggle weapons and money to Hamas are blocked.(1) And, secondly, there is news of Tony about to receive the United States highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from his friend George Bush.(2) There we have “our” man in the Middle East appearing for the first time in eleven days to make what appears to be his first public comment on the situation in Gaza and he can only come out with unadultarated drivel. Tony, it was food and medical supplies that were mostly going through the tunnels because Israel wasn’t letting them in. Therefore, what we should now do is close all the tunnels because “weapons and money”(3) are getting to the Hamas? Money is getting to the Hamas, is this man serious, and are they going to run up to the Gaza Weapons supermarket and buy a couple of Apache helicopters with it? Still, we all know that Tony is capable of talking absolute nonsense and that became all too obvious as he readily embarked on the “war on terror” with “his friend George Bush”. However, while the nonsense that he speaks today is hardly relevant to what will ultimately happen in Gaza back then it was extremely dangerous, criminal nonsense and not only did Tony’s spin give some verbal gloss of credibility to illegal wars but he also sent British citizens to die in foreign fields fighting those wars.
Next week Tony will pick up his medal alongside the ex-Australian PM John Howard and Álvaro Uribe, the Colombian President. We are told that they are being honoured by their “friend”, George,”for their efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad”.(4) Howard, Uribe, Blair and Bush and their efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad? This either another bad joke or Orwellian newspeak running riot.
4 see 2 ibid