Possibly I should revisit Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, nevertheless, I think it is safe to say that my encounter with that particular play and, indeed, my encounter with the great bard himself ended when I decided to write about Lady Macbeth in a “Scottish Higher” exam as an example of a Shakespearean character who was not pursued by remorse. Yes, at the end of the day, this particular lady might have had a couple of regrets but on the whole she was devoid of “the milk of human kindness”. Or as my mother used to say; “a nasty piece of work.”
Nevertheless, it can be convincingly argued that, although the much maligned lady managed in the beginning to suppress her conscience, the burden of that conscience was later to become far too much for her and it was this that ushered in a physical and mental decline that culminated in her death. No, we should not sympathise with her and we might continue to see her as being without “the milk of human kindness”, but at the end of the day we have her doctor observing that she needed “spiritual help”, which brings me to a piece of news from the ‘Guardian’.
“Tony Blair is preparing to launch a “faith offensive” across the United States over the next year, after building up relationships with a network of influential religious leaders and faith organisations.” Now, no need for either spiritual help in the form of a priest or more appropriately a good psychiatrist, for this deluded murderer and our cooky catholic turns to an assorted group of well-connected evangelical Christians, including Rick Warren, Belinda Stronach and David Coffey in an effort to promote cohesion between the major faiths in a joint effort, with the World Bank and I.M.F. to combat all the nastiness on the planet. No, need for this mass murderer to be plagued by a conscience!
Of course, back in Macbeth’s day there was no escape for the protagonist. However, the good news for Tony is that in the United States of America he is much more popular than he is back home and the ‘Guardian’ reports that “he is now called on to sprinkle star-dust at religious gatherings, such as a speech he delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.” Yes, the evidence would seem to suggest that with her world closing in on her Lady Macbeth was increasingly confronted with her crime and that this led to her decline and death. With Tony, an escapism that led him to the ‘Roman Section of the God Squad’ knows no bounds and this deluded, mass murderer, who may really believe that his conscience is clear, might not only be with us for some time to come but he will also be committing further crimes and, forgive the pun, it really does appear that on this, big one, he really is out of the woods.