December 13th, 2009

Tony Blair: Questions Arising

Tony Blair has apparently admitted- in an interview with Fern Britton that hasn't been broadcast yet- that the WMD thing was a pretext- and if it hadn't been available he'd have found other reasons for going to war with Saddam Hussein. Gosh! So, he was blagging us about WMD- and lying to us when he said that Saddam had a chance of redemption if he came clean. I knew that, of course, but I never thought I'd hear it confirmed by Blair himself.

He also- in the same interview- burbles something about the War being about Islam and the bad things that were going on inside it. I'm unclear quite what he's trying to say here- possibly because Blair is unclear himself. After all, if militant Islam had been his prime worry- and the war was a crusade- he should surely have been going after Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or Iran or one of those other countries that promotes Islamic extremism- and not after Saddam- who ran a secular regime and hated Al Quaeda. Is Blair being disingenuous here- counting on the ignorance of his audience- or is he (and this is perhaps even more alarming) exposing his own ignorance?

Another thing: if Blair is particularly down on Islam- and isn't worried about voicing this prejudice on air- what on earth does he think he's doing drawing a large stipend as the UN's peace envoy to the Middle East? Doesn't that job call- at the very least- for a pretence of even-handedness?

So he admits he lied about the war, and he also admits- incidentally- that he's unfit to be doing his most high-profile international job. Will he be held to account for any of this? It seems unlikely.

Christmas Cards

We're not sending Christmas cards this year. Ailz says it's because she wants to give the money we'll save to a deserving charity. I say it's because I just don't want to.

Christmas cards belong to an age before there were Facebook and Twitter- and the telephone- and all those other new-fangled ways we have of keeping in touch. The sending of cards has become a socially-enforced ritual. There's very little joy in it.

Ailz's mother says we should at least send cards to family. I say family- the people with whom we're most frequently in touch- are the last people we should bother with.