Blair and Iraq, lies and recollections

Chilcot gives Blair a chance, while the public heckle

This man will save the world?This man will save the world?
Poor old Gordon Brown, there he is "getting on with the job" but the wicked world ignores him. The London Afghanistan Conference is in full swing but it's all eyes on a certain Mr Blair. So while Brown deals with the events of today unseen, Blair is waffling on with his version of history. And doing so in that politico-camp style that, as time drags on, makes him more enemies than friends. One of the best funny/sad things is watching celebrities grow old but not up; television is awash with such people. Blair having now spent so much time out of UK politics, a lot of it in the US, where these mannerisms he has perfected are more tolerated, looks and sounds too much like a 1980's rock star to be taken seriously any more. It's all well and good Bob Geldorf and Bono wanting to save the world but it's a hobby for them, they have day jobs. Blair wanting to save the world is all he's got, that's his act and it's wearing thin.

So, enemies and friends; in the Telegraph Andrew Gilligan gives his take on Blair at Chilcot. It's short and precise and Gilligan reminds us that he claimed back in mid 2003 that key documents were being "sexed up" to suit Blair's long term aim, Gilligan says -

First, of course, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and no links with al-Qaeda; Mr Blair was forced into a series of hypotheticals – if Saddam had passed WMDs to terrorists, and so on? As one of the Chilcot panel, Sir Roderic Lyne, reminded him: “But it’s these ifs, isn’t it?”

By contrast Martin Kettle in the Guardian goes for a classic bit of blame shift, his title,

"The real problem was Blair's policy towards America, not Iraq"gives the game away and his subtitle
"He was not wrong about intervention. It was his political judgement that went badly awry. If only this was Chilcot's focus" confirms Kettle's stance.He tries to criticise but fails. It's a bit like a drunk trying to give up the bottle. The on-off relationship that the Guardian has had with Blair all these years will follow him, like many other journalists, to the grave. Kettle also says -

To say Blair got the national interest wrong over Iraq, and that Iraq was the pivotal error of his premiership, is true. But to say such things now feels like weirdly perverse understatement. The level of hyperbole has been raised so high, and the level of Blair-hatred is so intense in some quarters, that anyone who says "Yes, but-" about Blair and his era, struggles to make themselves heard, much less have themselves taken seriously

Indeed they do and Kettle has the cheek to pretend he does not understand, ha! He then stretches things further and with a ridiculous flourish adds -

All of us are a mix of virtues and vices, and a lot of other stuff in-between. Blair is no different

Then Kettle, stretching things to beyond the limit, even allows himself a pot at Elizabeth Wilmhurst. This proves that no Blairite can ever kick the habit.

So many years have now passed since the invasion of Iraq few people will being paying full attention to this apology from Kettle. About a million people marched through London to protest about the war all those years ago. They won't have changed their minds but are probably more turned off the whole business of government than taking notice of what's happening in Afghanistan. So, 'poor old Gordon Brown'? Or was this a calculated move by Nulabour to run Blair/Chilcot at the same time as Brown/Afghanistan? And so take the heat off the man who is in most trouble, devious lot Nulabour, you never know.