I’m currently on the horns of a dilemma. It’s a bad one too, one that has resulted in me frowning a lot and muttering under my breath.
The cause of this dilemma is currently sitting in the window of the nearest bookshop. Yes, Tony Blair has written a book. It’s called, and what a scintillating title, A Journey. Where he started this journey off and where it ends are apparently unclear.
In this hefty swipe out of Britain’s forests (it’s 718 pages long) Blair tells all about his political life, his premiership and the fact that he’s such a misunderstood man.
I will now pause to allow myself to get my hysterical laughter under control. That or throw up.
Ok, so my dilemma is a simple one – should I buy it or not? If I buy it then I’ll either have to read it or use it as a doorstop to keep the doors open. If I do read it then there’s also the chance that I’ll have to jump up and down on it wearing the heaviest boots I can find.
Where can I start? How about the fact that Blair is now one of the most reviled men in the UK, up there with Crippen, Neville Chamberlain, Hengist & Horsa and Gordon Brown? He didn’t start off that way at all. In fact when he came to power as Prime Minister in 1997 he was very popular indeed. Ok, so I didn’t vote for his government and wouldn’t have even if I was being threatened with dismemberment, but I had a soft spot for him. He seemed to be a safe Labour leader and not one of the left-wing lunatics that once threatened to take the party over. By the way if he’d been born in the US then Sarah Palin probably would have still labeled him the Communist Antichrist.
Now I’m basing a lot of this on the excerpts that have been published in various papers, but apparently a thread that runs through the book seems to be his total refusal to face up to a) the fact that he seems to have taken the credit for everything that went right and nothing that went wrong and b) the fact that he was totally and utterly wrong about Iraq.
Oh, Iraq. Words fail me. What a bottomless pit of anguish and futility. What an endless torrent of money and blood. And of course it wasn’t Tony’s fault, honest!
Instead, according to some of the extracts that made my eyes pop out, George W Bush is a much-maligned man, who is massively under-estimated, yes mistakes were made but they were understandable mistakes and finally nothing was the fault of Tony Blair.
I’m going to pause here and bang my head against the table.
Apparently Blair admits to anguishing over the deaths of British soldiers (and American ones, but I don’t know if he mentions the Iraqi civilians who got blown to hell and back again) but thinks that it was all worth it because Saddam Hussein couldn’t be trusted not to develop weapons of mass destruction.
He slides over the lies, half-truths and vast amounts of wishful thinking that got us into the quagmire and seems to think that the collapse of Iraq in the aftermath of the war due to an occupation plans that came straight from Never-Neverland was “unforeseeable”.
He also glosses over the massive amount of physical, political and moral damage done to the region and the UK and the USA by the entire sorry mess.
I have another title for the book – Tony Blair, Delusional Idiot or Demented Liar? Will I buy a copy? Not until it comes out in paperback. It can be torn to pieces and stamped on more easily then.