||Issue No. 183||20 June 2003|
A Beautiful Set of Numbers?
History: Nest of Traitors
Interview: A Nation of Hope
Unions: National Focus
Safety: The Shocking Truth
Tribute: A Comrade Departed
History: Working Bees
Education: The Big Picture
International: Static Labour
Economics: Budget And Fudge It
Technology: Google and Campaigning
Review: Secretary With A Difference
Poetry: The Minimale
Satire: Howard Calls for Senate to be Replaced by Clap-O-Meter
The Locker Room
Is Beazley's Popularity a Winner?
Tony Bliar (sic) is an abject lesson in the perils of a Labour leader trying to be a neo-conservative. You can't catch two trains at the same time and the man who tried to starve the British fire fighters into submission to his Third Way has found himself on the wrong track.
Bliar (sic) was running around the world trumpeting the now discredited theory of Weapons of Mass Destruction as an excuse for Texas to get its hands on Iraq's oil reserves in much the same way as our own Prime Miniature was hysterically berating anyone who doubted the integrity of Dick Cheney's stock portfolio.
Now Bliar (sic) is facing two parliamentary inquiries regarding his loose appreciation of the truth, as well as watching his approval rating fall through the floor. Liars are seldom popular in the long run but Blair has grabbed the quinella. Unlike Bush and Howard who lead loopy right wing administrations that are in thrall with the neo-conservative world view, Bliar (sic) is facing a revolt from within his own governing party.
"Disarmament of all WMD is the demand," Bliar (sic) told the House of Commons on September 24 2002. He was unequivocal. This was the reason we had to go to war against Iraq. Not regime change. Not freeing the people of Iraq from a despot. It was Weapons of Mass destruction. Disarmament was the reason we had to go to war.
If it was about liberating people then blowing them into unidentifiable pieces is a strange way of liberating them. It's a use of language that would have appealed to the British Prime Minister's namesake Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell. He appreciated that to keep the people under control you need them on a permanent war footing. Unfortunately the British PM is looking more like Jayson Blair, the New York Times journalist who simply made his stories up.
If it was about freeing people from a murderous despot then the British government could have had a look in its own historical backyard at regimes in Burma and Zimbabwe. But that, of course, would be in contravention of the rule that countries don't meddle in another's internal affairs - a mantra that has been popular with right-wing apologists for decades. Of course it has never been a problem for the United States if a popularly elected left leaning government popped up in, say, Grenada or Nicaragua.
Then again, they do things differently in the United States. The British pride themselves on a more reserved approach to these things. Besides, people like Saddam Hussein are lucrative customers for the British armaments industry. Maybe the effort to rid Iraq of Weapons of Mass Destruction was just a few Anglophone governments doing a bit of repo work for the arms manufacturers that paid for their election? This would appeal to the moral vacuum occupied by the neo-conservatives, but it would always sit awkwardly with a government based on principles of compassion and human dignity - the shibboleths Bliar (sic)'s "New" Labour apparently stand for.
The question is Tony Blair a recruit to the neo-conservative world view, or just a dangerous fool?
If his lies were a deliberate ploy to ride the Yankee coat tails onto the spoils of Iraq then he has been truly suckered in by the neo-conservatives in the Bush administration. If he firmly believed the dossier that was presented to the House of Commons on Iraq's alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction then he is certainly a dangerous fool.
Either way, Bliar (sic)'s stint in the Tool Shed will be a welcome respite for him considering that he will find it very difficult to survive the growing anger in his own party and the British community regarding his slap dash approach to the truth and accountability.
After all, this is a man who prosecuted a war that has cost thousands of lives on evidence that has since been dismissed by its protagonists as a "bureaucratic" excuse. At least his government is being held accountable for its deceptions, our own leaders merely seek to profit from their own murderous delusions.
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