Tony Blair

We picked this up in the Twittersphere and very nearly grasped the wrong end of the stick, but just in time remembered that there at least two ends to every stick. 

Great piece here from:- Susie Granic, aka Revolution Blues Wilted flower #BDS #BLM, aka @RevBluesSusie, 

Please take a look at Susies profile and if at all possible take note of her appeal for work, she seems to have got the right end of the writing stick.

 

Tony Blair seems to be coming in for an awful lot of stick just for getting an honour, which I for one am sure he richly deserves. (the stick that is). And it came directly from Queenie herself, who we all know is an impeccable judge of character.

After all, he and Bush got rid of Saddam Hussein and ensured there’d be a free flow of oil to the West. Things could have became very dire for us if they hadn’t done so as the 2001 report on ‘energy security’ commissioned by then US Vice-President Dick Cheney a 2001 showed. “Iraq remains a destabilising influence to… the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets. This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a pan-Arab leader…” the report stated. So it was clear, we had to go to war. The WMDs were just a distraction, we all knew that and we didn’t care. 

We should all know by now that money comes before people. That’s just how it is. And rightly so. I mean, if the world had no money we’d be in chaos, but if there were no people we’d be … oh, I see, well, perhaps we are needed, but just not as much as money. Phew, glad I got that sorted in my head.

So a few hundred thousand people were killed or wounded and hundreds of thousands displaced. (Some say over a million, but does anyone really know the true figure?) This is the price they must pay for our freedoms. Why can’t people understand this?

And that Jeremy Cromblyn person shouting from the rooftops about a “spiral of conflict, blah, blah, blah”, well, he was proved wrong wasn’t he? So we’ve had a few terrorist attacks – those sort of people would probably have attacked us anyway. Just looking for an excuse.

But it’s not just the Iraq War which defines Sir Tony Blair’s time in office and the reason he will go down in history as possibly the greatest Labour leader of all time; the man did win three elections. We’re constantly being told that, so it must matter, right? It’s the winning that counts, not what you do with your win. Just ask Thatcher. Whoops, you can’t. Never mind, Blair’s still here, and after all, he did carry on the great woman’s legacy.

But he did so much more! He introduced the minimum wage and Sure Start, and increased public spending in education and health. Why aren’t people applauding those achievements? Why all this negativity about such a great man? And he surrounded himself with equally great MPs. Home Secretary Jack Straw is a great example: he said that Muslim women should stop wearing veils, and you know, could he have been right? It might have stopped all the crime that these Muslim women get up to under cover of their veils. Much like Catholic nuns I suppose.

And later there was Home Secretary David Blunkett, who everybody just loved because, after all, he was blind and an MP, and isn’t that just laudable? He may have constantly attacked asylum seekers and told British Asians they should speak English in their own homes, but surely he was right. If you live in England, speak English for god’s sake. And that goes for you Welsh and Scots too. None of your gaelic nonsense here please.

And Blunkett was keen not to allow impoverished children to blame bad results on their circumstances, because we all know how easy it is to study, if you really want to, with an empty stomach or with parents constantly arguing or a solo parent working all hours. If a blind man could rise from poverty, albeit in a different era, to become MP, then surely these poor people could do just as well? And really, wasn’t he just echoing his master’s voice? Blair had claimed that teenage single mothers were “piling up problems” for society, and argued that disabled people on benefits should ‘justify’ why they were “taking money from the state”. And who’s to say he was wrong? Yes, I do know disabled and people on benefits have killed themselves because of their treatment by the government, but really, doesn’t that just show they were lacking in character?

And we can’t forget the charming Yvette Cooper who has now been appointed to Starmer’s cabinet. Admittedly, while she also served under Blair, she didn’t really come into her own until first in 2008 under Gordon Brown’s leadership when she introduced the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). Hundreds of thousands of disabled people have been persecuted ever since, but isn’t that just a tiny price to pay for having someone who can give Priti Patel a run for her money in the nastiness stakes? And as Shadow Home Secretary under Ed Miliband I found her quite inspiring when she wanted to toughen up against immigrants and asylum seekers. How dare these people who have probably been displaced because of our wars think they have a right to come here and live? The bloody effrontery of them! I’m sure all New Labour diehards are thrilled to bits that Starmer has appointed her to his Shadow Cabinet.

Let’s talk about nationalisation: while Blair had promised to commit to rail nationalisation he quickly reneged on that (shades of Starmer – our next great hope?) and left it in the hands of such luminaries as Richard Branson – yet another English hero. Because, let’s face it, privatisation sounds so much better than nationalisation, doesn’t it? We think private and we think of better things; we think public and we think dirty and scruffy things.

A bit like the NHS. Blair was awfully keen on expanding Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs), and acceleration of the market’s influence on public healthcare, and again had the lovely Branson whispering in his ear. We’re still seeing the results of that today. Our NHS is becoming privatised and a lot of people are very quiet about it, so one must only assume that they’re all for it. Yay!!

As for education, well New Labour’s introduction of university tuition fees in 1998 (and then trebling them in 2004) meant that only those who could afford to – or who were prepared to get in debt – could get a university education, and surely this is what we all want? Only the deserving to be able to access healthcare and education. We’ve seen how well it’s done in the USA.

Blair also continued on with Thatcher’s Right to Buy initiative, which has meant private (told you private is best) landlords can continue to make money out of those desperate for housing. And really, if they can’t afford to buy their own home, wouldn’t they get a better job? Or another one? Blair didn’t want his government to be seen as a soft touch and I’m fairly sure he succeeded with that.

So come on, stop bitching abut this great man. How on earth can you even compare a million or so dead with Sure Start? Ludicrous, right?

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Susie Granic
Proud socialist. Journalist. ESL teacher. Dismayed at the abundance of ignorance. Love all animals. #CorbynWasRight #FreeAssange #FreePalestine #VR #Bowie
https://twitter.com/RevBluesSusie
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