Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Sometimes I wonder about where MPs live and if they ever meet ‘ordinary’ people (except in their surgeries to talk about the disgusting bus service and drainage failures). I mean socially, to have a normal chat with them. Does it ever happen?

I read Tom Harris’s blog and occasionally comment on it. I almost never agree with the guy, but that doesn’t matter really. He writes well; not surprisingly as he was a journalist in real life, and at least when you disagree with him he usually publishes your comment... although he rarely replies to it unless it is to put it down. I guess that’s not surprising really. He does get some very critical comments.

I was a bit surprised today though to see his wholehearted backing for Tony Blair over the donation from his book earnings to the English British Legion, and a slapping down of the British public for being less than enthusiastic about Blair’s actions and for being suspicious of them.

I realise of course that one has to be loyal to one’s leader, even ex-leader, and that the right winger Blair was probably a bit of a hero to Tom who always seems more like a Tory than a Labour man, specially a Scottish Labour man. (I wonder if Blair would even know who he was.)

Some might say I should get out more, but in the last 10 years, I have to say that I have never yet met a person who liked Tony Blair or who had any kind of respect for him. The nicest thing that I have heard said of him is that he was better than Brown… but that really isn’t much of a compliment. I’m therefore surprised that the reaction should come as a huge surprise. Maybe Tom just moves in rarefied right wing circles in which it is considered correct to invade countries because your senior partner’s deputy wants their oil, regardless of the hundreds of British troops whose lives you ruin… or end, and the hundreds of thousands of “the enemies’” ditto.

But not only do I disagree with Harris’s robust support of his beloved Tony, but I reckon that he’s way wide of the mark about it only being in Britain that people would be suspicious of self serving slime balls like Blair. I’m sure that the French would be equally suspicious of anything that the imperious Sarkozy might do that seemed half decent, or for that matter of Chirac (but then would he ever do anything decent?).

He ends his short piece with this:

“But the sneering and sheer nastiness in the response to this gesture is nauseating and shines a glaring light on a side of the British character of which we should not be proud.”

Nah Tom, it shows that we have your wee mate bang to rights. He’s a slug!

Pics: The horror that Blair inflicted upon Bagdhad's innocent population in persuit of approval from Washington. And Tom Harris, one of Blair's few fans.


  1. Spot on MR, wish we did have Bliar 'bang to rights'...

  2. "rarefied right wing circles in which it is considered correct to invade countries because your senior partner’s deputy wants their oil"

    We didn't invade Iraq for oil.

    " or end, and the hundreds of thousands of “the enemies’” ditto"

    I'm not upset about our brave boys ending terrorists or Baath Party supporters. As for the innocent casualties, they weren't enemies, so naturally I'm sure even Blair feels for them.

  3. Thank you Indyan Hat!. Yes. I wish that too. maybe one day, but as long as Britian has American support nothing like that will happen. The Hague, it appears, is for muderers from "other" countries where they don't speak Enlish and aren't friends with America.

    Bush (Cheney) and Blair, Berlusconi and that wee Spanish dude are safe as houses as long as America is in charge. Maybe when China takes over.....

  4. Dean:

    We didn't?

    Oh sorry. I remember that there were WMDs which Colin Powell had definitely seen with his own eyes, and Bush knew were there because his daddy had sold them to Iraq, and the British Secret Service were certain of it due to having read a 10 years out of date student dissertation which included (the dodgy dossier, you know the one that that weapons expert lost his life over).

    Then someone somewhere told them that Niger was selling plutonium to Iraq.

    Then, when it seemed that Mr Powell’s occultist needed glasses himself, the excuse became that Sadam ran an obnoxious regime which was unfair to women and had used gas (which the west sold him to gas Iranians) on his own people, the Kurds.

    Then it was because they weren’t a democracy... you know, like Saudi Arabia is, or Kuwaiti, or Oman or goodness, any number of countries in the region.

    So we went in and found exactly what Dr Blix and his team expected.....nada, zero, nix, zip or bugger all.

    And there was a regime which was horrible, but which did allow women reasonable rights (given that there was a religious faction to deal with), and where you could buy alcohol and drive a car and long as you did not decry the regime, you could lead a reasonably safe life.

    Yes there were problems with the Kurds and the marsh Arabs and their rights, in what was a country made up of at least three countries...a botched job of the West, as usual. But you know, I guess that that was not much worse than the kind of problem that the British government had with the IRA and the UDF and all the other terrorist organisations in Ireland. It’s not so long ago that Irish Catholics didn’t have equal rights, weren’t allowed to go to university etc.... so we have little to shout about, and as for the Americans, well, there is the small business of Apartheid in the southern states which was around until pretty recently and hasn’t in practice gone away.

    Terrorists? There were precious few of them in Iraq before we poked our noses in. Sadam ruled with a rod of iron.

    As we can see from the mess which we left the place in, the country cannot function without that. So because they knew that the place was chaotic and were looking for chaotic regimes in which to operate, Al Qaida moved in quickly, and all the hard line Islamists that were kept in check in a country where the President was only nominally a Muslim, started throwing their weight around. As a result women’s rights have disappeared; instead of driving to their businesses in Western dress, they now have to wear veils and are not allowed to operate businesses.

    We were going to install democracy. Like we are always going to do that, everywhere we go, because it sort of works for us (not much) and we are all fired sure that that’s what these people need. A good bit of American democracy. So 5 or 6 months after the last elections there is no functioning government and the place is completely chaotic. What there is of government exists in a zone completely cut off from the rest of the country, but I doubt if anyone pays any attention to it.

    In the end, what it is all about really is the fact is that Iraq sits on a massive puddle of oil and Mr Cheney wanted to get his hands on it.

    I wonder what Mr Blair does feel. You can’t really get near him these days to ask him what he thinks. He has become some sort of superstar, like a retired president. And just like when in the presence of the Queen, you are not allowed to ask him questions if you do get anywhere near him.

    But then, even if you could, who would believe him anyway?

  5. The Iraq intervention was never about oil. That is a weak smokescreen put about by those who opposed the war. It is little better than slander and lies.

    What it was about was, you are correct WMDs.

    i] Our intel and Saddam's behviour all promoted the belief that he had them. Even the French who were violently opposed to the intervention, at the time, conceded that he had them.

    The same anti-war critics would have shouted murderous cries had Blair decided not to go in, and he actually had them.

    ii] It was about the authority of the UN, which was undermined every time Saddam broke a resolution, or flouted an agreement.

    iii] It was about protecting his people from his continued tyranny.

    I concede on this point, as it is Liberal Interventionism, that not everyone will find this legitimate grounds. I accept this.

    It was never ever about oil. Tris, you know this very well. So why do you through about these sordid accusations? If you oppose the war on legal, or moral grounds thats fine, but do not pretend that Blair was some kind of twisted lier pretending that he believed WMDs were in those sands...we all believed that at the time.

  6. Well said Tris.

  7. Dean: if it was about WMDs then we should be apologising to all these ordinary people who got dead or maimed and all our soldiers who were killed, maimed and injured. Because he didn’t bloody well have them.

    What the French thought is neither here or there. I saw the French President’s speech on television. He said that until Dr Blix had made his report he would not commit France to war, and therefore would vote against the resolution. It wouldn’t have made any difference. Russia was going to vote against it, and it is likely that China would have either abstained or voted against. Whether or not the smaller countries on the revolving membership of the Security Council would have been moved by the bribes they were being offered to vote for the resolution was neither here nor there. Both France and Russia would have double scuppered it. France did NOT conceded that he had the WMDs. They said that they did not know, and awaited the weapons’ expert’s report.

    Blair of course knew better. Why would you need a weapons’ expert on the ground when you have Mr Blair and his dodgy dossier and his dead expert.

    Blair even made the AG change his legal opinion.

    It was an illegal war. The Sec General said so (and was soon removed from his post).

    You say that it was about the authority of the UN. The UN didn’t give authority to go to war. When it was seen that the UN would say NO, Bush overrode them and went to war without asking them. That did a lot for the authority of the UN. Additionally, there are other countries which flout Security Council resolutions and with which we do not go to war. However they are large, or friends with a large country.... China, Burma, Israel, North Korea.... we’re not off to war with any of them.... Zimbabwe, Russia,.... hum, nope, don’t have oil or are too big.

    Sadam’s people suffer far worse tyranny now. They have no government; they have no direction. Muslim terrorists have infiltrated the country and the West having completely lost the plot in the country has decided to leave, triumphantly... Sadam was a bastard, I would have hated to live under his regime, but at least you could walk the streets in safety. Now there are bombs every day and women are oppressed. It may yet become another Islamic state and all that the idiots in the West have done is stoke another fire of hatred. The Iraqi people were mot militants, but we managed to stir hatred of the West. Well why would you feel if your kids had had their legs blown off?

    Blair was a twisted liar. What more can I say. Was and is. He did it for his place in history... alongside Bush, taken in by the power and the glory of the oval office and the rose garden. And Bush was probably pushed into it by his dad or Cheney.

    Just as well Blair’s a catholic. He’ll be able to get the pope to give him absolution.

    I really don’t know what southern baptists do for solace. Maybe if you’re as thick as Bush, it never occurs to you.

  8. Thanks for the link cynical. I'll read it later and sign. Have to go do some work now. :(

  9. "The UN didn’t give authority to go to war."

    I do not accept that legal interpretation. There are legal grounds for the intervention. Not just resolution 1441 but also the right of self defence, which was in play given that our intel services were saying to us and his government Saddam had WMDs [and was someone capable of using them].

    Oh, and leave Israel out of this, it does NOT break international law.

  10. "Sadam’s people suffer far worse tyranny now"

    Yeh, sure Tris...being able to exercise the right to vote can be a real tyranny ....

  11. p.s I didn't say, but I like your new layout - much more modern and fancy!

  12. Dean said "The Iraq intervention was never about oil. That is a weak smokescreen put about by those who opposed the war. It is little better than slander and lies."

    Self ignorance of the truth is no excuse for someone aspiring to enter politics.

    "President Bush's Cabinet agreed in April 2001 that 'Iraq remains
    a destabilising influence to the flow of oil to international markets
    from the Middle East' and because this is an unacceptable risk to
    the US 'military intervention' is necessary."

  13. Blair and his government were involved in the murder of Dr Kelly - you don't slap a 70 year secrecy order on a simple suicide and lie on the death certificate.

    Blair and his government were involved in the murder of the victims of the 7/7 London Bombings and that includes the supposed "suicide" bombers who were shot dead at Canary Wharf.

    Blair and every other member of the Labour party and every other person involved in these murders should be tried for treason against this country and its people and be given the death penalty.

  14. Well Dean, to Blair’s credit he persuaded Bush to go for a resolution to go to war, rather than rely on the previous one which had a dubious interpretation. However, to his discredit, when it was clear that they would lose that one, they withdrew it (Bush’s people must have been livid with Blair).

    They had sent people to all the little countries that happened to have a revolving seat on the SC at that time and bribed them with money for airports, weapons, roads, presidential palaces, whatever, to get them to agree, but in the end Russia and China and France scuppered it. Of course France got the blame because it’s not a good idea to fall out with Russia, and as China holds vast amounts of the US’s debt it would be foolish to upset them. So French fries became freedom fries and people stopped buying champagne and Côte du Rhône for a little while...

    The AG gave a negative. He said it was illegal. Blair sent for him and he changed his mind. An International Lawyer at the FO resigned because she said it was illegal. The Secretary General said it was illegal. Now even people like Mr Howard who voted for it say that he was misled by Tony Blair.

    As for defence, yes, I heard the 45 minutes thing. Well, all I can say is that I very much hope that the people who came up with that little wheeze were sacked and their pensions were stripped from them. The bloke hadn’t got a bloody pea shooter never mind WMDs that could be deployed within 45 minutes. The Intelligence Services should be renamed the Thick Gits Department.

    Self Defence? Tut tut. I hope all these civilians who dies and had their homes and businesses shot to pieces and all the women who now have to wear the veil and stay at home and clean the house are impressed that the few rusting old weapons that the country had were such a great threat to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, that Iraq had to be bombed to submission.

    A shameful act which has endangered our citizens when they travel and the English citizens of London in their day to day lives.

  15. Thanks for your comment on the layout Dean. I was a bit unsure about it to begin with... but on balance I think it is better. It's always good to hear it from elsewhere though ;¬)

  16. Cynical...

    It's hard to remember what lies have been told and of course most of the testimony of the ex cabinet members has been pretty dodgy... "it wasn't me" stuff.

    But it seems clear that the decision to go to war had already been made at Bush-Blair meetings months before the war started.

    I always thought it was really surprising that, if Blair really believed that Saddam had WMDs and that they were capable of being launched within 45 minutes that it was foolhardy to say the least to give the man weeks warning that Shock and Awe was about to begin.

    I suspect that someone who knew that there was a chemical bomb within 45 minutes of hitting you would probably kept the date and the place of the campaign against the enemy a top secret, on teh basis that it would be pretty easy for old Saddy to get one in first.

  17. Aye Billy. There’s another mystery.

    We find that Dr Kelly killed himself while he was depressed having had his wrist slapped for talking out of turn.

    But we also find that the background to it is SOOOOOOOOOO secret that it must not be released to the public for 70 years. Longer than war documents; longer than top secret things about teh cold war. Longer in fact than any adult now living is likely to live....

    But honest, there was nothing dodgy about it... now, would anyone like to buy this Austin Allegro.... only 5,000 miles on the clock and genuine leather seats... once owned by Elvis Presley....?

  18. Actually Tris - I would buy an Austin Allegro Equipe if I could, I used to own one and it was an excellent car. Apparently there are only 9 known to have survived and the last one that was sold went for over £3500.

  19. Ochhhhhh Billy... you spoiled my allusion to second hand car salesmen mate LOL...

    I thought it was good too... humph...

    £3,500 is a massive amount though considering they must have cost a deal less than that new?

    Was there something special about the "equipe"... Given that it means "team", was it a sporty model for rallying? What size engine did it have?

    My mate's granny had an ordinary one, 1100 I think, and he said that it wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding....

    Mind it was probably old when she got it.

  20. I thought there was talk of the minutes of that cabinet meeting being published? Whatever came of that, I remember it being talked about a while ago on newsnight ...

  21. It had a 1750 Twin Carb engine, was a secial edition sport model, silver with red/orange "Starsky and Hutch" style stripes coming down the back pillar along to a point on the front wings. Actually nicer looking than you might think...I used to always come back to people looking inside it and commenting.

    They used to talk and slag off a lot of mince about Allegros. Funny one of the things they said about the Equipe was they had porous alloys and that owners used to wake up with flat tyres...I never had one flat tyre, not even a puncture - and all the surviving cars still have the same wheels.

  22. Ta for the gen...1750 in that body must have made it very powerful, but I'm still miffed at ye for messing with my joke....

    .... I don't suppose you ever had a Ford Fiesta did you?

  23. LOL Dean... I wonder if they ever publish anything like that if they won't be "redacted"...for security reasons.

    Maybe in Mr Goldsmith's memoires.....

  24. Greetings, proles,

    Must say I found Dean's remarks about oil quite revealing. You've got to ask the question who now controls Iraq's oil supplies?

    You may recall that to prepare the British public for the imminent threat of Iraq's WMD Blair cynically ordered troops and tanks onto the streets of London prior to the invasion.

    I fear that a measure of gullibility induced by reading the Sun/Record/Scotsman etc is the main reason why there is no demand for a truly independent inquiry instead of the Chillcot charade along the same lines as the inquiries into David Kelly's demise and the cash for honours scandal.

    The same gullibility means that the Labour party, despite all the corruption and incompetence, are still the largest party in Scottish politics.

    BTW, Tris, I like your new layette but for some reason find it hard to scroll down which means I've actually got to read Niko's comments...

  25. Incidentally, Blair's contribution to the British Legion is around the equivalent of me buying an old soldier a pint and a chew at my tobacco. Still, of considerable consolation is the old adage regarding rich men, camels and eyes of needles.

  26. Greetings oh great one:

    Where the hell have you been?

    My mum’s been missing you like hell...

    Anyway, you’re right. The whole of Blair’s government was a spin exercise and he cynically used troops in London to reinforce in people’s mind that the threat was real. It was a shame to go to all that trouble when all that Saddy had was 2 peashooters and a catapult, confiscated from one of these wee laddies that he had photographed sitting on his knee in the last Gulf War!

    Whitehall – Whitewash. All these enquiries seem to do it to allow the participants to swear their way into hell, and provide people who don’t need them with lots of lunches on expenses....

    I noted that Dean’s own blog points out what the money will be used for... A centre to help soldiers get back to some kind of life after horrific injuries. I find it incredible that such a centre is to be built by charitable contributions, and indeed, without these contributions from Mr Blair might never have been finished.

    Why is it not a top priority of government to provide these facilities? What on earth is Mr Fox messing about at when there are troops coming home with inadequate hospital and rehabilitation facilities? Talk about fur coats and no knickers.

    If that doesn’t make you ashamed to be British then nothing will.

    Thanks for the comments about the new layout. I’m deeply concerned though that you are having to read Niko’s comment and will immediately put a team of my best people onto investigating the problem.

    It may be that your computer is gubbed and that you need to put your hand in your pocket for a new one.

    Think about it... no more comments from Niko? Bargain.

    Get blogging! (says Tris’s mum!)

  27. Tris,

    I refuse to pay twenty groats and a farthing for a new computer so I'll just have to peddle faster!

    I've actually been to a place where Blair would certainly not be welcome so you've got the whole world to pick from. I think my boss hates me. Since I ran off with his rubber ring he's given me piles of work.

  28. PS: If you're reading this, Adam, it was your secretary that nicked your rubber ring before she went for that holiday in the Russian submarine.

  29. Tris,

    Glad you are welcoming what Blair's donation will go towards. It is a nice concession from what you wrote on the article..

    But Fox has a tough time. God knows I am NOT a fan of the man, but he has picked the fights which needed picking. He did launch a briefings war with the treasury over MoD cuts, and why it was not ring fenced but overseas aid is.

    So he is picking the right fights. My problem with him isn't that he is being inactive Tris; I think that would be unfair; but that he is failing to attract support. But then if your that right wing, even most Tories won't want to agree with you :)

    p.s Brownlie, you have been gone a while, hope you weren't implicated in some Russian spy ring recently!

  30. Dean,

    Damn, you've sussed me out. My real name is Nikoroffski - no relation - and I would not have mined being implicated with one of them. Strangely, my all-time hero, apart from Lawrie Rielly, is Gorbachev who's been the most effective and impressive politician in my life-time.

  31. Dean: of course I welcome it. But I believe that a country that can afford to send men to war can afford to treat them when they come back broken and busted. That's only fair.

    They are your soldier and my soldiers and i am happy that Blair's money is going to help them seeing as the grippy country can't be bothered.

    You see, there is not "position" to be gained from looking after your sick and maimed troops.

    On the other hand, if you want to stay in the G8 when your economy doesn't being to deserve it, you have to do your bit with oversees aid. If get dumped. It’s like keeping nuclear bombs you will never use so that you can stay at the top table in the UN.

    So yeah, I’m glad he’s giving the money. The money will buy as much help for these guys whether he gave it as a stunt or as a genuine gift from the heart. But once again I ask, why is the MoD (and I accept it isn’t necessarily Fox’s fault; it was there before he was... and will probably be there after he’s gone) isn’t responsible for this.

  32. Hum Brownlie, glad as I am that you're back, you're safe and you're back on Munguin's Republic, I draw a line at knowing anything about your ring, or you piles of work...

    Anyways... even if Adam hates you (and he probably does read this; everyone who counts does you know) you're more than welcome back here.

    Peddle away mate....

    Oh yeah, I agree with you about Gorby. He was a man we could all do business with. He took some amazingly bold steps that took incredible courage.