The papers on the Blessed Blair’s resurrection at Trimdon

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    Ban Blair-Baiting


    31st March 2010

    Since their earlier attempts to crucify the former prime minister seem to have fallen on stony ground, as it were, his unexpected ressurrection has sent our papers into a tizzy. This picture would not have discouraged them.

    Blair now – 30th March 2010

    His expression above is a lot less exuberant than the last time he offered his hands for the nails (also here in Trimdon, almost three years ago). Not that that'll prevent the press trying to hammer the nails home.

    Blair then – 10th May 2007

    The last time we saw Tony Blair in the domestic politics scene it was in his farewell to his constiuency in Sedgefield. His arms were extended widely then too (May 2007.) More thanking the 'faithful' than welcoming the nails. ( I mean, of course, 'thanking friends'.)

    [Go here to listen to his speech on that day in May, 2007]


    How have our illustrious press covered this? Well, they have attacked from several angles and a few have praised. The usual partisan suspects in all cases. Well … more or less.

    The “saviour”, the “suntan”, the “money”, the “liar is up to something”.

    It’s mainly the commenters at some articles who go back to the Iraq issue.  Like bees around the honeypot they’re drawn to that. And some of their comments are anything but sweet. They are incendiary. Atrocious behaviour from would-be peace ‘n’ lovers. They are the reason it costs so much to protect The Man.  (More on them later.) If you believe these types actually CARE about those that were killed in Iraq (mainly by insurgents, not by the troops) you’ll believe anything.


    First there’s Will Heaven – (no, not a question) – having some biblical fun here: Tony Blair plays Labour’s Saviour: ‘The sea is still rough, the storm has subsided’:

    And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

    And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

    And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

    But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

    I indulge in a touch of biblical metaphoring too, Mr Heaven. Though I prefer to have a go at the ‘saviour’ who hasn’t got the Walk On Water factor – Dave The Save.

    Then there’s a BBC report by Brian Wheeler. “More reunion than rally” is how he describes the events on a rainy day in Trimdon.  Though this is a fairer article than many others on the story Mr Wheeler still feels the need to mention the “second coming … deity” idea.


    “I don’t think people can believe that he was actually amongst us,” said one dazed acolyte, trying to sum the morning’s events up.

    Tony Blair’s great comeback to the UK political stage felt more like a family reunion, or the second coming of a minor deity, than a political rally.


    Local priest Father John Caden did not seem at all put out that this was the first time he had seen his old friend in three years, since Mr Blair’s conversion to Catholicism.

    “He is really the Tony I first met in 1983 when he came into my church. As a dear friend, he has never changed.”


    Oh, yes it is. It isn’t that Blair is godlike, or thinks he is. That wouldn’t get to me. I am still stubbornly a religious ‘unbeliever’ and likely to remain so. “Unbeliever” is the wrong word of course. You can’t believe in something you don’t accept exists.  But that piece of personal information is just thrown in here in order to disabuse those of you who think a Blair Supporter has to be in lockstep with everything The Man with the WOW factor says, does or believes in.  I don’t.

    Fro me it’s simply that Tony Blair knows how to DO politics today, like no-one else. His natural charisma helps, tan or not.

    Which other politician can we imagine extending his arms so openly in this way? Apart from Dave, of course?

    I don’t know if Mr Cameron plans the arms outreach at one of his events to the faithful in the next few weeks before Tony’s birthday (May 6th!) This is the only one of him in a similar pose that I can find online, and he’s only doing a half-Blair here – the sofa half. And not to the multitudes. So that’s a third-Blair. Way to go, Dave.


    The Times provides a better explanation of the Tanned Blair’s ‘Elixir of Good Health –  not being PM’.


    “When he arrived in Downing Street he was nicknamed Bambi but no one today would mistake Tony Blair for a baby deer.

    Instead, he was recently likened to a lizard on a rock — tanned, taut and able to soak up the political heat.

    Mr Blair’s deep tan is the most obvious difference since he last spoke in Sedgefield three years ago — hardly surprising, perhaps, for a man who spends much of his time as a peace envoy in the Middle East. Yet he also seems leaner and more vigorous than he did when he left office in 2007. While there are not many people for whom mediating between Israel and the Palestinians would count as a relaxing break, it is certainly less stressful, it would appear, than being Prime Minister.”

    Though even Chris Smyth here HAS to mention the money. The money? It’s only a guess but I think he’d give it all up for 65% popularity ratings again. Highly unlikely, right now anyway. Hang onto the money, Tony, and make it work for your charities.


    James Kirkup at The Telegraph says “Tony Blair is the future, and it’s orange”

    Sub-heading –

    ‘The Second Coming is upon us. Tony Blair has returned to earth to save Gordon Brown.’

    Jon Jones at Sky News admits the press still has a thing about the tan.  But at least he has a go at a point within Blair’s speech. He questions why he left us with the benighn/not benign question over Tory policy.


    And look at this striking passage: “So why the confusion? The benign but still disqualifying explanation is that the policy-makers are confused…. The less benign one is that one set of policies represents what they believe in; the other what they think they have to say to win.”

    So which is it Mr Blair? – honest confusion or political calculation? Why stay on the fence? Surely here again he lets David Cameron off the hook – a fully engaged topflight Labour operator would leave no doubt as to his view of the Conservatives’ malign motivation. Was that the sound of bets being hedged?

    Possibly, Mr Jones. Possibly. Then again perhaps not. It may be no more than the sound of doubts being planted politely and without the need for nasty noisy spadework.


    The Daily Mail’s Peter Oborne is a man with some serious personal hang-ups about Tony Blair.  The least said about much of this the better. Perhaps he needs psychiatric help.  Oborne’s “word counts for nothing.”

    To paraphrase Oborne, again – For it must be noted that Tony Blair Peter Oborne is a notorious liar.


    And then some get into the really serious stuff.  Serious? Hah!

    There’s Gerald Warner – at The Telegraph, he writes about religion as well as other things, or so it says. So HE should know an evil one when he sees one, shouldn’t he? Er no.  Perhaps he needs to look inside his own soul, as should many religious people. That might help him and them to learn how to recognise real evil and deal with it accordingly.

    Clearly this Blair-hating chappie is really panicking.

    “The Great Charlatan has risen from the grave. He has returned to claim Gordon, his enslaved creature, and very possibly to imprint the kiss of death, fatal as a vampire’s bite, on his election campaign.”

    God save us. Being a religious commenter Warner knows a bit about lies, I’m sure. Here he refers to this lie, though he doesn’t know it was ALL a lie:  Blair said he watched Jackie Milburn, of Newcastle United, from behind the goal at St James’s Park. As a writer on politics as well as religion you’d think he’d have worked out by now that that story itself was a lie. And not Mr Blair’s lie. It was The Sun wot dun it. (See confession here.) Perhaps Warner isn’t au fait with football, unlike his knowledge of politics!


    It’s one of the mysteries of modern-day online scribbling/tapping that commenters are allowed to get away with all sorts of outrageous utterances online. They are seldom if ever taken to task by the oh-so-moralistic writers and moderators.

    For instance this, at the Independent

    A lying War Criminal

    [info]robert_price wrote:

    Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 11:23 am (UTC)

    Why are we stil giving air time to this man. Shouldn’t he have hanged by now?

    Oh, I almost forgot, the rich folks he betrayed this country to, and whom he has killed so many people in other countries for, still control the media.

    What this facile nonsensical ranting has to do with whether or not Mr Blair should be permitted floor space at his old constituency is never made clear. The writer or moderator doesn’t return to put people right with such as a – “Hang on a minute. Mr Blair is not a ‘lying war criminal’ until tried and proven so. And, by the way, we don’t hang people here in Britain, not even him. Haven’t you noticed?”

    I said above that it is a mystery why this kind of comment from the public ignorant is so widespread. It isn’t actually a mystery. The blogosphere and article comment pages have now largely turned into evil-minded monsters encouraged by the press. They can get away with just about anything. It’s a press responsibility cop-out. “I DIDN’T say it, Guv! Not ME.  No WAY!”

    These article writers know they can get away with publishing this – free speech and all that – so they just lay the tasty bait and the ignorant leap in and grab with their gobbling, gabbling mouths.

    Sorry, but free speech notwithstanding, I still think something needs to be done about this.


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    3 Responses to “The papers on the Blessed Blair’s resurrection at Trimdon”

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