Ignore this, please: Blair Supporter’s Thoughts on TB’s 2nd appearance at the Iraq Inquiry

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    Or –

    24th January 2011

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’


    What? You mean you’re actually reading this stuff? All this self-Blair-serving nonsense? I suppose you’re sharp enough to see past the bias, lies and agenda. Impeccably trained by our press, literati and intelligentsia you are well up to picking out the juicy bits and running with them? But of course.

    As if, eh?

    Big Ben, at 8:40am, Friday 21st January 2011


    So here’s my take on the day, for what it’s worth.

    (Apologies for the quality of some of the pictures)

    When I emerged from the Tube at Westminster ready for the Inquiry I realised I’d forgotten my watch. What time was it? It didn’t take long to find out.

    I had plenty of time to walk the few hundred yards to the QEII Conference Centre. Looking at some of the architecture of our ancient capital I was once more astounded by its beauty, as I always am.  A conversation about this and British culture itself followed later in a sanity break when I met a man who said he used to be a Lib Dem, but was no more.  He told me that Blair’s Britain was now a far better place than it had been before he took over as PM in 1997.

    A picture I took of the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, 21st January 2011. Elegant still, but a far poorer place without Tony Blair.


    As I approached the QEII Conference Centre I expected to hear the usual suspects yelling the usual lies.


    I wondered for a moment if they’d forgotten. How COULD they. Here was the “greatest war criminal” of the century – yes, I know it’s only started, but hang about a bit, Blair’ll be the worst, sorry … greatest!

    The so-called WC was in the QEII Centre already, beating his enemies for early rising, and they were still lying in bed!  Fair enough. They lie everywhere else. But how could they let the side down?

    A few dozen protesters gathered outside the QEII Centre. Dedicated to the cause of giving themselves laryngitis and the rest of us a pain in the neck

    They were in fact there,  if you looked hard enough.

    Corralled in their multitudes on the pavement behind a fence to the left of the Centre, this time there were far fewer of them. I guessed somewhere between 40 and 50. At best, as the day progressed and they started to wake up, perhaps a quarter or a third of last year’s couple of hundred. They soon let us hear their megaphoned voices of moral rectitude, international law, right and justice, lies and all the usual righteous wrongness.


    Back to the important business: Mr Blair’s evidence.


    [As an aside to this, there is a BIG QUESTION. No, not that one. That’s a stupid question, and proved so in the debate today. The Big Question I refer to has a BIG ANSWER too.

    The big question is just how a former Prime Minister of this country, who, in the opinion of many at home and abroad served his country with unusual distinction, inspired dedication and determined commitment for a decade, finds himself standing so low (allegedly) in the court of public opinion.

    Some time ago, before the Chilcot Inquiry started, as the present hounding of Tony Blair moved into top gear,  I described the process as ‘The Trial of Tony Blair’. I blogged on that concept regularly (list here)

    Nothing that has happened since then makes me feel that his hounding and ‘trialing’ has actually eased up. If anything it is getting worse. And its proponents, who mostly deserve sidelining as misguided, embittered or hypocritical are even seen as entirely balanced and reasonable people. Their demands for a war crimes trial are now demands to which the BBC has given air-time, and therefore credibility.

    Bit by eventual bit, the idea takes root that Tony Blair is the great Houdini of our times. The Pimpernel. We know he exists, but – now we see him, now we don’t. And we know he did something (wrong), but Houdini-Pimpernel is invariably off before we can hold him to account.

    The pre-judgement on Blair over Iraq is ‘guilty as charged’. The pre-judging is largely if not wholly press-inspired and liberal intelligentsia-led.

    No matter how ignorant, misguided, misled or simply wrong that “public opinion”, the willing gullible swallow it. We are led to believe that this man, our former great and good prime minister, was as bad as –  no, worse than Saddam Hussein.

    So the BIG ANSWER to the Big Question is  – the press. How else do we know anything about anything? More on this at a new blog which I intend to start soon.]



    Tony Blair, the man some say "doesn't care" arrives in contemplative demeanour at the Chilcot Inquiry, 21st Jan 2011

    Last year Mr Blair came in through a back entrance, even though he arrived just after 7:00am. This year, arriving just before 8:00am, he came through the front door.

    I know these little things can sound inconsequential. They’re not.  He was there and no doubt reading through his notes when I arrived before 9am.  And outside the yellers yelled and the placards waved.


    In my opinion, and that is all I have – like the rest of us – an opinion, Tony Blair did very well.


    He didn’t seem at all nervous, as some said he seemed at the start last time. For what it’s worth I didn’t think he seemed all that nervous last time either. I was also there then [See “I was a witness”]. But let’s get this one clear: he was nervous.  Inside, if he didn’t show it. Who wouldn’t be?

    I have read his memoirs and was surprised at how “scared ” he admits to having been on several occasions throughout his life as a barrister and as a politician.  In his last PMQs speech to parliament he said, memorably, of Prime Minister’s Questions – “From first to last I always feared it”.  This is not a man detached from normal human emotions.  Not some ham actor playing a pleasant part, while in reality an inhuman monstrosity. Nor is he someone who at the behest or under the influence of A N Other became an unfeeling monster after 9/11, hardening still as his embattled leadership continued and eventually waned.

    We really need to get a grip on this tendency to puerile fantasy.

    I noticed he spoke rather quickly at the start of his evidence session. I put this down to his being ready to get on with it, though nerves may well have been part of it.  But he was ready for it, and never crumbled under questioning.

    This session had no lunch break, but there were two ten-minute breaks only. It ended at exactly 2:00pm, as scheduled.

    At a 10 minute break in the proceedings Tony Blair seemed to be in no rush to get off for a comfort break or a coffee.

    Same as last time I only got a ticket for the Additional Hearing Room, a 5th Floor room, smaller than last time.  Some might say “why bother to go”. You can see it all on TV anyway.

    But you need to be there, in the vicinity, to get the full atmosphere.  I was glad I went, not least because I met other Blair supporters, one of whom, a pint-sized young lady, took on a chanting placard waver and “Tony Blair War Criminal” stuck needler with – “He’s not a War Criminal”.

    I missed this as I was inside at the time. But good on her.

    Various groups of protesters with varying causes. United on the day in the cause of getting "Tony Blair War Criminal" to The Hague

    These chanters and wavers of various assorted interests need to be held to account for spreading their LIES as truths.

    And we Blair supporters are the only ones willing to make them accountable. The press won’t. Unlike their treatment of Blair, the press seldom question their positions. They fail to even investigate their political roots and their various groups’ membership.

    I also met members of bereaved families. Their anger is easier to understand and accept. However I do not believe that their anger is shared by all family members of deceased soldiers. In fact I KNOW that anger isn’t shared by all of them.

    You may notice something here at the biased BBC’s report on the death of the 100th solder in Iraq, January 2006.  The BBC article does not mention anything about “a disgrace” from the proud parents of the soldier whose death headlines the article. But they still manage to criticise Blair by using the unhappy comment of a mother who DID complain about her son’s death, the 99th, as it happened a day earlier.

    The Additional Viewing Room had probably less than 100 people present. Last year there were four or five times that number. Take from that what you will.

    As to the questioning by Chilcot’s panel and Mr Blair’s answers, and my own reservations, including unanswered queries to the Inquiry itself, there is more to say.

    To be continued …

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    “All countries need a leader who isn’t afraid to fight terrorism. I believe Mr. Blair did a necessary job in helping his allies. Are we all just supposed to lie down and wait for them to come for us, I don’t think so.”

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    6 Responses to “Ignore this, please: Blair Supporter’s Thoughts on TB’s 2nd appearance at the Iraq Inquiry”

    1. Tweets that mention Ignore this, please: Blair Supporter’s Thoughts on TB’s 2nd appearance at the Iraq Inquiry « Tony Blair -- Topsy.com Says:

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    2. Peter Reynolds Says:

      A riveting travelogue.

      I was with you all the way, commiserating when it was only in a “sanity break” that you could find a man who “used to be LibDem” (I find them everywhere).

      I was grateful when you reminded me that you blogged on certain concepts regularly (list here) but dismayed when you conceded that some regard ol’ Tone as “worse than Saddam Hussein”.

      He did come in the back door last time and, in my opinion, he looked like a crackhead on speed but this time he was all serenity and elegance. A masterful performance. It all went so well. (Maybe he slipped the Pope a few quid?)

      What next for Teflon Tone?

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        On that 7-minutes sorting out the world break I sniffed around but sensed you nowhere, P.

        You probably heard an audience member saying “ol’ Tone” was worse than Saddam on The Big Questions yesterday. What did you think of that programme, btw?

        I know I mustn’t let this “man-love” show or I’ll be accused of being a Tory cabinet member, but he looked great. I just wish he could walk among us without the security – dozens of police hanging about with nothing to do just because of a few crazies.

        I dont know what’s next for him. I just know he should be doing something political here in this country.

    3. sarah Says:

      ha I’ve read this a number of times and only just realised that the ‘pint sized young lady’ is me!! lol

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        @ Sarah – you know what they say about good things and small packages, don’t you?

        Well done for your action in standing up for the principle of “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”. Wish I’d seen it.

    4. Iraq Inquiry catch-up service: the wringing of Blair and the mangling of “THE TRUTH” « Tony Blair Says:

      […] Ignore this, please: Blair Supporter’s Thoughts on TB’s 2nd appearance at the Iraq Inquiry […]

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