27th June, 2014
It must be almost seven years since I started pointing out to #twitternumptyland‘s misfits that Tony Blair is not and never has been the “Middle East Peace Envoy”. He is the Representative of the Quartet’s Envoys.
To this end, Mr. Blair, who also stepped down as Prime Minister today, has been named Representative, a position in which he will “bring continuity and intensity of focus to the work of the Quartet in support of the Palestinians, within the broader framework of the Quartet’s efforts to promote an end to the conflict in conformity with the Roadmap.”
His duties will include mobilizing international assistance to the Palestinians and working closely with donors and others, as well as helping to identify and securing support in addressing the Palestinian state’s institutional governance needs.
In his new role, Mr. Blair – who be supported in his efforts by a small expert team based in Jerusalem – will also develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development and will communicate with other countries in support of agreed Quartet objectives.
He will “spend significant time in the region working with the parties and others to help create viable and lasting government institutions representing all Palestinians, a robust economy, and a climate of law and order for the Palestinian people,” the Quartet said.
For those who don’t recall or care that was the same day Mr Blair ceased to be Prime Minister. Seven years on much of the British media (and those on twitter who don’t research fully) still refer to him as “the Middle East peace envoy”. I suggest the stickiness of that misnomer has more to do with wishing him to fail and thus being in a position to say such failure was because he was ill-suited to “peace-making” in the first place.
I realise that being the Representative of the Quartet’s Envoys compared with being the Quartet’s envoy is a fine distinction for some. Of the order of comparison that being an accused prisoner is similar to being an accused prisoner’s legal representative. No?
In fact the constant muddling of these roles is central if you are ever tempted to RT or just copy automaton-like a “Sack Blair” or “Blair to the Hague” tweet.
Before I continue to irritate, I have to thank Mark Lott for the “whack-doodles” title. It applies neatly to such as Noam Chomsky, George Galloway, Ken Livingstone, George Monbiot, Clare Short, Tom Watson and Russell Brand.
Even ‘The Brains’ Have Lost It
“Whack-doodles” also applies to people with quite a few brain cells, such as Stephen Fry, Sir Richard Dalton and former diplomat Oliver Miles.
Oliver Miles, if little else, sets the record straight in his video pour encourager les autres. A pity they didn’t change the title of the video too, as Mr Blair is an ineligible candidate for carting off to The Hague (for reasons kindly expanded on by Miles at the end of the video.)
Worth remembering: On 22 November 2009, Miles published an article in the Independent on Sunday, in which he partly questioned the appointment of two British historians to the Iraq inquiry panel because of their Jewish background and previous support for Israel. Oliver Miles has further form on criticising Blair and British foreign policy (2004 letter)
Of course we all realise that all of this Sack Blair business is going nowhere and is of no consequence. The haters are playing a game. They play like spoilt brats, in denial over anything Tony Blair does, did, didn’t do, might have done, could have done or should have done. Good or bad, they deny him any coherence of thought or integrity of strategic purpose. They suffer from a disease. Like a patient in an asylum they accuse the nurse of having their sickness.
So if Blair is not “bad” (via the unutterably bad George Galloway), he is “mad” (according to the slightly bonkers Boris Johnson); or at least “sad” (according to David Owen, the disappointed never was leader of the Labour party). And to add insult to injury, the former PM is now rich, which is the worst thing EVER for some of the left righteous.
Forget anything Blair ever did that was of any value for mankind. Forget that boys in Kosovo are named after him after he saved Kosovars from ethnic cleansing by Milosevic. Forget Sierra Leoneans love him after he stopped Liberia’s Charles Taylor’s limb-choppers (Taylor was sentenced to 50 years). Forget that Iraqi Kurds look up to him as a hero for removing Saddam. Forget the minimum wage, the peace settlement in Northern Ireland, devolution for Scotland & Wales, equal rights. Blair did something the whack-doodles disagree with, so he is clearly material for their life-consuming revulsion.
Sacked, Harangued, Hagued and even Hanged
- The call to “sack Blair” (disregarding the impossibility of sacking anyone from a job they don’t hold) I get.
- The determination to pursue him to the end of his days I utterly detest, but it is par for the course for such as Monbiot and Galloway. So I get that too.
- The invocation of an appearance at The Hague is no more than an eye-catching dream for haters. Thus I get that too.
- But every time I see a violence-hating peace-lover say “hang Blair” I am repulsed. I see that far too often online and I blame those who say “he will never answer for his crimes”. If that’s the case, what to do, hmm? Incitement is a crime and such as Monbiot & Galloway should be up in court for it. Jonathan Meades – whose “historical novel” would be The Trial and Execution of Tony Blair – normalises the unthinkable.
These recent articles are worth a read if you don’t think Blair should be Sacked, Harangued, Hagued or Hanged
Lord Campbell-Savours – Back-stabbing of Blair is vomit-inducing
“The idea that most of us supported intervention on the single justification of WMD is nonsense. Our concerns went far wider”
Robbie Travers – Intervening in Iraq was still the right thing to do
“Let’s be quite clear for the various Saddam nostalgists, fetishists, apologists and amorists: Saddam was far from just the leader of a totalitarian state, he was a genocidal megalomaniac who threatened to destabilise the security of the entire Middle East and was holding the world to ransom.”
“But Blair is such a polarizing figure that whatever he says, half of the country will assert the opposite. In addition there is in Britain, as in much of the Western world, a masochistic appetite for self-blame and self-condemnation. For these two reasons it strikes many people as outrageous for Blair to claim that he is not responsible for Boko Haram’s kidnapping of schoolgirls or the murders of prisoners committed by ISIS.”