'If only Blair could change'
In the Guardian's Comment is Free section, within which neocons propagandizing for World War 3 like Newt Gingrich can find a home, regular columnist Mary Riddell yesterday talked about the complexity of the issues within the Lebanon/Israel crisis and asks that is some of the reaction becoming contempt of Israel itself ? Well maybe some people will find a debate there but that's not actually what I want to talk about, instead I want to discuss her conclusion:
"When politicians lose their compass, citizens can become the steersmen. That is why British protesters of all creeds and opinions must stay united to press for better diplomacy, better intelligence-gathering and a foreign policy not designed to alienate half the world. But critics losing faith in an obdurate Prime Minister may also have to question their own certitudes"
The problem here is that people have already long last faith in Blair. Questions over Blair's judgement, his motivation, his ideology have hardly been confined to Israel/Lebanon, which he is said to be out of step with even some of his own moronic cabinet of hand-picked, hand-shuffled, Blairite, career asslickers.
And more broadly as far as the UK at home and abroad goes, it's not so much a steersman needed but a mutiny to take over the ship before it crashes into the rocks and sinks to the bottom of the ocean.
Clearly, the certitude of a political leader can never be regarded as measurement of how 'correct', or how in the national interest, a particular stance or decision is. No doubt Hitler's actions, Chairman Mao's, Stalin's were all deployed with ample conviction. Blair's messianic belief on Iraq was very strong. Blair's conviction on the human ID slave grid (which thankfully even Rupert Murdoch seems to be hinting at needs to die a death urgently) was very strong, as it has been on a myriad of disastrous policies. Of course if we measure Israel/Lebanon in terms of world opinion then world opinion has very much been calling for a ceasefire, so everyone else must be just plain wrong and once again the visionary Blair super-glued to the world domination plot of the disgusting ex-Trotskyite neocons and the worst president in US history will lead us all to greatness.
That Blair diplays what Riddell describes as stubbornness (what he would call certitude) on all these issues makes his judgment all the worse, not more convincing or likely to be correct.
But it seems to me that Riddell's position is symptomatic of a wider problem along the lines of 'we should stop loosing faith in the government', 'if only Tony Blair would listen', 'if we only we could bring Labour back', 'sigh, if only they hadn't had the war in Iraq' etc. There's a lot of people out there guilty of this and you know who you are; people who also think Labour can be rescued when Gordon Brown is shoehorned into power, fullfilling the Grantia conspiracy and that will save the day.
Likewise, this idea of 'steering' the government with concerned reprimands over specific policies plucked out by career columnists is, in my view, a manifestation of a complete failure to understand the problems we all now face. The fact the government has listened to none of it, apart from getting annoyed when the Telegraph saw what was happening and rightly likened them to Nazis over their ID slave grid and eugenics programmes has to tell us a great deal about the direction and velocity of their intent.
Don't get me wrong, it's extremely important that newspapers do kick up a big stink about the actions and position of the goverment but my feeling is this kind of thinking that only lambastes specific policies and positions in near-isolation is simply not sufficient or correct.
Columnists are generally not participating in policy making, or the thinking of the Blair inner-cabal who are fully partitioned from the rest of reality, that is, unless well-meaning but ill-advised press campaigns can be seized upon and twisted into 'socialist legality' or more 'social responsibility' by New Labour, giving succor those who seek censorship, more horrendous controls on society, or debasing the law further.
Thoughtful commentary, but which refuses to connect the dots on the regime's track record, doesn't seem to be working. Things are getting worse in terms of foreign policy and what is happening domestically both of which are now headed towards catastrophe.
So one has to ask those like Mary Riddell, has she considered that maybe...possibly..Blair's stance on Israel/Lebanon, which has just contributed to another 34 children killed (amid hundreds of people killed overall), is fully consistent with his position across the board from Iraq to the human ID slave grid ? That he is commited to radically perverse ideologies and depraved distortions of morality and justice that are simply not in the interest of the UK or the world ?
This seems a lot more realistic to me than this idea of 'this policy is bad', 'that policy is bad', 'I'm going to criticize this aspect of that policy', 'why won't the government listen me ?', which, at this stage of things, can only be met with utter ridicule. The truth is the whole thing is very very bad of a magnitude people don't really want to deal with. Until we can face up to the fact that New Labour has been nothing but an horrendous and destructive coup that has delivered tyranny, misery, corporatism, corruption, war and death packaged into unwelcome 'socially responsible' soundbytes, Blair's messianic delusions and the Clash of Civilizations, then things will continue to get worse.
Tony Blair Lebanon Israel Mary Riddell