I can’t be troubled to read all the opinion columns explaining why Tony Blair is a war criminal, guilty by omission, right to stick to his guns, (pun intended) a wacky character from a Rowling fantasy novel, strung up, found guilty by the Hague Court, or sent to the naughty corner in the nursery. I know my own mind.
I’m ready for my epitaph, Mr Director
His well rehearsed ‘mea-not-culpa’ speech given on publication day of the Chilcot Report was puke inducing, a litany of post hoc rationalisation, self-righteous twaddle, and non-sequiturs, in other words, endless waffle.
He hit upon the tactic of making himself appear to be Honest John, open to public scrutiny and questioning, heinously traduced. Yet he spent months and years refusing to release memos of the true nature of his relationship with the lethally inept George Dublya Bush. And he forgot how he has made himself unaccountably wealthy in the process, on the backs of thousands killed or maimed. Iraq is now one vast landmine.
When West meets East
The history of imperial England meddling in the Middle East makes unpleasant reading. The history book you’re reading about it is liable to be thrown at the wall.
Watch the last ten minutes of Lean’s ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. The English overlords joining in the squabble to divide the spoils of Arabia with tribal elders, a scenario they had created. There’s another epic movie in that coda alone.
Bush’s desperation to show his dad he had humungous testicles by swatting a hornet’s nest spread the vicious swarm across the planet.
The Chilcot Report took seven years and millions of taxpayer money to endorse what we all knew already, solid evidence there from the beginning including weekly reports from Hans Blix the UN inspector in Iraq who stated time and time again Hussein was cooperating, and there were no weapons of mass destruction, only gas canisters sold to Iraq by the West. Blair chose to ignore the lot.
Tip toe to the top table
Blair wasn’t content to be a quest at the top table. He wanted to be the celebrity speaker on the podium. That’s always the way with imperialist nations. They consider themselves exceptional.
Well, the world gave a collective groan knowing Bush had screwed up the 21st century big time, the millennium that was to be the century of new beginnings, of hope, of peace. His legacy is neo-con austerity, a gang of plummy born-to-ruin Etonians, and their flatulent fag boy Nigel Farage, power and wealth in the hands of the few, and thousands of refugees.
Once Blair embraced neoliberal economics he embraced American foreign policy. The two are synonymous. And now that the UK has left the family of European nations we have given ourselves up to US foreign ambitions fully. That cannot be anything other than dangerous.
England, definitely not my England
I can’t believe Boris Johnson thought he would win the referendum to leave Europe. His plan was to use the campaign to bolster his influence, be handed a top government post by Cameron, and then stand for Tory leadership at the next election, sliding into the job of prime minister, his Bullingdon pal safely out of office.
What evidence do I have for that assertion? On voting day he was nowhere to be seen, he was enjoying a barbeque with friends.
In good Sir Francis Drake style, I bet he let out an oath, rearranged his dish mop hair for the umpteenth photo opportunity, sweated buckets, and realising what he had done said, “Wait! Don’t repeat that. Tell the press I was unperturbed at the news. Say I said, I shall finish my hamburger.”
Boris’s battle was the same as other English politicians, fear of the thousands of Syrian refugees and civilians from terrorised nations seeking sanctuary in Europe and then on his patch. He is determined none shall step onto English shores. He will fight them on the beaches, no doubt about it.
Who let the dogs out?
Emboldened by new found liberty from European constraints on war mongering, there are calls from proud-to-be-reckless authoritarian politicians that we ‘must’ send troops to the Russian border to help ‘keep the peace’. Some have decided without parliamentary debate to order more Trident missiles, weapons of mass destruction that we were told Saddam Hussein hid under his bed, bad, nasty things only dictators want, and might use.
England is not a happy nation if not at war with at least one country, preferably two, so its masters have the excuse that we are better off remaining an island aloof from the world, our borders safer than Lichtenstein.
That top table must be some awesome place. Unionist’s warned an independent Scotland would never sit at it. I have news for them. They serve only contaminated meat there.
Where do we stand now, Wallace?
The UK government is just as neoliberal as the EU. Where are the unpalatable differences that had Boris in such a spat? In a past essay I advocated we stay in and we set about democratising it. It isn’t as if we are alone in thinking what was done to Greece by the European Central Bank was criminal.
For all its flaws, the EU offers some kind of independent and (by comparative standards) constructive option in world affairs, and could do more. Having told Johnny Foreigner in no uncertain manner he is not English, Britain is weaker, open to be more a colony of the USA. We lose all the advantages of closer interactions with civilized Europe. Worse, we give the bitches of fascism and authoritarianism all the motivation to mate with any passing dog that takes their fancy.
The irony is, the EU will continue setting standards in all things, but Britain will not be able to influence decisions, Scotland dragged out against its will. How cool is that?
Does the Co-op still give stamps?
Scotland, led by Nicola Sturgeon, sees the ‘wurruld’ in different terms. She’s right to demand we stay members of Europe. We made our position plain in the European Parliament on the day the smoker and boozer’s champion Farage gave it the finger in good arrogant, bumptious xenophobic style. The response was instant. Any number of influential European politicians began welcoming Scotland as a loyal partner, angering unionist woodlice.
We want to remain European in outlook, though we have our eyes wide open to its frailties. Scotland has been in the vanguard of resistance to global rule by corporate tyranny. We dispensed with brutal Toryism decades ago. England has happily acquiesced in the rush to sell everything it owns and cherishes to private entities with bank accounts in British protectorates. What will be left for them to take pride in?
Scotland wants to enjoy full civil rights and the proceeds of what it earns by its own sweat, to protect them with sovereignty assured, but we wish to remain integrated socially and in trade with our English counterparts. That’s called co-operation.
That’s the civic nationalism so many talk about. To me we witness a revival of a degree of local autonomy for regional cultures, of regional languages, and so on. That movement can be seen in large measure in Spain, a fair amount of autonomy in the Catalan area, the Basque area, keen to cement it with self-governance, an extremely healthy development.
All life evolves except politicians
I waited for my delayed plane to Malaga. The thumbs of the grossly overweight girl sitting next to me worked faster on her iPhone keyboard than Liszt playing a Bohemian Furiant on a Steinway. I was transfixed. All that fat and yet her thumbs moved with the dexterity of a concert pianist.
“Another twenty years and our thumbs will be a few millimetres longer; one day longer than our index finger.”
“Aye, you’re right, Mister. They’ll make good skewers for a kebab.”
“Will we be allowed to eat kebabs, now out of the EU?”
“Aye, there’s a thing. It’ll no stop me goin’ there, or tae Spain fir ma holidays.”
By its regression to the Dark Ages England is telling us it’s not ready for the logical thinking of the kind the girl evinced. All its political parties are in turmoil. Politicians are puking everywhere, fearful of losing their job. England is split over dumping Europe.
England has no leadership it can point to, nor a direction it wants to take. Only the SNP remains a sane, organised, dynamic body of representatives. Even so, they’ll take no satisfaction from seeing the pound sterling Westminster refuse to share with Scotland plummet against the dollar. Maybe we should turn to Iceland’s currency.
Scotland, on the other hand, is evolving; has good leadership, and knows where it wants to be. We like co-operation with our neighbours. But we might have to be choosy when it comes to our independence, at least in the short-term. Know what I mean? Wink, wink.