Tony Blair, Barack Obama and cigarettes.

The downstairs lavatory in our country cottage is plastered with fading British newspapers from 2nd May 1997  – reporting the scale, and hope, of Tony Blair’s election victory. I – we – all politically-sentient Britons – were full of hope and enthusiasm for a new generation of politics after eighteen debilitating years of Tory misrule.

A lot has happened since then. We now know that Tony Blair was then and is now a nasty, slimy, lying, mendacious sleazebag. It was apparent in the run up to the 2003 decision to invade Iraq, but the scale of his deception has only recently been most clearly revealed. There is incontrovertible evidence that he lied to Parliament about what he knew about, and decisions he took in the light of, a political donation of one million pounds from Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula One.  In the grand scheme of things it’s not quite so serious as misleading the Cabinet, and Parliament, over a decision to invade a sovereign nation and kill so many innocent people in the process; but the fact that the sleaze is now exposed makes it all the more nauseating.

The cynic in me (which is most of me) tells me I shouldn’t be surprised; after all, if he hadn’t been a lying, mendacious sleazebag he wouldn’t have been able to make it to leader of the Labour Party. That’s just how politics works. And even though Tony Blair was such a disappointment, I’m still glad he won then than John Major; and I’m equally sure that David Cameron’s claim to be the “heir to Blair” is entirely accurate.

But I do worry for the world, and for America. I really hope that Americans do pick Obama over McCain; and I will share with my American friends the celebrations, come Bonfire Night, if they do. The world needs change as much as America needs change. But I hope, even more, that Barack Obama does not turn out to be as big a disappointment as Tony Blair.

The transparency angle here is straightforward. Politicians, as much as corporations, are losing the trust of the people; Blair and Obama both tried to reclaim trust by presenting a clean image. In Blair’s case, it was all image; underneath, he is the same mendacious lying sleazebag of a politician that is so destructive of trust.  If Obama is to retain in office the trust he has garnered during the campaign, where image is all, he will have to commit – publicly as well as privately, to himself, to being fully transparent.

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5 comments so far

  1. Grundoon on

    Here is a piece of advice for you as it relates to Obama. If you are looking for transparency you won’t find it. Just pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Because Obama is as big a fake as the Wizard was.

  2. US Citizen for Tony Blair on

    How do you like my user name? I love Tony Blair. I tell you, I love him!
    I love everything he says! I love everything he does! I love looking at him! I love the fact that people like you keep picking on him and saying horrible things about him and yet, the man just keeps on going. How’s that for transparency?
    Loving Blair from the States

  3. ejoftheweb on

    Grundoon – Time will tell. You may be right. Whoever wins on Tuesday week will be a vast improvement on the present incumbent, of that I’m sure. McCain seems to this outsider to be a man of honour but poor judgement: but in politics, looks are deceptive. As for Obama, I’m happy to believe in the dream for now; but I’m preparing myself for a massive disappointment.

    US Citizen – good for you! It never hurts to love people, whatever their faults. The facts are incontrovertible: he lied, and has been found out. But who hasn’t told the odd porky? An then gone on TV and said, “Look, I’m a pretty straight kind of guy, so everyone will believe me?”. Baby, do you have a rival. However much you love him, you’ll never love the man as much as he does himself.

  4. keeptonyblairforpm on

    You like these words don’t you?

    “We now know that Tony Blair was then and is now a nasty, slimy, lying, mendacious sleazebag.”

    You like them so much you have to repeat them.

    We now know NOTHING of the sort. When was the tril? Where was the inquiry that found him guilty? You had better be sure you excuse yourself from jury service if evr called, as your mind is easily swayed by rumour, lies, half-truths and invention.

    Blair was never found guilty of ANY of the stuff of which you and the small minds like you accuse him.

    Although I hate to repeat oft-used and worn-out phrases, especially those enjoyed by the politically challenged, you my friend, seem to be a nasty, slimy, mendacious sleazebag. (I didn’t include “lying” here as it is a synonym for “mendacious” … in case you’re not up to that level of analysis).

    Give it a rest.

  5. ejoftheweb on

    keeptonyblairforpm: Well, you’ve missed the boat, haven’t you? He’s gone. I’ll confess to the tautology, if you’ll confess to the equally obvious fact: Tony Blair lied to Parliament over the Bernie Ecclestone donation and the timing of his (Blair’s) input to the decision to exempt Formula One from the tobacco advertising ban. All the evidence is in the public domain, including Blair’s nauseating “I’m a pretty straight kind of guy” TV performance on the subject. In the political scheme of things, it’s a pretty tiny lie; but if it had been discovered while he was still PM, he would have had to resign. In Britain, a Minister can share prostitutes with the Soviet naval attache, but if he lies to Parliament about it or anything, he must go. But just so as you know, it’s not the reason I detest Blair. I detest him because he took our country to an unnecessary war, based on the flimsiest possible evidence, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of people and appalling suffering for hundreds of thousands more, to support a cabal of Washington crooks in their eight year rampage of looting through the public finances of America, and in doing so destroyed the hope for a better – more open, more honest – political future with which I, and so many millions of other British citizens had entrusted him in 1997. As America, and the world, wakes up to the same hope, entrusted to a different man, I pray for them and for us, that it is not so brutally shattered; and for now, I believe that Obama retains the integrity that Blair can never have had.


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