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Peter Hun

Tony Blair Has Rewritten History – Without Modesty Or Shame

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeffrandall/7978588/Tony-Blair-has-rewritten-history-without-modesty-or-shame.html

If he wasn't in charge of the country when it all started to go wrong, then who was, asks Jeff Randall.

It's in there, but you'll have to dig for it. Buried deep under many layers of self-exculpatory humbug, on p524, is the formula for Tony Blair's approach to political alchemy. You'll find it in the chapter about New Labour's disgraceful acceptance of illegal immigration during its first two terms in government. Heaping praise on himself for shutting down Opposition attacks over the issue in the run-up to the 2005 election, Mr Blair reveals his ruthless blend of tactics and chicanery: "confess and avoid".

This is the way it works for lawyers, he says, and as a barrister who gave up his practice for the rough trade of politics, Mr Blair was perfectly placed to adopt and adapt it while in Downing Street. Right across domestic, foreign and economic affairs, he mastered the art of defending the indefensible, Westminster's version of a Queen's Counsel who advocates a client's innocence with passion, while knowing for sure that the accused is guilty.

Throughout A Journey, Mr Blair's 700-page tribute to what passes for his legacy, he demonstrates with remarkable impertinence the art of appearing to own up, while dodging responsibility and blaming others. To make this work, he concedes some mistakes here and there (the foxhunting ban). In doing so, he sounds much like a bank robber who confesses to shoplifting sweets, but avoids any mention of the bullion heist from Heathrow.

When the wheels finally dropped off New Labour's charabanc at the last election, with rejection by 70 per cent of voters, it left behind an economy in a frightful mess. Unemployment was higher than in 1997, so, too, welfare dependency and personal bankruptcies. Private pensions had been vandalised and public finances were an utter disgrace, with the government spending about £150 billion a year more than it was receiving in taxes. The future was mortgaged to pay for a fiesta of mismanagement.

And who is on the hook for this carnage? Could Mr Blair, perhaps, have been a senior architect of the fiscal and social disasters that have befallen the United Kingdom? You may think so, but that's not how he would have us view it. In the hall of mirrors that is the former prime minister's chamber of choice for self-assessment, the triumphs are largely his, while the financial disasters belong to greedy bankers, over-exuberant consumers, inadequate regulators and, of course, the Kirkcaldy kleptocrat, James Gordon Brown.

Having made history, Mr Blair has blithely rewritten it – without modesty or shame. For instance, if you thought that awarding independence to the Bank of England was Mr Brown's idea, think again. "The broad framework on the economy, never mind anything else, was set by me," claims Mr Blair.

This, apparently, included aligning the Comprehensive Spending Review with government priorities, explaining the benefits of a more competitive economy and, crucially, "jerking back hard on the rein if I thought there was a deviation from the essential pro-business, pro-aspiration line". In the imagery of Mr Blair's auto-hagiography, the drum-beater occupied Number 10, while next door was a dancing bear with a metaphorical ring through his nose.

That being the case, what was Mr Blair doing when Mr Brown was driving a locomotive through the Treasury's golden rules on government spending? Where was Mr Blair's tough love when his neighbour traded prudence with a purpose for budgetary incontinence? The nation's balance sheet did not start to crumble only after Mr Blair handed over the keys to the shop in order to spend more time with his portfolio of expensive properties. The rot had set in long before then.

Between 2003 and 2007, when Mr Blair was, in effect, still the chief executive of UK plc, the project's finance director – the grizzly in Number 11 – began borrowing at an alarming rate. In each of his five Budgets during that time, Mr Brown overspent by about £30 billion. These were the boom years, or so we were told, but instead of balancing the books – or, better still, saving a few quid – the chancellor was allowed to clock up £160 billion of debt.

If Mr Blair was jerking on something, it was not his neighbour's rein. As a leading business figure asked me this week: "Tony says he thought Gordon was a weirdo and a lunatic, so why did he let him run amok with the country's till?" Fair question. The cruel answer, one has to assume, is that Mr Blair either did not understand the numbers, and the consequences of structural deficits, or was happy for Mr Brown to offer cash for votes, or lacked the moral courage and strength of mind to do anything about it

Speaking of the deficit, for many the defining issue of the New Labour's election defeat, readers of Mr Blair's memoir will require patience and stamina to discover his assessment of how so much came to be owed by so many to so few. Long after dealing with the tragedy of Iraq, the eccentricities of the Royal family, the indiscretions of political colleagues and what it's like to be "fighting drunk on the Lord's spirit [i'm not joking]", the politician whose expenses were never scrutinised because they were shredded finally gets round to giving us some advice on good housekeeping (p670).

It's at this point that nausea turns to rage, as the matey style elsewhere in the book changes to that of a sober Oxford lecturer, warning about the dangers of government profligacy, and how, from 2005, Labour "was insufficiently vigorous in limiting or eliminating the potential structural deficit".

Excuse me while I punch a hole in the wall. Who was in charge of Labour at that time? You were, Tony. Your fingerprints are all over our empty coffers. While laying the foundations of a career beyond government, which has since made you astonishingly rich, you were leading a team, as Liam Byrne reminded us, that eventually ran out of taxpayers' money. No amount of God's work in the Middle East can cloud that unfortunate (for us) truth.

Travelling with Mr Blair on this journey is like a trip round his monolithic ego with a sycophantic tour guide blethering on a megaphone. When it comes to sins, he appears to have confused venality with veniality. It's a textbook study in how to concede a few inches while grabbing many yards.

The book's most striking achievement, one I never thought possible, is that it began to make me feel sorry for Mr Brown, who is denounced as having neither "political feelings" nor "emotional intelligence". Poor old Gordon.

Don't worry, I soon snapped out of it. Mr Brown will have his day. Until then, the only fair judgment is a plague on both their houses. Frankly, they deserved each other.

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Excellent. Although Gordon's not off the hook, I'm glad that people are realising that Teflon Tony has a lot of responsibility for this mess we are in and no amount of slippery charm should allow him to forget it.

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Teflon Tony

I prefer 'Snivelling Little Shit'.

He certainly hasn't got away with it, although the journalist early reviews were .. gentle, I don't think he's fooled anybody in the UK.

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I thought it was interesting that Blair says he realised the unsuitability and unstable nature of Brown, even his economic incompetence at an early stage but does not explain why he did nothing. He was Prime Minister; the only person with the power to sack Brown yet he talks as if the power was somehow not his. Is this a tacit admission that other powers reign?

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I thought it was interesting that Blair says he realised the unsuitability and unstable nature of Brown, even his economic incompetence at an early stage but does not explain why he did nothing. He was Prime Minister; the only person with the power to sack Brown yet he talks as if the power was somehow not his. Is this a tacit admission that other powers reign?

I think more an admission he would have had problems managing his party and it would have been civil war.

Blair would have been accused of slandering Brown with accusations of incompetence when the Chancellor had presided over unrivalled stability and growth etc...

Brown would have probably launched a leadership bid.

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Funny how people refer to Blair's 'charm'. I can see that in the early days he came across as a decent sort of bloke. But that was all. He always seemed lightweight to me.

But now!? When he was interviewed by Andrew Marr the other evening, he came across as a bit of a tosser. Well, 'you know, I tried my best, did what I could, a lot of people died, you can't please all the people all the time but, hey, you just get on with it' etc.

I feel sorry for Tony Blair. At heart he is a decent man. But he made the mistake of going into politics and becoming Prime Minister of the UK. He found himself playing with the big boys and he went into something - the Iraq war - through naivety. He thought he could make the world a better place by starting a war in the Middle East.

I think, one day, he'll have a nervous breakdown of some sort. Every night when he goes to sleep he hears the screams of a hundred thousand innocent women and children who died because he was vain and naive. He won't be able to put up with it forever. He has aged considerably and he has a haunted look about him - like someone who doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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..When the wheels finally dropped off New Labour's charabanc at the last election, with rejection by 70 per cent of voters, ...

To be fair, Labour were rejected by 71% of those who voted, or 81% of the electorate, or 86% of the population. Whereas the Tories were only rejected by 64% of voters, 76% of the electorate or 82% of the population. A clear mandate, I'm sure and die-hard partisan would agree.

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Brown would have probably launched a leadership bid.

Which, while Blair was delivering one election victory after another, Brown would have lost - even if he could have found 71 Labour MPs to back him in the first place.

No, Blair's refusal to deal with Brown was simple cowardice.

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Funny how people refer to Blair's 'charm'. I can see that in the early days he came across as a decent sort of bloke. But that was all. He always seemed lightweight to me.

But now!? When he was interviewed by Andrew Marr the other evening, he came across as a bit of a tosser. Well, 'you know, I tried my best, did what I could, a lot of people died, you can't please all the people all the time but, hey, you just get on with it' etc.

I feel sorry for Tony Blair. At heart he is a decent man. But he made the mistake of going into politics and becoming Prime Minister of the UK. He found himself playing with the big boys and he went into something - the Iraq war - through naivety. He thought he could make the world a better place by starting a war in the Middle East.

I think, one day, he'll have a nervous breakdown of some sort. Every night when he goes to sleep he hears the screams of a hundred thousand innocent women and children who died because he was vain and naive. He won't be able to put up with it forever. He has aged considerably and he has a haunted look about him - like someone who doesn't get a lot of sleep.

Aye, Tony Blair is 'anti-charm'. Anyone who talks about his charisma or charm should look beyond the superfical.

Still, in his interview t'other day he said 1 month before John Smith died he 'dreamt' (aka in his mind God told him) that John Smith wouldn't lead the Labor party much longer and it was his destiny to do so.

He is one sick in the head muther clucker.

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Funny how people refer to Blair's 'charm'. I can see that in the early days he came across as a decent sort of bloke. But that was all. He always seemed lightweight to me.

But now!? When he was interviewed by Andrew Marr the other evening, he came across as a bit of a tosser. Well, 'you know, I tried my best, did what I could, a lot of people died, you can't please all the people all the time but, hey, you just get on with it' etc.

I feel sorry for Tony Blair. At heart he is a decent man. But he made the mistake of going into politics and becoming Prime Minister of the UK. He found himself playing with the big boys and he went into something - the Iraq war - through naivety. He thought he could make the world a better place by starting a war in the Middle East.

I think, one day, he'll have a nervous breakdown of some sort. Every night when he goes to sleep he hears the screams of a hundred thousand innocent women and children who died because he was vain and naive. He won't be able to put up with it forever. He has aged considerably and he has a haunted look about him - like someone who doesn't get a lot of sleep.

I think the deep furrows from his nose to the edges of his mouth are remarkable, like he has been smiling beauty pageant style all his life.

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I think, one day, he'll have a nervous breakdown of some sort. Every night when he goes to sleep he hears the screams of a hundred thousand innocent women and children who died because he was vain and naive. He won't be able to put up with it forever. He has aged considerably and he has a haunted look about him - like someone who doesn't get a lot of sleep.

Not a chance! He still believes he did the right thing. If he realises he made a terrible mistake, then he now has the confessional to absolve him of his sins.

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I think, one day, he'll have a nervous breakdown of some sort. Every night when he goes to sleep he hears the screams of a hundred thousand innocent women and children who died because he was vain and naive. He won't be able to put up with it forever. He has aged considerably and he has a haunted look about him - like someone who doesn't get a lot of sleep.

Haunted? I'd say he looks possessed, that convincing nice-young-man look has been replaced by a rictus grin with something malevolent behind the eyes. A Macbeth figure, see the post below.

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Aye, Tony Blair is 'anti-charm'. Anyone who talks about his charisma or charm should look beyond the superfical.

Still, in his interview t'other day he said 1 month before John Smith died he 'dreamt' (aka in his mind God told him) that John Smith wouldn't lead the Labor party much longer and it was his destiny to do so.

He is one sick in the head muther clucker.

I wonder if John Smith was tested for digitalis.

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Aye, Tony Blair is 'anti-charm'. Anyone who talks about his charisma or charm should look beyond the superfical.

Still, in his interview t'other day he said 1 month before John Smith died he 'dreamt' (aka in his mind God told him) that John Smith wouldn't lead the Labor party much longer and it was his destiny to do so.

He is one sick in the head muther clucker.

Well done, you have nearly got to the 'Occult twist' he's pulled!

"Please buy my book to support the soldiers/families maimed" (in an unjust war - started by this inherent lying, evil, ex-PM.)

The reverse symbolism is he gets his evil mug (and the lies written within) bought and looked at all over the World, reviewed & splashed all over the media, which boosts his EGO (and majik) even further!

"Shredded Westminster Receipts"- never forget how he hid/lied thru his crimes.

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Guest UK Debt Slave

Funny how people refer to Blair's 'charm'. I can see that in the early days he came across as a decent sort of bloke. But that was all. He always seemed lightweight to me.

But now!? When he was interviewed by Andrew Marr the other evening, he came across as a bit of a tosser. Well, 'you know, I tried my best, did what I could, a lot of people died, you can't please all the people all the time but, hey, you just get on with it' etc.

I feel sorry for Tony Blair. At heart he is a decent man. But he made the mistake of going into politics and becoming Prime Minister of the UK. He found himself playing with the big boys and he went into something - the Iraq war - through naivety. He thought he could make the world a better place by starting a war in the Middle East.

I think, one day, he'll have a nervous breakdown of some sort. Every night when he goes to sleep he hears the screams of a hundred thousand innocent women and children who died because he was vain and naive. He won't be able to put up with it forever. He has aged considerably and he has a haunted look about him - like someone who doesn't get a lot of sleep.

Is this post for real or some kind of satire?

I am hoping it is the latter..............

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Is this post for real or some kind of satire?

I am hoping it is the latter..............

A rich friend once complained to me that "People will forgive you anything but success" . I had a certain degree of sympathy with him as he had worked hard all his life to achieve it.I think this applies to Blair though,especially the success that put a generation of Tories who felt that it was their turn out in the cold.

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Guest UK Debt Slave

Aye, Tony Blair is 'anti-charm'. Anyone who talks about his charisma or charm should look beyond the superfical.

Still, in his interview t'other day he said 1 month before John Smith died he 'dreamt' (aka in his mind God told him) that John Smith wouldn't lead the Labor party much longer and it was his destiny to do so.

He is one sick in the head muther clucker.

I gotta disagree with you

Bliar's success was always his 'snake oil salesman' charm and plenty of the sheeple were seduced by it.

There are 2 kinds of sociopath out there, those who can hide the vacuuousness and darkness of their soul behind a veneer of 'plausibility and those that can't.

Bliar reminds me of the serial murderer Ted Bundy. Bundy knew how to charm and schmooze his victims before disecting them while they were still alive. He was outwardly pleasant and communicable. He could hold a normal conversation and gain the trust of his victims.

Brown by contrast is a Geffrey Dahmer type sociopath, a man so bereft of empathy and humanity that he had to anaethetize his victims before slaughtering them.

Bliar is the more dangerous type of sociopath because his psychoses are less obvious and masked by his veneer thin aura of humanity whereas Brown's madhatterness was clearly visible to anyone still capable of critical thinking after 13 years of the NuLabour project.

I detest Brown but I consider Blair to be much more dangerous.

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Has anyone on this thread read the book?

Can't. The act of buying it would be a betrayal of all that's decent. Same applies to letting anyone buy it for me (as in, borrow it).

I'm getting "stuck into" Mandelson's book next week - flipped through a few pages, looks well written.

Yeah, that one's less of an ethical nightmare, and less of a megalomaniac(!!!), though you still wouldn't want to take anything he writes at face value.

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TB was interviewed on BBC on Wednesday. He said that Labour had done great things for this country while in power. I was waiting for the interviewer to ask for a few examples, alas he didnt.

Didnt TB slip away a couple of weeks before Lehmans collapse and the whole cedit crunch thing?

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  • 150 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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