**** Tony Blair

 

blair-juncker

I recently spotted this corpse rise and meet with the EU’s Mr. Juncker. It reminded me that someone wrote me this….

By Pat Geary

This post was written on July 8, 2016

Seriously. Go fuck yourself Tony Blair.

The Chilcot report over the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war was recently published and Tony Blair responded in front of the media on the same day. This guy just will not admit that he ever made a bad decision and that the entire dalliance was a fiasco.

Blair insists that his decisions were always correct and that he’s only sorry for how things turned out….but it wasn’t a bad idea in the first place. Things just went bad, but it was the right decision. This is the kind of response a stubborn teenager. The ego on this man is nauseating. Things in the geopolitical realm don’t turn out bad out of thin air….you can usually tie these issues back years in the making to an initial disruption. You can keep going back in time, but there are only a few key decision makers along the way that have influences on a time series of events. The Iraq invasion in the early 2000s is one of those. Tony Blair was a part of that. The risks were huge. He made a bad decision. What is so difficult about admitting that? You can’t collect million dollar speaking fees anymore? Is that it?

Some of the nifty responses by Blair, which have been repeated time and time again ad nauseam for years:

I will at the same time say why, nonetheless, I believe that it was better to remove Saddam Hussein and why I do not believe this is the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world. 

Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein, I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country.

What a dick. Some major participants in military affairs have come out since the war to offer serious regret over the entire episode. I guess he doesn’t want to tarnish his legacy by admitting he royally fucked up – it’s pass the buck – much like many of today’s politicians. It is no wonder people are fed up with the current political environment when you have Skeletor’s like this walking around.

I could spend some time looking into his shady dealings as a “consultant” under Tony Blair Associates, but it isn’t worth my time. This will provide some insight into all of that. You will find no surprises – speeches, dealings in shady parts of the world with corrupt governments and of course, a foundation. The usual post-throne career of a major western world leader.

For me, the core theme of the Tony Blair era is that I believe England, and London, reached a peak during his time as Prime Minister. That time has passed by long enough that we can already evaluate much of this demonic idiot’s legacy.

Looking back, when I think of the late 90s and early 2000s there is an associated feeling of excitement and joy living in London and the UK. Culturally, Britain was back on top. Housing was not yet out of control for any young educated person with a decent job. Restaurants and nightlife were changing for the better in London. Music in the UK had returned to the top of global charts. Jobs were plentiful and people from all over the world were descending on the nation’s capital. London was definitely the place to be. It is easy to associate the nostalgia of good feelings during this period with Tony Blair.

The problem with society is that we always attribute the success of a leader based on the performance of a company or a country during that individual’s time as the big chief. That is why I think history is so important. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we are able to truly gauge the performance of any individual leader, such as Tony Blair. Lucky for him, we don’t even need that much hindsight to find evidence of his dreadful impact on the country. Leaders make many decisions, but by far their largest impact comes from complicated decisions that take years to work through and show evidence of their (in)effectiveness. The Iraq war is one of those decisions.

Many decried the decision to go to Iraq at the time, but that is what makes it one of the all time blunders. It was already obvious to many that it was a stupid decision at the time. It was so stupid that, a few years after the last British troops left the region (in 2011), we are left looking at an Iraq where the body count continues to go on and the country is void of any stability. It already doesn’t take too much history to look back and draw conclusions from this blunder – that’s how bad of a decision it was. As time goes on, history is only going to get crueller with respect to the decision to invade Iraq.

iraq

Source: http://www.iraqbodycount.org

However, I want to argue that Blair’s counterproductive legacy goes further than Iraq. It was a domestically counterproductive legacy. Any memory of his legacy seems to cast a long shadow over the country.

We are now nearly 10 years moved on from Blair’s departure as Prime Minister. His time IN OFFICE conjures up great memories of London and the UK. He did some good things (free access to museums), but these microdecisions do not go deep enough to have any meaningful impact on the world, or the country. They are a short term in nature.

Blair’s time in office, in many ways, looks to be the peak of British society and London – in the post-WW2 era:

Trends in GDP per capita (adult) 1979-2010 (relative to 1997)growth-fig-1Source: LSE

Tony Blair’s neo-liberal government endured some good times while in office. GDP per capita outperformed that of its friends. However, when you make decisions in government, the results operate under a lag. Labor put forth four migration-related parliamentary laws and then, this happened:

Net Migration to the UK, 1971-2005

net-migration

This has a dramatic lag effect. You can’t know what bringing that many people into the country will do for a number of years. Witness the growth in the population of London:

london-population

Source: Migrationwatchuk.org

What we now know is that the rise in population and immigration, particularly to London, has led to a housing crisis, putting the cost of homes far out of reach for every young person working in London (unless you are a high paid banker, lawyer, child of rich parents or a very wealthy entrepreneur). The problems with mass immigration in short periods of time go further than that however, which is a subject for another day. The book Exodus, by Paul Collier is one of the best I have read on this subject.

To this day, mass immigration is another decision where Blair refuses to offer any meaningful reflection. Might he regret maybe it was too much, too quickly? During the recent Brexit vote Blair insisted that EU immigration hasn’t been a problem. Never mind the obvious problems with integration and the social discourse the country currently finds itself in. If people are saying it’s a problem – it probably is.

It has been revealed since Labor’s time in office, that the party’s plans under Blair for mass immigration was intentional (social issues be damned), but they were reluctant to discuss in public so as to not interrupt the core working-class vote. It does not take a rocket scientist to connect that if they had enough immigrants in the country, they eventually wouldn’t have to worry about the working class vote – they would have the new immigrant vote. Just stay quiet long enough to get plenty of them in. This is absurd logic for an immigration policy, even if it forms just part of it. We are now witnessing the lag effect of these decisions, and it has divided the country.

Labor spent frivolously. More than anything, budget decisions made by governments have a significant lag effect. A lot of the borrowing did take place post the 2008 recession, but there was already a recurring theme of net borrowings when the economy was at its peak. It’s as common sense as can be, during the good times prepare for the worst times. This is what happened:

labour-borrowing

uk-public-debt

The country has been under austerity since Labor left. The economy has struggled to eek out any growth despite central banks doing everything they can to squeeze growth out of the economy.

The Labor party is now in tatters. Due to Blair’s legacy (due to the decision about Iraq primarily), many voters have abandoned the Labor party. This trend had started showing signs in 2005, when they lost a net 47 seats despite winning the election. The trend gathered steam in 2010, when the Labor party lost a net 90 seats. The culmination of all this was during the 2015 election, when Labor lost Scotland and lost a further net 26 seats. The working class looked around and realised they were being duped by Labor for years….a useful idiot if you will. The far left was disgusted by the Iraq war and their friendly relations with bankers that ruined the global economy.

The party couldn’t go back to their neo-liberal principles, which served them so well for 10 years, but they didn’t seem to want to embrace their pre-Blair social democrat values either. They were lost, and remain so. Jeremy Corbyn, a known socialist from the left-wing of the party took over and now he looks like he’s getting pressure to abandon his post as well.

Thus Blair’s tarnished legacy is one of more than just Iraq. It is one of unfettered immigration that has created massive social issues in British society, an economy that has been unable to recover (despite what the headline numbers imply), a government that is too strapped to properly spend and invest in its own economy and a political system that is broken and left without any legitimate opposition to the Conservative party. Cameron might look stupid now for the decision to push for an EU referendum, but let’s wait and see how that turns out. History judges all with facts, it just takes some time for the facts to play out. The problem for Blair’s legacy is that it was already obvious he was a fuckwit when he left office, but history continues to be unkind – adding layer upon layer of facts that speak to the stupidity of his time in office.

Hindsight is a funny (or not funny, depending on the subject) thing. The problems in today’s world aren’t formed from decisions made yesterday, or even the week before that. Today’s problems are a set of deep interconnections that have roots that can stretch back to decisions made by powerbrokers from decades ago. This is how the world works. This is why I love history – it provides perspective on why something is what it is today. It isn’t always the case, but every so often history is clear enough that you can point the finger at a few men. I believe Tony Blair is one of those men.

 

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