It was being reported yesterday that the Flying Dutchman of British politics, the ghost ship doomed never to be able to reach port, appears to be making another tack to port by the means he knows best – buying and selling.
Tony Blair, for long a visibly haunted man, is allegedly putting £1,000 into each of 100 local Labour party organisations across the United Kingdom, in support of the party’s General Election campaigning.
The nature of the man and the core purpose of this move are clear from the detail – a modest investment – £100,000 is a cup of coffee to Blair these days; small amounts of money – £1,000 is nice to have but can make very little difference to any local campaign.; spread widely, aimed at creating a distributed warmth of gratitude.
This is no more than a attempt to buy favour cheaply, to contribute to an ongoing campaign for his reputational recovery and restoration to public life here.
He might as well keep the pocket money. Some causes are not to be won.
Blair poisoned the well of British politics more than any. His signature is the illegal war against Iraq into which he took Britain on a false prospectus, to validate America’s strategic aggression – because that would play – and pay – to his personal advantage, as it has done.
This cost deliberately uncounted lives of innocent Iraqi civilians whose identities and number will never be known.
It cost counted lives amongst the British military – lives he and his enthusiastically helpful Home Secretary, David Blunkett, even created legislation to prevent being named aloud respectfully in the precinct of the Westminster government whose instructions had sent them – disgracefully ill-equipped – to their deaths.
It led to this country becoming a focus for Islamist terrorism.
In the weave of this fabric is the still unexplained death of Dr David Kelly – one man whose loss exemplified everything diseased about Blair, his court and the values to which they subscribed.
No money in the world can buy Blair unjustifiable redemption in the consciousness of the British public.
Every individual draws their personal red line where their own values locate it. It took citizens of the UK much longer than it ought to position Blair accurately on their private maps, but very many did so some time ago.
He now sits on an immovable set of coordinates which have been reconfirmed by his own recent actions in serving, for money, the interests of some of the most brutal and undemocratic regimes in the world.