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To think that Tony Blair....

(42 Posts)
Abstractedobstructed Sat 19-Oct-19 19:27:23

...can have been wrong about Iraq and still have a valid opinion on Brexit?

I posted Blair's short video about the outstanding difficulties with the Johnson agreement on my FB today and get a load of 'but he took us to war'..." Warmonger, war criminal" type stuff. To be honest I find that kind of polarised blinkered thinking a) frustrating b) immature and c) indefensible.

Surely one can disagree with a person's judgement vehemently on one issue; it does not therefore automatically follow that that person is automatically incorrect on every other subject.
I have always found Tony Blair extremely clear and clear-sighted on why Brexit is so very difficult (nigh impossible) to achieve. It was listening to him on R4 a couple of years ago that clarified the Irish border issue for me when the leaders during the referendum barely mentioned it.

Here's his video btw; been somewhat overtaken by events since.

Abstractedobstructed Sat 19-Oct-19 19:29:52

BritishHorrorStory Sat 19-Oct-19 19:40:45

Can't remember what thread it was on, I think one of the Extinction Rebellion threads, but someone wrote something along the lines of "Only children think in black and white and think of things as goodies vs baddies. Adults don't". I immediately thought 'Well you clearly haven't read any threads about Brexit, or Politics in general then'.

I'm for Brexit and dislike Tony Blair but YANBU.

Kittykatmacbill Sat 19-Oct-19 19:42:55

Yes - very much so. Particularly as brexit will undoubtedly weaken and probably undo one of the big achievements of his Time in office (The Good Friday agreement). But I can also never quite work out why he is singled out as a war monger as virtually every pm has ‘intervened’ somewhere.

Abstractedobstructed Sat 19-Oct-19 19:56:01

...also, Blair intervened in Kosovo not long before and saved millions of Muslims from ethnic cleansing; it's not as easy as saying "Blair bad man". I gather in Kosovo he is regarded as a war hero.

I think he made a grave error of judgement in Iraq with horrendous consequences.
I simultaneously think his government did some great things: working family tax credits, devolution of Scotland, Wales, and NI governments, huge increase in surestart centres (since largely disbanded of course), huge school building programme.

I also think he really gets why Brexit is dangerous for the Union in a way that John Major (a man whose politics I had no time for at the time) also does.

Frankly they make today's lot look like amateurs.

Nippybutsweet Sun 20-Oct-19 02:49:28

Get a grip, just because Baw Jaws and his illegal fuck ups make almost anyone look sensible nothing should make us forget what Blair did. It was an illegal war ffs!!! Half a million innocent human beings were killed!

And he had the audacity to accept an award from Save the Children a while back.

Oh and it was Mo Mowlam that signed in the Good Friday agreement, long may it last.

Penelopeschat Sun 20-Oct-19 04:55:47

Agree completely @Abstractedobstructed I think the current lot are amateurs in comparison and while Tony Blair made grave errors to his own demise in many ways, his take on this is spot on. I respect him greatly for almost every decision he made and policy he implemented barring the obvious.

GinDaddy Sun 20-Oct-19 04:56:35


The Iraq War saw countless lives needlessly lost - I agree.

However if we and others both acknowledge this already, then can we put this aside to discuss what the OP @Abstractedobstructed posted about - namely that on this issue, Tony Blair has created a post of great clarity and insight that is worth watching and heeding its warning?

Kyvia Sun 20-Oct-19 05:11:55

In general I agree with your point - it’s possible to civilly disagree with someone on one issue and find common ground with them on another.

However the Iraq war is a bit more than a disagreement.

I think there are some people who have done some things that it’s ok to find unforgivable, and therefore have no time for them on any subject ever again, whether that be on a personal, public or political level. Taking the country to war illegally would be of that magnitude, for some people.

I expect very (very!) many people who object to Boris Johnson’s current manoeuvres on Brexit would not be likely to listen to him making salient points on any other topic for the foreseeable future, if ever.

So in conclusion, YANBU and YABU - Blair can have a valid opinion, but people shouldn’t be shamed for not wanting to listen to him if they find him beyond the pale due to his past actions.

Nippybutsweet Sun 20-Oct-19 05:45:56

IMO no. The illegal war in Iraq gave terrorist factions the perfect excuse to carry out killings - the fall out (Isis, taliban, boko haram) made it easier for them to recruit and the end result is bombings in Manchester, attacks in London, refugees fleeing for thier lives, girls abducted in Africa and troops used as cannon fodder for whatever corporation Blair sold his soul to.
This man has proven himself untrustworthy many times and in many different ways, introducing tuition fees, relinquishing control of interest rates to the banks ffs! Lying time and time again.

So yes, he may be eloquent and succinct with his words but make no doubt about it that he always has his agenda and is well practiced at the art of getting what he or whoever he is handsomely paid to 'advise' wants.

The current government are buffoons, I agree, but Blair is not going to save us, history proves that and no amount of PR or well scripted twitter feed will ever make up for that.

To say he is talking sense is irrelevant, anyone can do their own research and get the same information if they really wanted to.
The majority of people who marched in protest against the Iraq war around the world in 2002 will never forget or forgive his complicity, and neither we should.

Sorry of you don't agree, rant over!grin

Fatshedra Sun 20-Oct-19 05:52:05

His Gov allowed the huge number of east Europeans into the country in the 2000s - hence we have Brexit. Jack Straw now admits it was a big mistake. No other EU country did this so it was a deliberate decision.

Fatshedra Sun 20-Oct-19 05:53:23

Oh, and he lied about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. All previous PMs have had their day imv and should keep out.

minesagin37 Sun 20-Oct-19 05:59:14

The trashy newspapers paint people as hero's or devils and he got painted as a devil. 80% of people in the UK then follow this rhetoric and are unable to understand mutually exclusive states.

YobaOljazUwaque Sun 20-Oct-19 06:01:46

You are quite correct that he can have valid onions on Brexit. He has a good brain and is able to see what a shitshow the whole thing is, no doubt at all.

Separate from that is the question of whether holding himself up as a spokesperson for Remain is a good idea. Having been proven to be a liar, and a person of spectacularly poor judgement, any cause he tries to champion will be poisoned by him. So really the most responsible thing he could do would be to keep his mouth shut.

He could undoubtedly help the cause a lot better by contributing cash to campaigns that have more trustworthy spokespeople, and could also help out by using that brain of his to help write speeches that can then be delivered by someone less poisonous.

Nippybutsweet Sun 20-Oct-19 06:02:34

Can I ask where you got that statistic @minesagin37?

YobaOljazUwaque Sun 20-Oct-19 06:03:30

grin apologies for the autocorrect of opinions to onions above!

Nippybutsweet Sun 20-Oct-19 06:05:47

Valid point flowers

Kyvia Sun 20-Oct-19 06:13:13

I think everyone is entitled to their own valid onions smile

ShastaBeast Sun 20-Oct-19 06:20:45

Is the Iraq war really that black and white? I remember having mixed feelings at the time. Saddam was committing atrocities against his own people, much the same as Assad is today in Syria. I feel very uncomfortable standing by while thousands more are slaughtered and displaced. There’s no easy answer and painting Blair as evil is naively simplistic. Muslims are far more likely to have been killed by other Muslims than by the West. Islamic terrorists just seized the opportunity and twisted the narrative to suit their own agenda.

theduchessstill Sun 20-Oct-19 07:23:55

Completely agree OP. I follow Alastair Campbell on Twitter and whatever he posts a few comments down someone will post 'what about David Kelly" or something about 45 minutes. It's pathetic and certainly doesn't make them look clever as they obviously think.

I know Blair made a huge error on Iraq and some people can't forget or forgive that,which i get. But there are also a lot of people on the left who can't forgive him for being so successful and from the centre of the party. Those people are actually glad to have a reason to vilify him and will spend more time banging on about how awful he is than the Tories. Corbyn was a bit like that when he first became leader and I know many the same. They don't want power but to rant from the sidelines and they are part of the reason we will probably be stuck with the Tories for a long time yet.

Blair achieved a huge amount and overall made the country a better, fairer and more hopeful place to live, as anyone there at the time will remember, and Mo Mowlam certainly didn't negotiate the GFA on her own. He makes perfect sense on Brexit but people aren't interested in sense, especially if it comes from someone they've already got it in for. Johnson is loved by many despite his whole life being one long lie. I think we'll get what we deserve, sadly.

Abstractedobstructed Sun 20-Oct-19 10:10:59

I agree with shastabeast
It's not like Iraq was a peaceful county minding its own business. Saddam Hussein was committing genocide within his own country. He was using chemical weapons against his own people; not military people - women and children.

I never quite understand the entire lack of acknowledgement of this from the side that just seems Blair as a murdering war criminal. I understand that the official basis for war - the threat of weapons of mass destruction - was shown to be false. I understand the repercussions have rippled through the Middle East and to the UK but that alone didn't cause Isis or the Manchester bombingd - Al Quaeda were already doing very nicely and had already killed over 2000 Americans in 2001 (without which Iraq war would probably never have happened).

When does the world stand by as a country kills its own citizens? We are roundly ashamed for not having intervened, anyone, in Rwanda.
We intervened in Kosovo and Blair became a war hero to the people who were saved.
We intervened in Iraq and Blair can never be anything but poison on any subject ever again?

Patroclus Sun 20-Oct-19 17:52:59

I was just saying this to somebody else, in Kosovo/Albania there are kids called 'Tonibler' after him. I honestly think he thought the Iraq war was an extension of the good he did with Kosovo and badly, badly misjudged it. This was also after we saw the slaughter that can be caused by the internationl community sitting with its thumb up its arse doing (worse than) nothing in bosnia for years. His government was largely a success, id give a lot to go back to it.

Patroclus Sun 20-Oct-19 17:54:50

And many people didnt seem too bothered when they voted him back in in 2005

Passthecherrycoke Sun 20-Oct-19 17:57:00

“..also, Blair intervened in Kosovo not long before and saved millions of Muslims from ethnic cleansing; it's not as easy as saying "Blair bad man". I gather in Kosovo he is regarded as a war hero.”

This and the good Friday agreement are strong memories of mine from the Blair years. I’ll be honest and say I’ve never disliked him. Lots of mistakes in Iraq. However he certainly didn’t do it alone and a lot of the situation would’ve happened with or without his support (not the loss of British military life, admittedly)

Nippybutsweet Sun 20-Oct-19 18:42:41

Ok, Kosovo was a triumph for Blair, everyone agreed on that? Excellent, so everyone will know because we are all very well informed and don't just take the 1st articles Google throws up and instead we all do our own research and find out that Cherie Blair was at the time the founder and chairman at the Omnia Strategy Company, the same company that the government of Kosovo awarded a €500,000 advisory contract after the war.

How many contracts were secrured by britain to rebuild Kosovo?

Yeah, he went to Kosovo beacause he cared, not because of any type of personal gain.

Politicians are corrupt beyond belief.

It was Mo Mowlam that put her blood, sweat and tears into signing the Good Friday Agreement, but again a man will have no issues taking credit for the effort and successes of a woman.

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