Talk

Advanced search

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.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1185213562270208001

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

twitter.com/i/status/1185213562270208001

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. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_the_United_Kingdom

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

www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/14/blairism-britain-iraq-war-tony-blair

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

@Nippybutsweet

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

@YobaOljazUwaque
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.

Patroclus Sun 20-Oct-19 20:17:33

I know cos I used to live in the area during the 90s...

Patroclus Sun 20-Oct-19 20:19:46

It would seem you yourself have just typed 'blair kosovo' into google.

horse4course Sun 20-Oct-19 20:22:22

I've never got the whole Blair liar thing. If you knew there were no WMDs why would you say there were, knowing none would be found?

Error of judgment, horrendous neoliberal values allowing companies to profiteer from the war etc - but I think he believed the threat was genuine.

And he's been bang on about brexit and a million times better at communicating than Corbyn.

Patroclus Sun 20-Oct-19 20:22:51

And seemingly Cherie Blair's firm was not around 'at the time'. They started working for the Albanian government (ater droppin a US company) in.....2014.

CloudPop Sun 20-Oct-19 20:36:03

So do we think that if the Tory opposition has been in government in what were very charged times post 9/11, that they would have refused to do the usual British thing of doing exactly what they are told by the US president ?

Hesafriendfromwork Sun 20-Oct-19 20:41:32

Tony blair didnt really improve much for people in northern ireland. Not sure why that's seen as a success.

I also imagine that plenty of people didnt have relative killed in the war, he lied about to join.

I am from Derry and lost a brother.

And, perhaps a Tory government would have done the same. That changes nothing.

Nippybutsweet Sun 20-Oct-19 20:45:53

@Patroclus
No I tend to engage my brain and read books - I highly recommend it grin

Patroclus Sun 20-Oct-19 20:55:23

well since you were evidently talking bollocks about it, maybe I wont.

Patroclus Sun 20-Oct-19 20:55:42

What book was this in BTW?

Nippybutsweet Sun 20-Oct-19 21:03:16

@Hesafriendfromwork

And, perhaps a Tory government would have done the same. That changes nothing.

Totally agree, after all what former Tory prime ministers husband works for Capital Group - a company thats the largest and second largest shareholder in BAE and Lockheed Martin, and coincidentally enough when the first missile strikes were launched on Syria in 2018, saw their shares skyrocket.

As said before they are all corrupt, regardless of what party they align with.

Why the hell would anyone trust them is beyond me.

I say Smedly Butler has a point that's still valid today.

@Patroclus i suggest you google him, his book is excellent too wink

theduchessstill Mon 21-Oct-19 07:32:43

I'm not any sort of expert in the politics of NI or the ROI but I do think it's safe to say the GFA was a success and improved lives in NI. Not made them perfect but certainly improved them.

Nippy, by your argument all politicians are as bad as each other, all are corrupt so what's the point in anything. No I haven't read the books you have and i don't know how credible the authors are. But I do know that life is absolutely not the same for the average people in Britain under Tories as it is under Labour, including when Blair was in power. To claim otherwise is just wrong. Who do you vote for btw?

He's not perfect but he did a lot of good (again, what have you read about NI because there's plenty out there about other people's involvement, not just MM, including from the Tories who started it moving tbf), and he is bang on about Brexit. None of what you said changes that.

ForalltheSaints Mon 21-Oct-19 08:04:11

He can have a valid point about Brexit.

He will still be the most hated former Prime Minister ever, at least until Mr Johnson is out of office.

Nippybutsweet Mon 21-Oct-19 08:09:20

@theduchessstill

"But I do know that life is absolutely not the same for the average people in Britain under Tories as it is under Labour."

Totally agree, yes.

I voted SNP last time because I want independence from the Westminster shit show, but to be honest I don't align myself with any political party as identity politics is not something I can get on board with.

Hesafriendfromwork Mon 21-Oct-19 08:11:14

I'm not any sort of expert in the politics of NI or the ROI but I do think it's safe to say the GFA was a success and improved lives in NI. Not made them perfect but certainly improved them.

Where in NI do you live?

broomzoom Mon 21-Oct-19 08:29:48

Whilst I agree that you can agree with some people's opinions on some matters & not others the issue with Tony Blair is that he is seen as a liar & corrupt. People don't like the fact he's so wealthy, that his family have such a huge property portfolio etc. personally I don't like him & don't think he helps the cause

OnlyFoolsnMothers Mon 21-Oct-19 08:32:37

Blair is scum and should be hiding under a rock- there are enough remainers in the public eye to quote and agree with can we leave this one alone!

Ponoka7 Mon 21-Oct-19 09:16:42

There was such big feelings of hope when TB came into power. I live in Liverpool and it meant a rebirth for the city.

However, he let us down.

Not just with the Iraq war (which is a complex subject), but because the free moment could have been curtailed.

The feelings around economic migration has fueled Brexit, for many. But it did have negative consequences for many people, especially in the North, where unemployment is high.

There's a few issues that he let us down over. But then new Labour didn't profess to serve the Northern WC in the way old Labour did and obviously life was better under a Labour government.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »