So Tone has finally agreed to fall on his sword. A magnanimous gesture I’m sure everyone will agree. One could assert that it is perhaps 10 years too late for many Afghans, Iraqis and the poverty-striken, ill or ill-educated of this country, but bitter, me, no, come come you know me by now! After all he could have stayed until the bitter end and continued to preside over a widening divide in poverty, multi-culturalism and social cohesion. He could have stayed and continued to wash his hands of an invasion that is leaving more Iraqi civilians dead by the day and eating taxpayers money by the second.

“Believe one thing, if nothing else, I did what I thought was right for our country.”

Bliar is lucky really, because the “I did what was right” defence hasn’t always worked out to be a classic in methods of exoneratory tactics. Leaving aside the obvious examples of Hitler (and most of the high profile Nuernberg trial defendants) and Stalin amongst so many other misunderstood historical figures. The example of Saddam shows that in fact a head of state is not immune from prosecution despite this defence and as in this case sometimes facing the ultimate penalty. Bliar in front of the firing squad, no I really musn’t, I’m against capital punishment wholeheatedly but it is testing my resolve somewhat. “Cigarette, Mr Bush?!”

Of course one must not make the mistake of thinking that ordinary minions and functionaries may use such a lofty defence of actions. In the recent case of the civil servant and the MPs researcher, which you can read in full on the BBC news site the defence that it was to reveal the truth in the national interest was not sufficient to keep the 2 men from being found guilty under the Official Secrets Act, a well over-used piece of draconian legislation.

“It was claimed in court that publication of the document could have cost British lives.”

I grant you the irony and incredulity of that quote might be amusing were it not for the lives of so many others that have seemed so dispensible.

The trouble is that Bliar, like his master across the water, and like those he attempts to portray as terrorists, is a religious zealot. He believes that God is on his side and therefore anyone else who claims God is on theirs must be lying. (It might in the fantasy world be refreshing to see of a country behaving barbarically or imperialistically and saying, well we know God will punish us in the end but hey, we’ll take our chances with the money and power now.)

In most professions or trials to claim that ‘the voices made me do it’ as a defence would result either in an accusation of lying or a spell in the funny farm. It appears that like the ‘I did it for my country’ gambit that the ‘voices’ approach works equally well in the justification of imperialism and practical genocide. I’d dearly love to know where the line can be drawn. Is it the nature of the crime or the position of the person that makes all the difference? I mean I’m pretty sure if I decided to go to my local Conservative Party HQ and gunned down all the reactionary nimbys and claimed in my defence that I had the voice of Vlad, Freddie and Karl in my head and in addition that I was doing it for the country in which I live as a social service that I would find myself in Broadmoor maximum security mental institution fairly swiftly.

It is interesting too when one remembers something once said by the man recently voted the greatest ever Briton, Winston Churchill, who quoted from EM Forster’s essay ‘Two Cheers For Democracy’

“”If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.””

It is clear that such laudable statements only tend to be made by people who are never put in such a morally questionable position where they would be forced to choose, or at least people of such little morality as for them never to be aware that the question exists in the first place. After all if you look at some earlier Churchill quotes such as in 1911 when he was a Home Office Minister you can see that Churchill was in fact a fan of eugenics who felt that the mentally ill should not be allowed to reproduce.

How will Bliar be remembered? Well those who study History will know that usually events are determined by the victors, for it is their version of events that goes unchallenged. Only time will tell how that pans out. Those lovers of Orwell will point out that

“He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”

but the man who shares his name with Tony, Eric Arthur Blair, has more than one aposite quote for the occasion.

“Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

I can’t better that.

Song Of The Day ~ Turin Brakes – Blue Hour