Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Wandering Blair


Do you believe in curses? Do you believe that there are those condemned by fate to wander the world, never resting, never able to put down roots, moving, always moving? I’m sure most people will be familiar with the story of the Wandering Jew or the crew of the Flying Dutchman. Let me add a third; let me add Tony Blair, the erstwhile Prime Minister, who appears to be labouring under a similar burden, destined to become more unfortunate than either the Jew or the Dutchman; destined to pass into legend as Cosmopolitan Man.

They seek him here, they seek him there; people seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven or is he in hell? Well, yes, I suppose he is in a kind of hell, a limbo not quite of this world; a rootless refugee, a habitué of airport lounges and luxury hotels, always on the move, haunted, pursued by his own nightmares. There he is, a figure widely disparaged in his own country, widely disparaged even in his own political party, notwithstanding the fact that he was their most successful leader by far.

The reason for his peculiar fate is not at all hard to detect. He sought to shape the world anew, a world in his own image; a brave new world that had such people like him in it. He went to war, in Africa, in Europe, in Asia . Time and again he created desolation and called it peace and human rights; he created Afghanistan ; he created Iraq ; he created Kosovo.

It was once said that all political careers end in failure. But who would have thought that Blair’s many failures would become so obvious and so quickly; who would have believed that the mirages he created would turn out to be dust. Look at the demons he associates with or conjured up. There is Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda , whom he described as a “visionary” and a “good friend”. This ‘visionary’ and ‘friend’ stands at the head of an army that has now been accused of committing a series of gross atrocities in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, atrocities against Hutus in everyway as bad as those committed against the Tutsis in the infamous genocide of 1994.

That’s one of Blair’s chums. To this magic circle one can add Victor Dahdaleh, the Jordanian-born tycoon involved in bribery allegations; there is Thaksin Shinawatra the former prime minister of Thailand, another billionaire and corrupt wheeler-dealer; there is Mummar Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator and all round oddball for whom Blair acts as an advisor, a cosy relationship that had nothing whatsoever to do with oil deals. There are murderous tyrants and shady businessmen in the entourage of Cosmopolitan Man…and there is Hashim Thaçi, prime minister of Kosovo and alleged farmer of human organs.

Last summer Blair recalled a military adventure, using a refrain with which we are all so familiar: “I did what was right. I did what was just. I did not regret it then. I do not regret it now.” He was not speaking of Iraq ; he was speaking of Kosovo. This twilight state and criminal empire is now led Thaçi, another of the Blair set, who, when he was a leader in the Kosovo Liberation Army, was known as The Snake, which might give you some clue as to his character.

In a recent Council of Europe report he stands accused of heading a mafia-like criminal network linked to organ trafficking. He stands accused of smuggling Serb captives into northern Albania where they were butchered, their kidneys removed for sale on the black market. The prisoners are said to have begged not to be ‘chopped to pieces’ before they were shot. The worst thing about this is that Western governments seem to have known of Thaçi’s actions before military intervention in the Kosovo War. Kidneys and narcotics, these were the trades favoured by this war criminal, Blair’s best friend.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

I really hope that Cosmopolitan Man is seen perpetually in the half-light, wandering from one ghastly airport lounge to another, verily unto the trump of doom.

38 comments:

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  9. Hmm. Well, I agree with a lot of this - except for the key thing, the hook you hang this upon, the nickname, which I think is quite, quite wrong!

    Whatever this ghastly man is, cosmopolitan is not it; and were he to be it, that would not be the problem, what it is that is just so very objectionable about him!

    A cosmopolitan is surely someone who soaks up the influences of those of different cultures with whom he comes into contact, almost like a sponge. And I don't think this is by any means, necessarily, a bad thing. But apart from his occasional tendency to speak French in public, and to tolerate all manner of corruption (as you note), I really don't think Blair is a sponge.

    Rather he is a balloon. A balloon puffed up with ego, and the sense of his own great brilliance - and above all sense of rightness, if not infallibility. A balloon that has now, quite deservedly, been pricked, although there is still a lot of hot air waiting to come out.

    This arrogance and egomania; this excessively confident self-absorption is precisely what prevents him from being cosmopolitan, regardless of how many airport lounges he sweeps quasi-regally through.

    Rather than being open to external influence, the intellectual traffic is all one way. This man, and this man alone, can bring peace to the middle east. So he sincerely believes. This man, and this man alone, can tell the everyone else to follow him. Come on chaps, we're all pretty straight guys, aren't we in agreement, isn't that reasonable. And heaven forbid that any principle should stand in the way of this "reasonableness".

    I think rather he is something of an imperial adminsistrator. (I accept that one can argue whether his empire is more closely akin to being British, English, or the European Union) And a failed one at that. (Paddy Ashdown did a far better job as de facto "King of Bosnia" than Blair could ever have done )

    One hopes that some day he will repent, and start having regrets. Maybe he will become old and wise. I wouldn't bet on it though.

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  11. Of course I should have used the word "unscrupulous" in there somewhere, too. Another of his defining characteristics, as his choice of friends (at home as well as abroad) makes abundantly clear.

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  12. Oh dear! I'd really rather forget him, just as I'd love to forget Bill Clinton.

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  13. Maybe Blair has a place in the compound of George Bush who bought 9900 acres of land in Paraguay.

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  15. Adam, no need to guess who would be the face of your Two-Minute Hate. :-)

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  17. Dominic, I use it here in the sense of belonging everywhere and nowhere, of having no roots, no location; déclassé in the most complete sense possible. But let's not quibble over words, for I agree with all you say. The Wandering Balloon will serve just as well.

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  19. Calvin, let's drink the waters of the Lethe. :-)

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  20. Anthony, did he really? Then they can both walk in the shade of Mengele. :-)

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  23. Adam, I'm always pleased to please, but I would not go quite so far as to 'take pride' in approbation.
    :-)

    I like Portillo as a TV person. I do not think his personal 'reinvention' would work in the hard world of politics.

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  25. Herr Doktor to you. On Bush yes he did, there is more to this. I sent you a video on YT.

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  26. Adam, it needs more than intellectual ability; it needs toughness and he has lost that.

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  27. Anthony, thanks. I'll have a look in the morning.

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  29. Really? Semi-homophobic? Oh, well, as you please.

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  31. I am not 'a lot'; I am just me, a single, thinking human being. My remark about toughness had nothing whatsoever to do with this man's sexual preferences.

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  34. This city fell a long time ago
    Taken (not by impercipiently asking octogenarians)
    By Blairian barbarians
    Search now in vain for her lime-green bowers
    Try to convince yourself they do not know
    Try not to cough in case it notices

    This city is too big for you
    Its current crop is rotten to the core
    Its streets are being cleared of the remains
    So then why this constant need for companionship?
    I cannot say
    But if you had stuck out your thumb, yes
    You would have stopped any of the 3 trains to Paris that have just passed you by

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  35. Rehan, that's a super poem. Is it one of yours?

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  36. Yes, Thank You my love. You can read the poem on my blog at this link: http://rehanqayoompoet.blogspot.com/2010/09/h-on-speck-of-blue.html

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