Don’t mention the war

John Rentoul

Blair bush 300x193 Dont mention the warMy eyes hurt when I read this article in The Guardian by Zoe Williams. She praises the achievements of the Blair government and laments the failure of many members of the Labour Party to do so:

Generally speaking they have allowed Blair to become a pariah – and this leaves them unable to celebrate his achievements, incapable of examining what didn’t go to plan. It leaves them without any pride in more than a decade of Labour government.

She lists the national minimum wage, the reduction of pensioner poverty, the progress towards abolishing child poverty, the modernisation of the NHS and asks:

Can you imagine Northern Ireland’s Good Friday agreement coming out of this coalition?

No, I cannot. Then she concludes:

But none of these conversations can even begin until we stop calling Tony Blair a war criminal.

No sooner had the blinding light of understanding dawned, however, than it dimmed again:

Maybe that sounds like dishonouring the dead; but what kind of wolves are we leaving in charge, while we nurse this hostile “honour”?

Her meaning is obscure, but this much can be discerned. She thinks Blair is a war criminal, but that Labour supporters should stop going on about it because it subtracts from the great achievements of their government under his leadership.

Unfortunately, the simpletons she chastises have a better grasp of the argument than she does. If you think someone is a war criminal, this is an important point about him. You cannot say, “He may have committed crimes against humanity but look at all those Sure Start centres.”

In this, her article is revealing of the insincerity of the Guardian anti-left’s Blair rage. They do not mean that Blair is a war criminal – indeed, many of them barely understand what the phrase means. What they mean is that they really, really, strongly disagreed with his foreign policy.

It is offensive and reflects badly on those making the allegation. If Williams could admit that, then we could get on with assessing the Blair government’s record – on balance, good – fairly.

Tagged in: , , ,
  • mightymark

    So for you German reoccupation off the Rhineland would not have counted as a proper cause of war, and had war been launched over that, so stopping Hitler even earlier than Sudentenland, Poland etc, those attacking would have been war criminals?

  • Pacificweather

    Certainly for Hilter. Enlighten us further.

  • Pacificweather

    A just war or just a war that is the question. A just war implies both sides acted justly. Both sides had valid claims to the throne but could not agree that a democratic republic would be a better and more reasonable compromise. Most wars are just a war.

  • RocketDodger

    Blair is a war criminal. Take away the spurious and ridiculous ‘45 minutes to launch chem weapons’ and where was the danger to GB or our interests?
    None, zilch, nothing.
    He lied ,lied and lied again to force this Nation into a War it did not want while at the same time his Chancellor was deliberately withholding funding from the MoD to spite him. Scum, all of them.

Most viewed



Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter