Look where Tony Blair’s messianic fervour has left us

31 July 2014

7:13 PM

31 July 2014

7:13 PM

While trawling down the Mail Online’s right-hand-side of the page porno strip, to consider analytically the latest photographs of Jessica Alba in a swimming costume, I came across a rather good piece of journalism by Stephen Glover.

Yes, yes; you know this already. But the horrors inflicted by US/UK liberal evangelism on the world (and then later, by extension, on ourselves) cannot be understated. Liberal evangelism and, as Glover has it, arrogance and narcissism on the part of primarily Tony Blair. To which we might add an abiding stupidity, too. And a messianic fervour.

It was always the case that no matter how foul the despots who ran those ghastly regimes in the Arab world, they were substantially less ghastly than the regimes which the local people would wish to impose upon themselves. And that’s before you consider the endless warfare between competing armies of deranged jihadis. I suspect our adventures in Iraq, and our encouragement of the ‘Arab Spring’ rebels, will come to be seen, a century from now, far more disastrous for the locals than our colonialism (of which liberal evangelism is merely a modern variant). And of course, far less helpful for us.

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Show comments
  • John McVirgo

    If the UN made it illegal for anyone to practice as a politician without an academic qualification and the necessary training, we wouldn’t have quite this problem of social engineering cowboys wrecking havoc on societies through their clueless stupidity.

  • B0YC0TT

    “cannot be understated”

    SHOULD NOT be understated.


    cannot be OVERSTATED

  • Sean L

    Well said. Yes it’s a modern variant of colonialism in that it’s us doing it to them. On the other hand British colonialism was first and foremost a trading arrangement, whereas liberal evangelism is ideologically justified and politically motivated, at the *expense* of trade. Indeed the costs to us are enormous.

  • Harry Pond

    Rod, this is quite a good piece of writing, although it has nothing to do with Roxy Music. But why Brian Eno? Uh, whatever etc blah blah

  • Harry Pond

    Are you talking about Tony Fucking Blair again?

  • global city

    A really good way to be rid of all that poison Blair and the Marixists infested our systems with

  • global city

    Blair put rocket fuel into the march of cultural Marxism, but the left are too stupid to appreciate him for this. Cameron is simply collaborating with them still.

  • Donafugata

    Impossible to agree more.

    A short while ago I posted here how my English language students of Iraqi origin had described their feelings for life under Saddam.

    These, professional people studying at proficiency level had told me that while SH was a man to be feared, as long as one didn’t try to oppose or criticise in any way, the quality of life was very good.

    All creature comforts, power, water, functioned well and there were no shortages of food and other necessities.

    Women were treated equally, education and health care universal. Ba’athism, whatever that is, doesn’t give a fig about religion and everyone was free to practise or not whether Shia, Sunni, Christian or Jew. And intermarriage was perfectly possible with women choosing or not to dress according to tradition.

    • Donafugata

      Three of my women students were pharmacists who owned and managed their own shops.

      Sadaam was a ruthless and cruel dictator but he understood that as an artificial state, Iraq was a volatile mix of ethnicities and sectarianism, liable to explode if not ruled with a fist of iron.

      As history now shows, he was right.

    • MikeF

      If only he hadn’t gone round gassing Kurds, invading Kuwait and firing missiles at Israel…

      • Shazza

        So things have really improved for Israel then? Yeah right.

    • Damaris Tighe

      That’s the difference between authoritarianism & totalitarianism. If you ‘keep your nose clean’ & your head down under authoritarian regimes, you can live a tolerable life. This is still true of Assad’s Syria. But under totalitarian regimes such as Islamofascism, your inner & private life is invaded & trashed.

  • Fraser Bailey

    Well yes, I read Glover’s article too.

    All it did was state the obvious.

    Namely, that Blair is a very evil man, all of whose policies were, and are, disastrous.

    • John McVirgo

      No, as a non-Labour voter I don’t consider Blair remotely evil compared to most. He was genuinely concerned about doing the right thing for other people, including those from other parts of the world.

      His main problem, like most “politicians”, is that he’s ignorant of political science, and how to engineer stable societies, since he was trained as a lawyer.

      • Neil Saunders

        Why should being a lawyer disqualify anybody from taking a realistic view of the world? And in what way would knowledge of “political science” supply this deficiency?

        You’re just bloviating. Blair was and remains evil, and ought not to be let off the hook.

        • John McVirgo

          To be good at something, you need knowledge and experience, rather than learning on the job and creating havoc as you go along.

          When I go to my GP, I want them to be qualified and competent in medicine to help me live my life more fully. I don’t want to be dealt with by some lawyer who has an opinion on medicine and learns as he goes along. The same analogy holds when dealing with the health of societies which needs to be dealt with by *qualified* politicians who have specialist knowledge about a particular society.

          Blair stood up for the people of Kosovo, and did the same for the people of Iraq and the surrounding region, but was ignorant of the complex history of the regions, and needed policies to resolve the conflicts there.

          He’s not evil, just politically incompetent and this is a general problem in politics where anyone can become a politician, as long as sufficient numbers of the ignorant population vote them in.

          • Neil Saunders

            A false analogy; medicine is a highly specialised body of knowledge and set of skills, just as flying an airliner is. Being a politician doesn’t remotely compare.

            Blair opportunistically sided with the pimps and gangsters of the KLA in Kosovo because his American masters coveted the mineral resources in that unfortunate region.

            No amount of knowledge could have helped Blair, since he had already aligned himself with the wrong side, and had no desire to change course.

            • John McVirgo

              I agree, it doesn’t currently compare, but that’s my point: Politics can and should also be a highly specialized body of knowledge and set of skills, on the same level as medicine; but right now it’s treated as a discipline on the same level as homeopathy. Make politics into a long term profession like medicine and it will attract the best and the competent, and make the world more secure.

              If Blair had been prepared over many years beforehand as a professional politician with specialist knowledge of Kosovo, he would have been less susceptible to being psychologically manipulated by any one side in particular, including the Americans and the KLA. As it was and still is, he’s a genuinely nice guy with strong Christian beliefs that motivates his life.

              • Neil Saunders

                I don’t think that politics can ever become the highly specialised discipline that you propose, John. (I don’t think that technical expertise is necessarily the same thing as statesmanship.)

                What we need is real representative democracy (with honest politicians, open institutions and an informed electorate), and not the kind of elected dictatorship over which Blair (following the lead of his heroine, Thatcher) presided. Organisations like the CFR and the RIIA – with no democratic oversight whatsoever – tend to pick charlatans and yes-(wo-)men as Parliamentary candidates, while the controlled mainstream media connives to feed us a fantasy version of current affairs.

                Perhaps you know Blair personally, or have met him and fallen for his charm; I have not, and do not wish to. I can only concur with the late Christopher Hitchens (apropos Bill Clinton, Blair’s first great American crush), who wrote of “a tawdry celebrity culture that judges actions by the reputations of people rather than the reverse….”

      • Neil Saunders

        Why should being a lawyer disqualify anybody from taking a realistic view of the world? And in what way would knowledge of “political science” supply this deficiency?

        You’re just bloviating. Blair was and remains evil, and ought not to be let off the hook.

  • lookout

    The backdrop looks a lot like Big Brother, 1984, very unpleasant.

  • James Morrison

    Tony seems to have a talent for landing on his feet. Middle East peace envoy must be the easiest job in the world. Even if you achieve worse than nothing, nobody blames you.

  • GUBU

    Indeed. As that inane grin recedes from our collective memory, we can now fully appreciate that Mr Blair’s time in office was not necessarily that good for the people of this country – and many others.

    However, we can at least all comfort ourselves with the thought that they were very good indeed for Mr Blair, judging by his jet set lifestyle and extensive property portfolio.

    • Donafugata

      As you suggest, I to am slightly suspicious that Blair is a little more pragmatic and a little less evangelical than he seems to be.
      Don’t forget Lady Macbeth would have been constantly elbowing him towards financially advantageous projects.

      I cannot remember the exact stage of the plan to attack but do distinctly recall that Bush and Blair had been negotiating in the Azores.
      The news report showed the two men walking from the helicopter and towards the camera.

      While Bush wore his usual jerk with a smirk face, Blair looked decidedly uneasy, as if he had committed to something against his better judgement.
      Unless it was simply something he had eaten.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Tapas perhaps?

    • Neil Saunders

      It’s not too late to send that grinning psychopath to The Hague to stand trial as a war criminal.

      • GUBU

        Feel free to arrest him if you ever get the chance. But take some advice, watch out for Cherie if she’s about when you haul out the handcuffs. I’ve heard it said that her saliva can blind a man at forty paces.

    • JB_1966

      So many of us at the time knew that Blair and Brown would be an unmitigated disaster for the country but to say so at the time was to be accused (even by this paper) of being mentally ill. Yet events bore us out, just as predictions about increased agitation for Islamic control will come true.

      • GUBU

        And yet so many people fell for his undoubted charms…

        Mr Blair was the electoral equivalent of rohypnol. The British electorate can vaguely remember having a good time the night before, though what actually happened is very hazy. What we can be sure of the following morning is that our purse is empty, our front door has been left wide open, and we’ve been completely buggered.

  • Bob-B

    Clearly these are deeply dysfunctional societies which are unlikely to achieve much of value in the near future, but then an observer might have said something similar about Europe in 1940. It is unrealistic to expect Arabs to put up forever with despots like Saddam, Gaddafi, and Assad. They are not a different species. But rather than discuss how they might be helped to achieve something better, lets just slag off a former British Prime Minister. It’s so much more fun.

    • Adam Carter

      The only way the countries that are dominated by mohammedanism will ever be able to progress is if they abandon mohammedanism.
      That can’t be done by reason, because mohammedanism will not allow open discussion and debate and will violently oppress it if necessary.
      We sould stay out of mohammedan countires, but be ready to impose ruthless, catasprohic violence on them if, (when) they seek to impinge on us.

      • Marcus Wright

        I heartily agree, the problem now though is that some of the medieval regimes are bristling with fully functioning modern day doomsday weapons, so are capable of inflicting catastrophic violence straight back onto the west. The genie is out of the bottle.

  • Frank

    Rod, you didn’t go far enough. Had we re-imposed colonialism, the relevant countries would now be much better governed (look at Sudan, an utter disaster since Britain pulled out in the 1960s). Trouble is, the little lefties cannot cope with this, so they favour intervention and then leave, blaming the locals if they cannot magically make an instantaneous transformation to a safe uncorrupt multi-party democracy (heavens, look at Russia, even a “big” vaguely western country hasn’t managed it).

  • artemis in france

    No doubt today, Rod, you will read in the Mail that white English people were denied access to a cinema in Aston (population 87 percent Muslim) because that evening’s showing was “restricted” to Muslims only who were “celebrating Eid”. Blair is mainly responsible for this too.

    • Shazza

      This is exactly what I have been saying. Islamification achieved peacefully, salami slicing method. As soon as they are in the majority, they impose their ways on all non-moslems and hence we have Minaret Towers, Trojan Horse, creeping sharia, halal, etc.

      You can write all the letters you like to the newspapers, comment on blogs, write to your MP but nothing, nothing will be done to stop this steady erosion of Western, secular civilisation.

      Our own democracy is self defeating and this hostile invasion will achieve our subjugation as easily as this. Soon we will have a moslem political party – guess if they will still vote for any of the major parties then.

      I believe we will be an islamic state within 30 years. Max.

      • JB_1966

        And, as you and I have said before, large parts of the left and media worlds will simply revert to Islam. As well as being craven and petty-minded, by God don’t such people just love to be obeyed? Islam will offer them powers their wee minds have yet not dreamed of and off they will go!

        • Neil Saunders

          Blair follows the money (since he’s had his fill of as much power – God and Dubya – as he can digest for one lifetime); so many other people follow the power itself (and – wrongly – assume that Islam is where it’s currently located, although Islam itself is a real and present threat to our culture and values in Europe). I wish Orwell were alive to comment upon this; he rightly anatomised the drift (on the part of large swathes of the English intelligentsia) towards either Catholicism (on the right) or Stalinism (on the left) in the 1930s.

    • greggf

      “Blair is mainly responsible for this too.”

      Not really artemis, it’s simply our own doing.
      For example, the French wouldn’t put up with it would they?

  • Lady Magdalene

    Well said.
    Eventually in these countries another strongman will gain control and we will be back where we started, except millions will have died in the process.
    You cannot impose democracy on countries which have no understanding of the separation of powers, or the role of religion in a democratic state. These are tribal regions; obsessed with religion and a schism which took place a thousand years ago.
    The only way the lid can be kept on the warring factions is for the Government, headed by a strongman, to suppress it.

    • Marcus Wright

      This is also true of Africa. The culture respects, indeed yearns for, a “strongman” and authoritarian figure. Generally speaking, the population lacks the responsibility and self interest essential for democracy.

  • Jack

    If Tony Blair is liberal then up is down

  • Kennie

    “Arab Springs” were all a big mess. So, do they learn? No, they just moved it nearer home, now we have the “Ukraine Spring” and it will end up with a similar outcome.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Most Hated Person (UK)”
    Has Vladimir Putin replaced Tony Blair?

    • Neil Saunders

      Not in my part of the world.

  • Chet Carter

    Spectator hero, Mickey Gove, doesn’t think so. He was ranting against his fellow Conservative colleagues who voted against intervening in Syria.

  • wudyermucuss

    Iraq should have just been left alone to wreak more havoc in the region.
    Yeah,great idea.

    • shebamurphy

      Are you aware of what is happening currently in the region?

  • NogbadTheBad

    Liberal interventionism was predicated on the view that, unburdened by tyrants, people everywhere will choose to live as we do and so elect the kind of leaders we elect. In a way it’s quite a positive outlook. But it’s just not true – not true of the Arabs, nor Muslims more generally, not true even of the Russians.

    • Neil Saunders

      Given the history of the world – especially the recent history – it’s a positively infantile outlook.

  • goatmince

    This piece and the article referred to come more than a decade too late. For some it has taken this long to sink in how just much damage our association with the Bush clan has actually caused. People right across the globe are keeping a tally with regard to repeat failure. Others now find themselves occupying the moral high ground and it is understandable why a larger number of status quo propagandists here and in the US wish to discredit the best possible option which is ever more integration and an ever closer union.

  • Shazza

    Rod, of course I agree with you especially the bit about it all being far less helpful for us. That has to rank as being one of the understatements of the year, so far.

    I don’t think we will have a century to reflect on Blair’s stupidity and by default, the Left’s misguided ideology to realise and experience the end result of their actions.

    The ‘less helpful’ is your very understandably sanitised forecast of the utter mayhem which within the next 30 years will manifest itself not only in those blighted islamic lands, but the West itself, especially Europe and the UK.

    Blair’s legacy will be that of a key player who brought about the Fall of The Roman Empire II.

    The tragedy of course, is that no record of our glorious civilisation will survive – substitute Western civilisation for Ozymandias and you get the picture.

    All vestiges of our civilisation will be destroyed courtesy of ISIS and their fellow soulmates, Hamas, Boka Haram, AQ aided and abetted by Blair’s blind successors and their commitment to deranged policies and refusal to acknowledge their foolishness which will ensure our very painful downfall.

    What Rod, can be done for the sake of your kids and our kids and our grandchildren?

    • mightymark

      Blair would almost certainly not have opposed Israel’s ground invasion as Miliband has done.

    • pointlesswasteoftime

      You’re mistaking Blair as a member of “the Left”.

  • Baron

    But when will it stop, Rod, that’s the question we should try to find an answer to for the evangelising still goes on, only the country they’re targeting now is much closer to Baron’s abode, and that scares him.

    • JB_1966

      The plan is to keep up immigration and benefits for those with gigantic families. Do you think that might exacerbate or ameliorate the problem?

  • edlancey

    You just have to look at the US and British soldiers patrolling in full-body armour and in armoured vehicles to see how idiotic the entire charade was.

    I expect Saddam’s boys strolled around unarmed with their shades on sipping coffee and everyone knew the hecatomb of violence that would result from them being jostled far less murdered.

    It’s the only language they understand, guv.

  • global city

    The man was always a Messianic nut…. it was clear from the first time he appeared on TV.

    His 3rd way was the poorest piece of ideological crap, but it took in so many people.

    All it achieved was carnage round the world and opened the doors of the UK institutions to the mad and stupid cultural Marxists and other intolerant bastards on the left.

    • Neil Saunders

      What it did was to create the current and prospective default ideology of all our elites, irrespective of party-political labels: a toxic blend of political correctness (aka Cultural Marxism) from the libertine left and anarcho-crony capitalism from the libertarian right. In other words, a permananent coalition of the worst factions of left and right. If you’re an old-style social democrat or a traditionalist conservative you’ve been written out of the script.

      • global city

        Absolutely right. All sides now take their cues from international theory, picked up on their PPE courses. Narrow focus, half arsed understanding, not rooted in the common-ground of the electorate…. so wildly disconnected.

        Then they have no way of working out where they are going wrong.

  • anyfool

    Look where Tony Blair’s messianic fervour has left us
    Possibly facing a civil war in the not to distant future.

    • you_kid

      Utterly stupid, dumb, cretinously moronic scaremongering tripe no one other than a fool and some degenerate and fatalist OAP minds would agree with. Get a grip and grow up, please.

      • Gafto

        Certainly civil unrest is coming which will make the London riots pale in comparison. I’m not a fool, a degenerate or an OAP.

        • you_kid

          Ok, then get a job.

          • Mode4

            If I don’t agree with someone’s comments I don’t shout them down and insult them. It’s so left wing and cliché these days.

            • pointlesswasteoftime

              Hardly the monopoly of “left wing” commenters. Have you read other Spectator threads or the Telegraph? Besides, that original comment showed no bias to either wing to me, but just pointed out that “we’re all doomed” is not a healthy mindset.

              • Gergiev

                You are correct, no left right stuff at all, but why does the tone and tenor of comment have to be so insulting? Couldn’t the poster simply have said that the gloom and doom is exaggerated and perhaps point out some of the reasons to be cheerfu if in his/her view there are some?

              • Neil Saunders

                It’s healthy when it’s true.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Ah, I see what you did there.

          • Donafugata

            Typical lefty reaction, yell insults at anyone who deigns to disagree.

          • Neil Saunders

            Can I have yours? (I’d imagine being a paid stooge of Blair and/or Cameron is rather well remunerated.) Unless you’re a purely freelance spouter of neoconservative drivel who does it on a pro malo basis.

        • Roger Hudson

          I am a degenerate OAP and I realise that the loyal forces can totally squash any dangerous internal enemy. I read there are less muslims in the whole crown forces than the idiots who’ve gone to Syria. It might get a bit messy so don’t let Jon Snow get a look in.

      • saffrin

        Head in a** syndrome you have.

      • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

        Civil war may be a bit strong but future civil conflicts based on race/religion are a certainty.

        You probably haven’t noticed that quite a few riots and bombings have already occurred.

  • laurence

    Sadly, what you write is true, Rod. Libya and Iraq were certainly more stable before our misguided interventions. Libya was attempting to reintegrate itself internationally. Now it is a conflict riven no-go zone. The only good to come from Iraq was an end to the persecution of the Kurdish people. But, hey, our liberal chums, Guardianistas, and the lovely Mr Snow, are much too obsessed with the supposed ‘crimes’ of Israel to attend to the real crimes of the despicable effluent of ‘Isis’.

    • Peter Stroud

      Absolutely I right. Cameron’s Libyan adventure was only surpassed in stupidity, by his proposal to support the ‘good’ rebels in Syria. Thank God parliament voted no.

      • tjamesjones

        yes, I don’t care about the Syrian people either.

        • Neil Saunders

          And you think Cameron does?

          • tjamesjones

            if that makes you feel better neil, if it makes you feel better.

            • Neil Saunders

              Oh, the old “make out the other person is a bit of a fruitcake” ruse! It always comes in handy when you don’t have a real response.

              • tjamesjones

                I don’t think you’re a fruitcake, but I’m not going to join you patting yourself on your back for your indifference.

                • Neil Saunders

                  Where did I say that I was “indifferent”?

      • Donafugata


        Camoron just fancied the chance of a photo-op, striding around in shirt sleeves like Toady Bliar and dispensing mendacious sound bites of the gracious liberator.

        • Neil Saunders

          You’ve heard of tribute bands; Cameron is a tribute prime minister.

          • JB_1966

            Lovely – duly pinched.

    • arnoldo87

      If it’s stability that you value, look no further than the Soviet Union.

      45 years of it.

    • mightymark

      In fairness to Mr Snow (and those are words I never thought I’d write!) he was if I recall correctly, as much against UK/US intervention in Iraq as your appear to be – and just as wrongly.

      • Neil Saunders

        Why “wrongly”, mightymark? Would you care to elaborate upon the reasons why we should have invaded Iraq in 2003 and why the eventual outcome (vast numbers of deaths, enormous destruction and the complete destabilisation of the country, with hard-line Muslims driving out a long-settled Christian community, among other atrocities) was better than doing nothing?

        • mightymark

          The arguments why we invaded Iraq are well known and ned not be set out again so I’ll just deal with your “vast numbers of deaths”and refer you to the situation in Syria where around 200.000 have now died and there has been no intervention. Indeed as I recall here as a great deal; of back patting by little England Tories and “usual suspect” left wing Labour MPs the night we decide not to intervene.

          Just for the record I am not necessarily saying it was the wrong decision – merely that you can clearly have “vast numbers of deaths” with or without Western intervention

          • Neil Saunders

            Feel free to duck a straight question, if you must. I wanted to hear your arguments for the invasion of Iraq, not some unattributed ones that you assert to be “well known”.

            To your final point, yes. But in the case of Iraq and Libya you had vastly more than would in all likelihood otherwise have occurred as a result of Western intervention.

            • mightymark

              You don’t know that. I’d have thought a Sadam led Iraq would have been pretty ripe for a role in the “Arab Spring” – add in its sectarian layers and who knows how many might have died.

              • Neil Saunders

                I do know that the Blair/Bush illegal invasion of Iraq destabilised the country, destroyed much of its infrastructure, resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and paved the way for those nice people from ISIS.

                The “Arab Spring” that you appear so keen on has seen the installation of hard-line Islamic regimes that will continue to cause misery and worse both inside and beyond their borders for many years to come.

                • mightymark

                  You have obviously not taken my point and are wrong to assume I am “keen” on the Arab spring – though I would certainly support democracy in that part of the world if it were a realistic prospect. As you say the danger now is of Islamist regimes and these were always possible in many parts of the Arab and muslim worlds.

                • Neil Saunders

                  I’m not too sure what your “point” is. I think you’re quite mistaken in assuming that a Saddam-run Iraq was in any way “ripe” for an “Arab spring”-type uprising.

                  Of course Islamist regimes are always “possible” in many parts of the Arab and Muslim worlds (although there are varying degrees of probability, dependent on such factors as who’s actually in charge in any country or territory); actually, they’re becoming increasingly likely in Europe on current trends.

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      IMO Iraq was attacked to protect Israel.
      No doubt at the moment the Israelis are happy with the result.

      It does seem to me that Israeli regimes do not or more like cannot give precedence to their long term security over the short term threats they face.

      If in a few years time the fundamentalist Jihadis gain control then I dread to think what will happen.

      Given Arab intransigence and the fact that Israel cannot concede territory some believe was gifted by God but in practice they took by force then a crystal ball is not required to see the long term prospects.

      Increased conflict leading to a territory/population devastating cataclysm.
      I have heard it claimed that such a scenario is predicted in the Bible.