I don’t talk about politics, honest. I gave all that up 15 years ago. But there’s just so much happening here in Britain lately you might have noticed I’ve broken my rule a few times in the past couple of weeks. And I’m going to do it again, sorry! So stand well back if you don’t like this sort of thing.
Tony Blair, my former leader. I used to work for him back in 1996-98. I even ghostwrote for him once. I used to work at the Labour Party “political education” organisation called “Progress” which was effectively Blair’s personal propaganda machine. And soon after I started work there as a keen, young Labour enthusiast something happened that shook my faith in his competence as a future Prime Minister to a quite shocking degree. He allowed something to happen, an act of dreadful organisational stupidity, that affected me personally which to my mind suggested he wasn’t fit for such high office.
I won’t give the details as to what it was precisely as it’s all ancient history now, but from that day on a deep doubt set in. I’ve never felt Tony Blair was a liar as many claim. It’s always been my view he was merely a fool and unsuited for the job of Prime Minister. He was a charlatan, or overwhelmingly full of hubris. When he came into office he had little experience but behaved as though he knew exactly what he was doing, practicing “sofa government,” not taking advice from experienced officials but rather favouring his personal advisers and spin doctors. The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war which was published this morning showed the devastating results of such a casual attitude to government. Evidence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction was taken at face value. Critical voices weren’t heard. Tony Blair organised his whole government in the same sloppy way he’d once organised his office: a way that meant his decisions and his government’s decisions just weren’t good enough.
I wish the families of deceased soldiers well if they decide to sue Tony Blair for his incompetence. In 2002 I tried to sue him myself; I failed, largely because I should have tried to sue him in 1996 instead of waiting so long. But it was impossible in 1996 for several reasons; it was impossible in 2002 as well. Maybe now post Chilcot it’s possible for people with much more reason to loathe him than I’ve ever had to get some justice. Either way, he’s finally having to stand up and respond to his critics, and he’s shedding tears in the process. Needless to say, Gator is studying those carefully videotaped tears closely and is about to give her verdict: on whether they are crocodile or not.