St Tory of Bliar

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  • GarthyGarthy Frets: 1870
    ICBM said:
    Clashman said:
    The problem with Blair is he's rich is what seems to come across most.
    I wouldn't mind him being rich if he'd earned it honestly, doing something that benefits the world.

    But he seems to have gained most of his money from exploiting a problem he had a very large part in creating, and which destroyed the lives of millions of people.

    I wonder what number you get if you calculate his wealth in the number of dead, displaced and traumatised people in the Middle East and elsewhere who have suffered as a result of his actions in supporting Bush's war...
    Kind of like Carbon Credits? His ledger would most definitely be in the red.
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  • marantz1300marantz1300 Frets: 1496
    ICBM said:
    Clashman said:
    The problem with Blair is he's rich is what seems to come across most.
    I wouldn't mind him being rich if he'd earned it honestly, doing something that benefits the world.

    But he seems to have gained most of his money from exploiting a problem he had a very large part in creating, and which destroyed the lives of millions of people.

    I wonder what number you get if you calculate his wealth in the number of dead, displaced and traumatised people in the Middle East and elsewhere who have suffered as a result of his actions in supporting Bush's war...


    That fits a LOT of politicians, Kings, business men ,Pharaohs , Emperors, Tycoons, Media Moguls, Dictators and

    greedy bastards of all denominations.

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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2116
    edited February 26
    Grown most uncommonly fat!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32663
    Nitefly said:
    Hard to tell who's the less credible there.

    The "I overheard a conversation from fifteen feet away" thing doesn't sound exactly conclusive.


    ... and I'm not fan of Blair and his shameless money-making out of a problem he was directly responsible for helping to create.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16925
    ICBM said:
    Clashman said:
    The problem with Blair is he's rich is what seems to come across most.
    I wouldn't mind him being rich if he'd earned it honestly, doing something that benefits the world.

    But he seems to have gained most of his money from exploiting a problem he had a very large part in creating, and which destroyed the lives of millions of people.

    I wonder what number you get if you calculate his wealth in the number of dead, displaced and traumatised people in the Middle East and elsewhere who have suffered as a result of his actions in supporting Bush's war...


    That fits a LOT of politicians, Kings, business men ,Pharaohs , Emperors, Tycoons, Media Moguls, Dictators and

    greedy bastards of all denominations.

    But he was the leader of the Labour Party ... he was supposed to care about ordinary people, not become a Tory but what can you expect from a top public school education and Oxbridge other than an inbred culture of entitlement.

    Blair lied about the war .. the establishment covered it up as they always look after their own.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • marantz1300marantz1300 Frets: 1496

    That's what I said.

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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 340
    Well, I'll bite.

    Blair's record prior to Iraq wasn't perfect by any means but he did a lot of really good things in the UK. He also stored up problems for the future by expanding the PFI programme, ignoring discomfort over immigration and so on, but on the whole, his domestic record seems well into the positive.

    And prior to Iraq, his foreign policy was also very successful -- and it was built on the idea of liberal intervention. He saw the UN turning a blind eye in Bosnia and decided he could not let that happen again, hence successful interventions in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, etc.

    I think that in his mind, Iraq was another opportunity to do the same. Lest we forget, Saddam Hussein was a vicious bastard who gassed his own people and explicitly modelled his regime on the Third Reich. He was, literally, a fascist dictator.

    Whether or not Blair really believed that Saddam was amassing a chemical weapons arsenal that could be deployed within 45 minutes, I'm not sure, but I find it hard to condemn him for wanting rid of the man. The real problem is that neither Blair nor anyone else properly prepared for the power vacuum that would follow Saddam's removal.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8974
    @Stuckfast

    IIRC it was the Blair lot that brought in the national minimum wage. That's one of his few good things. Unfortunately the rest isn't that much "well into the positive", including, as you say, PFI and immigration; apart from NMW I can't remember anything good from his reign.

    It is also true, that neither Blair nor anyone else properly prepared for the power vacuum that would follow Saddam's removal. However the real problem was Blair setting himself up as the policeman of the world, and trying to remove Saddam Hussein by force. Or, him following GW Bush along similar lines. IMO you DON'T go removing other countries' leaders by force just because they're bastards. If you did, every country would be at war with every other country permanently, because all the leaders are bastards. You don't get to be top dog without being a bastard. Putin is, Kim Jong Un is, the Chinese bloke is, they all are, but starting wars over it isn't the right thing.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 340
    Well, here's a list of '100 achievements of the Blair govt':

    https://softleftpolitics.com/2016/09/20/100-new-labour-achievements/

    Some of them are contentious and some are the same thing by another name, but there's still a large number that seem to me real and positive, including:

    National minimum wage
    Massive investment in the NHS and education
    End of Section 28
    Sure Start
    Child Poverty Act
    Freedom of Information Act
    Free entry to museums and galleries
    Implementing EU Social Chapter and abolishing the UK opt-out on workers' rights
    Independence of the Bank of England
    etc

    Blair also presided over a decade of pretty much unbroken economic prosperity, though obviously that wasn't entirely down to him. What did the Major or Cameron governments do that was comparable?

    If Blair hadn't "set himself up as the policeman of the world" there might have been a Rwanda-like genocide in Sierra Leone. Not saying he was right to intervene in Iraq, and I think there was a lot of hubris involved, but I don't agree with those who say his motives in doing so were wrong.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32663
    It’s important to remember that the Sierra Leone intervention was at the request of the legitimate government. That’s a very different thing from supporting a rebellion or invading a country with the aim of regime change. I don’t have any problem with that kind of action.

    I’m less sure even about Kosovo, to be honest - it was a success, but it was still an act of war against a recognised government in support of a breakaway rebellion. And yes, I’m well aware that Serbia was guilty of crimes against the population.

    Iraq was clearly an aggressive war against another country, no excuses whatever no matter how bad Saddam was.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • dtrdtr Frets: 319
    Anyone who fights fascists is alright by me.  And I liked the Blair years.  Seeing people sleeping rough was unusual, fewer kids in poverty year after year, schools and hospitals properly funded with loads of new ones built, ongoing urban renewal.  It felt like things would keep improving.  But then he went to war with fascists and now everyone hates him worse than the c***s who've given us record levels of rough sleepers and kids in poverty - and no-one hates him more than folks who kid themselves they are thinking leftists rather than mindless sheep.  Guess no-one reads Orwell anymore.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32663
    edited March 18
    'Going to war with fascists' is a very disingenuous description for invading other countries in support of the US, so I don't agree with you there.

    The problem is that Blair's genuine domestic accomplishments were undone by PFI, continuing privatisation, and leaving the job to Gordon Brown, and his real foreign policy accomplishments were undone by Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only that, in my opinion he is largely responsible for the descent of British politics into reliance on media opportunities, spin and vacuous careerists which the three candidates for the Labour leadership who weren't Jeremy Corbyn exemplify.

    He not only took the Labour Party to the right of centre and made it essentially a Tory-Lite party (with added authoritarianism), but when the real Tories recovered, New Labour ceased having a reason to exist - hence why Ed Miliband failed so spectacularly, and why it took the least believable Labour leader since Michael Foot to make the party relevant again.

    On top of all that Blair has continued to lurk on the fringes of politics, constantly sticking his nose in when it's least useful to what is supposedly his own side, and on a personal level making a vast fortune from the political and humanitarian disaster he helped create in the Middle East. Calling himself a 'Peace Envoy' is indeed straight out of Orwell...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6256
    edited March 18
    he also oversaw and did nothing to counter the massive boom in private debt and gambling, essentially he created a tithe on poor people to the rich.

    EDIT: I guess no one reads Orwell any more

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175

    The revisionism of the general public with respect to Tony Blair I find quite amusing.

    His last general election as leader led to a majority of 66 seats: even in his decline he still commanded massive support but you'll struggle to find anyone who admits it.

    Also amusing is the public's revisionism of its support for the Iraq war:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/03/remembering-iraq/

    People like to pretend they were always opposed to it but they weren't.

    I'm no real fan of Tony but given the incompetence currently infesting both sides of the house I'd probably take him back in a heartbeat, to be honest. At least he actually knew what he was doing.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32663

    The revisionism of the general public with respect to Tony Blair I find quite amusing.

    His last general election as leader led to a majority of 66 seats: even in his decline he still commanded massive support but you'll struggle to find anyone who admits it.

    Also amusing is the public's revisionism of its support for the Iraq war:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/03/remembering-iraq/

    People like to pretend they were always opposed to it but they weren't.

    I'm no real fan of Tony but given the incompetence currently infesting both sides of the house I'd probably take him back in a heartbeat, to be honest. At least he actually knew what he was doing.

    Don't tar us all with the same brush...

    I'll admit to voting for him in '97 - or technically for Alistair Darling as he was my MP, and who I still think was a decent man - because I was so sick of the Tories that I wanted to help ensure Labour won. But after that I returned to voting Lib Dem as I usually had before. (And which I also have to accept responsibility for in 2010...)

    I was *always* opposed to the Iraq war - and Afghanistan for that matter. I never believed the 'dodgy dossier' - it was too convenient and didn't ring true. I thought Blair was simply following Bush's orders and would say anything to make it happen - but I now think that he may have even helped persuade Bush.

    I agree he knew what he was doing as a politician, but in some ways that was the problem - he was able to get his messianic vision through Parliament by lying and spinning. I would not have him back now, no matter how 'competent' he was. I'm happy to say I never liked him - he always reminded me of a double-glazing salesman, and his closeness to that shit Mandelson really irked me.

    The tragedy is that John Smith died. Even given that, there were probably better candidates than Blair, and Labour would have won the '97 election almost no matter who they'd put up.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175
    Don't get me wrong - I was opposed to it too, which is one of the reasons I find that yougov thing interesting. I distinctly remember having conversations/arguments/debates with people who in 2018 are giving it the full on "Bliar" chat who were fully on board with it at the time.

    Interestingly enough, I'm probably less opposed to the Iraq war now than I was at the time. Yes it turned into an absolute shit show but equally I'm not sure that leaving a mass murdering evil dictator to kill as many of his own people as he wanted was much of an option either. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32663
    UnclePsychosis said:

    Interestingly enough, I'm probably less opposed to the Iraq war now than I was at the time. Yes it turned into an absolute shit show but equally I'm not sure that leaving a mass murdering evil dictator to kill as many of his own people as he wanted was much of an option either. 
    No, it wasn't - but I think it's reasonably clear that it would have been the lesser of the two evils. There really wasn't a third option either. That's not just with hindsight - many people said the same thing at the time.

    The damage it did to the stability of the Middle East was catastrophic, and we're still reaping the consequences - made worse by continuing to interfere in Syria. We just seem to *never* learn.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 991
    I'll happily admit to voting for him every time, well Labour anyway like ICBM said. I never believed the rubbish they were spouting before they went to war in Iraq and was always against that also. I think peoples changing opinions have more to do with the fact they have more information now, which enables them to make an informed choice. Kind of like the Brexit shitshow going on right now.

    As a side note, if you talk to those that actually have experience of Iraq prior to the US phony war, asset stripping and money making. They will tell you that it was a safe place to visit, study, and raise a family. Now its dangerous, unstable, and a very dangerous place to visit. I can't condone all of the things Saddam did, however he wasn't any worse or rather didn't commit any worse atrocities than things our own leaders signed off on. The image they've portayed in the west isn't the same image they have here.

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175
    edited March 19
    Boromedic said:

    As a side note, if you talk to those that actually have experience of Iraq prior to the US phony war, asset stripping and money making. They will tell you that it was a safe place to visit, study, and raise a family. Now its dangerous, unstable, and a very dangerous place to visit. I can't condone all of the things Saddam did, however he wasn't any worse or rather didn't commit any worse atrocities than things our own leaders signed off on. The image they've portayed in the west isn't the same image they have here.
    I've got some Iraqi relatives. I believe the phrase they'd use here---and I'm struggling to translate the Arabic directly---is "bollocks, mate".

     I must have missed Tony Blair and Gordon Brown signing off on the "disappearance" of hundreds of thousands of people, or the mass slaughter of Kurds, or chemical attacks on civilian populations. 
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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 991
    edited March 19
    Well you saw them sign off on the slaughter of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't you? Or is that okay because its collateral damage? I said I didn't condone any of that in my post did I not, but Saddam was okay before when he was a friend of the west yes? He only became the bogey man when he defied the US and went against them. Obviously you cannot defend the slaughter of thousands, if not millions of people however we've helped make a stable region more dangerous than before and made ourselves a target based on lies.

    As for your Iraqi relatives, I feel desperately sorry that their experience was as awful as that. I work with a number of people who spent time there, I have friends I socialise with who are from there and who's family still live there, most of them will tell you it was better before the war. Like anything though it probably depends on a large number of things such as where you lived, ethnicity, wealth, occupation etc. 

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175
    Boromedic said:
    Well you saw them sign off on the slaughter of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't you? Or is that okay because its collateral damage? I said I didn't condone any of that in my post did I not, but Saddam was okay before when he was a friend of the west yes? He only became the bogey man when he defied the US and went against them. Obviously you cannot defend the slaughter of thousands, if not millions of people however we've helped make a stable region more dangerous than before and made ourselves a target based on lies.


    Tony Blair did not "sign off" on the deliberate slaughter and torture of civilians and you know it. Collateral damage is clearly not acceptable but its an absolute world apart from the terror that was deliberately brought to civilians under Hussein. 

    What is happening in Iraq now is, and has been, horrific. But if you think that Saddam "didn't commit any worse atrocities than our leaders" then you need to have a word with yourself. 
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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 991
    If you sign off on a war then you sign off on slaughter, and when you do it based on lies and for personal gain then its potentially just as criminal. Saddam committed some heinous crimes and was an horrific dictator, our leaders hands may be covered in less blood but they are just as culpable in the slaughter of innocent people for dubious ends.

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175
    "just as culpable" 

    In 1988, the Hussein regime began a campaign of extermination against the Kurdish people living in Northern Iraq. This is known as the Anfal campaign. A team of Human Rights Watch investigators determined, after analyzing eighteen tons of captured Iraqi documents, testing soil samples and carrying out interviews with more than 350 witnesses, that the attacks on the Kurdish people were characterized by gross violations of human rights, including mass executions and disappearances of many tens of thousands of noncombatants, widespread use of chemical weapons including Sarinmustard gas and nerve agents that killed thousands, the arbitrary imprisoning of tens of thousands of women, children, and elderly people for months in conditions of extreme deprivation, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of villagers after the demolition of their homes, and the wholesale destruction of nearly two thousand villages along with their schools, mosques, farms and power stations.[8][9]

    "no worse than our own leaders"

    Methods of torture used by Saddam's regime included assault with brass knuckles and wooden bludgeons; electric shocks to the genitalia; scorched metal rods being forced into body orifices; the crushing of toes and removal of toenails; burning off limbs; lowering prisoners into vats of acid; poisoning with thallium; raping women in front of their family members; burning with cigarette butts; the crushing of bones; the amputation of ears, limbs, and tongues; and the gouging of eyes.
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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 991
    Why don't you Wikipedia all of our war crimes whilst you're there, not sure why you're trying to defend the indefensible. I never defended the Saddam regime in Iraq, I said we made the situation worse than before. Turkey is now trying to eradicate the Kurds, are we going to go to war with them now? No one stepped in back then because there was nothing to gain, empty threats but no action as he was still assisting the west. In your first post you were arguing that there was some form of revisionism regarding Blair however I seem to remember a large crowd of people demonstrating in London at the time who were against him.

    What torture methods has the US/UK coalition forces used in the past? Have they tortured non combatants for reasons they justified at the time which now appear barbaric? Did the US put people into custody on dubious evidence later found to be spurious and in defiance of their human rights? No, we haven't used chemical weapons but we certainly have used ordnance that wipes out entire villages of innocent people arbitrarily. The scale is incomparable absolutely, however a phony war for financial gains which has come at a huge human cost is just the same outcome. The ends do not justify the means, and Blair and Bush are war criminals by any other name. Tony will always have blood on his hands, just because he was on the right side in the west does not exonerate him.

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175
    edited March 19
    You're just making stuff up now. I'm not defending the indefensible, I'm pointing out the utterly ludicrous false equivalence that you're so desperate to maintain. 

    I'm done. I've got no interest in continuing a conversation with someone as blinkered as you. 
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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 991
    edited March 20
    Lol, and yet you still replied ffs, what exactly have I made up? You're only pointing out stuff that backs up one side of your argument, the UK and US are and in some cases have already faced trials on their treatment of prisoners of war and civilians. Why did Bush/Blair not invade all the other dictatorships in the world at the time if we are so noble? 

    Random slaughter of innocent people whatever the method/justification is the equivalence I'm maintaining, is it blinkered to compare our war crimes to those we oppose just because we think we are on the right side? I actually agreed with you that Saddam was worse, but our actions were no better either. Blair should face trial imo, its that simple, is he Saddam Hussein? No, far from it, is he a war criminal? Absolutely, and he signed an order that put innocent people to death based on spurious evidence and lies, both our own and the indigenous people of the region. That was the equivalence I was maintaining.

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175
    Boromedic said:
    I actually agreed with you that Saddam was worse, but our actions were no better either.

    ---hard to see how I could possibly have misunderstood someone with such clear and non contradictory language skills.
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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 991
    edited March 20
    You claimed:

    "I'm done. I've got no interest in continuing a conversation with someone as blinkered as you"

    So who is being contradictory there? You're still replying, lets leave it there now I've woken up, had a brew, and thought about it shall we. Is that clear/fair enough?

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 991
    edited March 20
    For the sake of clarity, I thought it only fair to apologise to @UnclePsychosis for stating that Blair and Bush were on a par with the likes of Saddam Hussein. That is clearly an incorrect comparison and therefore I will happily concede that was an incorrect statement to make. Saddam was a heartless dictator and a barbarian, Bush and Blair are not in the same league at all.

    I still wholeheartedly feel they made some reckless decisions based on spurious evidence, potentially for personal gain and I find that abhorrent. They also destabilised the region and made us a target for terrorists.  Those decisions led to unecessary loss of life on both sides and that can never be reconciled for me. That being said I respect UnclePyschosis's opinion, and obviously hope that this thread can continue on without being derailled further by my night shift ramblings. 

    Cheers

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 5175
    No need to apologise.

    Was feeling a bit tetchy myself!

    For the avoidance of doubt, I'm not saying that the Iraq war was a particularly good idea or that Bush and Blair come out of it well (putting it mildly). But as you say, trying to remove a murderous dictator and making a rip roaring arse of the aftermath isn't on a par with being that dictator in the first place :-D

    Take it easy. 
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