Ben Delicious writes from Hong Kong: Spare a thought for Tony Blair, that devout Catholic and passionate gay rights campaigner, who is finding it tough to stage a political comeback in Britain while burning with desire, or so he claims, to help keep the Kingdom intact and persuade the pesky Scots bent on going independent that they would fare better remaining part of it. (The suspicion is, though, that Tony wants to come back to finish off the House of Lords and the monarchy and make gay marriage official)
But as fate would have it, Mr Blair is finding that the British people just don’t seem to like him all that much. A couple of days ago he narrowly avoided a citizen’s arrest by a disgruntled member of the British public, who accused him of committing ‘crimes against peace’. The embarrassing incident happened when the former PM was giving a speech at the University of Hong Kong, in his capacity as the founder of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation which was supposedly set up to promote understanding between the different faiths. He had just started his sugary delivery on the subject he knows nothing about, when a certain Tom Grundy, who flew in from the UK, approached him, accusing him of committing war crimes. Mr Grundy was stopped by the university minders and escorted from the premises, with Mr Blair continuing to deliver the drivel that he seems to think proves that he is a deeply religious man. (This is the same man who made 24-hour drinking in Britain legal and relaxed rules on gambling.)
This incident happened only a week after Blair was heckled at the Leveson inquiry in London, where he gave a weepy account of how he was mistreated by the British press and how he took a principled stand on refusing to play ball with Rupert Murdoch, despite being godfather to the latter’s son and sucking up to News International in any way he could.
Three big questions arise here: first, why the hell did the University of Hong Kong decide to invite Blair to give a speech in the first place, when he never says anything of any substance at his public appearances? Secondly, was Blair paid for his speech and if he was, who paid him and how much? And, finally, why was it that the university staff prevented Mr Grundy from arresting Blair and frogmarching him to the nearest police station, considering that he has a lot to answer for on his disgraceful role in starting the war in Iraq on false pretences?
In any case, Blair’s political comeback seems not to be working out as he hoped and, frankly, that’s a relief for everyone. It would be tough to stomach his return to political life in Britain where he’s caused so much damage, along with his New Labour chums and an army of spin doctors.
And talking of Tony’s spin doctors: that former Blair attack dog, Alastair Campbell has come out with another boring volume of his diaries, claiming in it that Murdoch had supposedly pressured Blair into speeding up the preparation for the Iraq war. Campbell, who according to some people has no soul, chose the moment carefully to make his allegations, considering that Murdoch is being targeted by the Leveson inquiry and the left-wing generally and it’s as good a time as any to try to make it look as if Religious Tony was basically pressured into the war by some nasty right-wingers. Even though the former PM showed remarkable energy in speeding up the invasion of Iraq and making wild unsubstantiated accusations about Saddam Hussein’s nuclear capability.
Naturally, very few people, if any, would buy Campbell’s version of events, apart maybe from Blair himself. But it’s still nice to see the levels of desperation that members of the former clique within New Labour are succumbing, lying through their teeth to cover up their past sins.