The one who cannot be mentioned

The One Who Cannot Be Mentioned has mentioned the independence referendum. It’s not that I don’t want Tony Blair to come back, I do, preferably in handcuffs. But he’s come back minus the handcuffs and he’s backing a No vote, like anyone is surprised. Giving a lecture for some think tank in an expensive hotel in London, his speech expressed his fears about what his own party might do, not his fears about what the Tories might do. In Tony’s universe, you must not base your politics on how you want the world to be, Tony thinks that’s delusional. If Keir Hardie and Robert Cunningham Graham had believed that, they’d never have founded the Scottish Labour party in the first place.

For Tony politics is about managing the expectations of the voters downwards. And in this he richly succeeded, our expectations get lower and lower with every passing vote. But mainly it’s about making money and creating the conditions where a small number are able to get extremely rich. Individuals enriching themselves form Tony’s definition of ‘wealth creators’, a definition that would apply just as well to a common or garden thief. But Tony won’t be standing trial for his crimes. He’s a respected elder statesman. Respected by those who matter that is, that wouldn’t be you or me.

The man who brought us the dodgy dossier and the delusional weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is warning us against the delusion that there is any alternative to neo-conservative economics and a professionalised political class with a career plan that ends with a seat in the Lords and a clutch of directorships, stopping off for the occasional foreign war en route.

Despite the best efforts of the No campaign to pretend that Tony Blair never happened and doesn’t exist, he’s now opened his lying gob on the topic of the land of his birth. But it was only so Tony the Middle East Peace Envoy didn’t have to answer questions about why he was giving a speech for a think tank in a posh hotel in London and wasn’t in Gaza negotiating an end to rocket fire blowing up hospitals. Though the answer to that one is easy – the catering in London hotels is better. And so is Tone’s pay. Besides, Gaza may be the only place on Earth where Tony is more reviled than he is in Scotland and the rest of the UK, although not by much.

But you’ve got to hand it to the auld warmonger. He achieved something that was previously thought impossible. He broke the laws of nature as well as the laws of war. For years most of Scotland did not believe it was humanly possible to loath a politician more than we loathed Margaret Thatcher, until Tony Blair proved us wrong. So he gets kudos for that, if nothing else.

With Thatcher you got what it said on the proverbial tin, a headlong rush into the cold embrace of the worst of capitalism, an unseemly eagerness to go to war, selfish greed rebranded as a virtue, and lack of compassion as something to aspire to. Tony gave us all that too, but with added hypocrisy, and the last vestiges of hope that Labour would lead us out of the nightmare were crushed under the weight of a pile of broken bodies in Baghdad. No wonder Thatcher once described him as her greatest legacy.

Tony took our dreams and trashed them. Those carefully nurtured small flames that we’d kept alive in our souls throughout the long dark night of the Thatcher years were snuffed out. We’d kept the faith. We’d believed. We’d trusted. Things were going to get better, the day would come when Labour’s feeble fifty were feeble no more. Justice would walk the Earth again. But the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be the last random firings of the neurones before brain death set in, the body of Labour shut down for good and began to rot from the head down. With Tony the Hope Killer, Scotland finally completed its transition into a land where cynicism was the last refuge of dignity.

Now the missiles rain down on Gaza while tanned Tony preaches before an audience of sycophants, politely applauding while he smiles with his tombstone teeth and tells them what they want to hear. The politics of privatisers and PFI contracts is the only way, Tony’s third way. ASBOs for the poor, but personal enrichment for those who’re guilty of the greatest acts of anti-social behaviour. Shatter a window and you’ll get tagged, shatter the dreams of a nation and you’ll get a seat in the Lords.

Tony shaped the Labour party we have today. Together with Gordie Broon, his partner in warcrimes, they took our hopes and aspirations and used them to power their own careers. They gave us a Labour party that has no answers, that can only offer more of the same, a slow decline into the impoverishment of the soul. Labour gave us the British Parliamentary road to socialism that started in the lofty aspirations of Hardie and Cunninghame Graham and ended with a missile on the road to Basra and the screams of an Iraqi child.

I’m tired of being cynical. I’m tired of wrapping myself in a coccoon of callouses and keeping my dreams in cold storage while money grabbing pharisees preach the inevitability of poverty for the masses. A Yes vote gives us a chance to hope again, to take back our dignity and rescue it from Tony’s lies and the Labour party he mutated into a sick version of himself. There is another way, a better way. A way that doesn’t have Tony in it. No wonder he’s opposed to it.

If Scotland becomes independent, Tony Blair will become a citizen of Scotland. He was born in Scotland, his right to a Scottish passport is absolute and he will become a Scottish citizen automatically even if he does not bother himself with applying for a Scottish passport. The Scottishness of Blair is no cause for mourning or regret, because it means that if the war-mongering bastard ever sets foot north of the Border he can be arrested and put on trial for his crimes against humanity, for taking us to war on the basis of lies – and as a Scottish citizen facing Scottish justice he won’t be able to count on the protection and assistance of the Westminster authorities or the diplomatic corps of the Foreign Office. So that’s something to hope for then.

Vote Yes and we can bring Blair to account.  That’s something worth hoping for.




67 comments on “The one who cannot be mentioned

  1. Steve Bowers says:

    Jeez but yer ragin the day Paul, good on ye.

  2. Brotyboy says:

    That final paragraph is enough to justify a Yes vote on its own.

  3. mary vasey says:

    Brilliant WGD. I second that brotyboy

  4. Roar of approval from this spot, my friend! 😊

  5. innerbearsdenurchin says:

    A raj ginger dug

  6. Alex Smith says:

    What BrotyBoy said….

  7. diabloandco says:


    My granny told me that to say I hate someone was an abomination, maybe you disliked them but hate was way too strong and I believed her to be right however I make an exception in Blairs case , I really do hate the man.
    I have great difficulty understanding how he has avoided an angry ,armed Arab or two .

    • cearc says:

      ‘how he has avoided…’

      Maybe because we have to pay for his permament security mob. Another union dividend.

    • Alec MaxDonald says:

      It is our duty to hate the lying warmongering bastard. It is just a pity we don’t have capital punishment for special cases and he is a very special case. So why not just lock him in a cell and throw the key away. Preferably a cell in Gaza.

  8. Oops!! Wee dusty eye brought on by remembering those years of keeping the light flickering. Time fur big bright lights that shine.

  9. flooplepoop says:

    “I’m tired of being cynical. I’m tired of wrapping myself in a coccoon of callouses and keeping my dreams in cold storage while money grabbing pharisees preach the inevitability of poverty for the masses.”
    these 2 sentences hit the spot.

  10. Sheila Rae says:

    Absolutely brilliant. I like the thought of his arrest for Warcrimes. He smiles as he lies and am sure the the Devil will welcome him and the rest of the arrogant Selfservatives when their time comes. Thankyou

    • Illy says:

      There’s four words that certain people *really* don’t like to hear: Citizen’s Arrest, Jury Nullification.

      Unfortunately, they seem to like scaring people out of mentioning them.

  11. Devereux says:

    “The Scottishness of Blair is no cause for mourning or regret, because it means that if the war-mongering bastard ever sets foot north of the Border ..” Boy, oh boy oh boy!

  12. […] The one who cannot be mentioned. […]

  13. macart763 says:

    Oh boy, am I behind every sentiment expressed and then some Paul.

    I am so done with ‘greed is good’ and watching others get dumped on from a great height by those charged with their care.

    We can do so much better and we will.

    • Illy says:

      I keep being told that “Capitalism” *isn’t* saying that “if everyone behaves like a sociopath, things will work out all right in the end” but no-one ever tells me what it is.

      • macart763 says:

        I often thought that capitalism is a bit like alcohol. A dram now and again is fine, but binge regularly and you run the risk of chronic alcoholism with no thought for anything else but feeding your addiction. I think the UK establishment’s liver has collapsed.

  14. Susan says:

    A very powerful article, only James Kelman’s How late was it how late filled me up with so much emotions, thank you.

  15. Jan Cowan says:

    When speaking to a committed “No” person this morning I mentioned that Blair (info from Newsnetscotland) was publicly promoting BTNT. “We’re finished, then,” was his sad reply. Have to say I immediately changed the subject as it seemed too cruel to gloat.

    Who would have thought that Blair, the warmonger, would provide us with such worthwhile ammunition!

  16. Jan Cowan says:

    Also meant to say I was delighted to come home and read your exceptional article, Paul. Great stuff! Thank you.

  17. Capella says:

    Blair is, after all, the people’s pariah. What a tragedy that he deluded so many for so long. I count myself in that. The hatred is in direct proportion to the enormity of the betrayal. It would be a fitting epitaph if his intervention boosts the YES vote so that one day he can be brought to account.

  18. Steve Asaneilean says:

    New Labour = Not Labour – it’s as simple as that.

    Where are all these so-called Blairite Socialists now? Making fortunes from lecture tours or consultancies or directorships. Or earning hundreds of quid a day sitting in the House of Lords which stands for everything they previously despised and disdained – elitism, power, wealth and lack of accountability.

    I don’t see any of them working in a hospice or a care home or a housing association or a food bank.

    They freely drop the name of people like Hardie whilst knowing little about them and espousing ideals that are the antithesis of what these people stood for.

    If Scottish labour really wants to reclaim its soul and conscience and its true identity only a yes vote can hope to deliver that.

    • rosa alba says:

      I think for all Tommy’s (aye, Tommy’s) downfalls, and for all the roughness of some of the SSP’s rhetoric, it is the true heir of Keir Hardie’s and MacLean, Shinwell and Maxton’s Labour.

      Read the policies – they do not differ much from the Greens as it happens but are better specified, and laid out more specifically.

      The name Labour is possibly beyond redemption, I fear. Because it was a wholesale betrayal of the people. And still….for vainglory.

  19. arthur mountjoy says:

    Shatter a window and you’ll get tagged, shatter the dreams of a nation and you’ll get a seat in the Lords.

    sums it all up….

  20. Nana says:

    Brilliant writing. Wish we had never seen or heard from the vile Tony Blair and his hangers on.
    His labour party are the ultimate betrayal.

    Onwards to a Yes vote and the hope labour can find their roots.

  21. JimnArlene says:

    Powerful stuff. I also agree with Brotboy.

  22. Seanair says:

    Nice thought that one day he’ll forget he’s Scottish and come here for another money-making speech, to be interrupted by the polis asking him to come with them to the station (not Queen Street).

  23. Gawd Paul, I’d hate to get on the wrang side o’ you! However, I agree with every word you have written.

  24. arthur thomson says:

    Your words are a release for me and I am sure many others like me. Thank you.

  25. hektorsmum says:

    I am sure of one thing, Tony Blair will never apply for a Scottish passport. He thinks as Wellington was fond of saying that you are not a horse even though you were born in a Stable. He may have been born in Glasgow,educated in Edinburgh, well if you call Fettes Edinburgh. He sees himself as English and he was genuinely surprised when Scotland voted for the Tax part of the Devolution Referendum. Sadly now Paul you have warned him about visiting Scotland, other wise a wee trip to the Hague might have been on the cards.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Oh I am sure he’d already have realised that without me telling him. I have no idea what he considers himself – that’s his own concern and no one else’s. But after Scottish independence he’ll be a Scottish citizen.

      You won’t actually have to apply for a Scottish passport in order to be a Scottish citizen. Blair was born in Scotland, so he’ll be a Scottish citizen whether he recognises it or not. He won’t have to apply for naturalisation as a Scottish citizen. Like the rest of us he’ll be a Scottish citizen with dual rUK citizenship.

      The UK’s policy on dual citizenship has always been that when a UK citizen with dual nationality is in the other country where they possess citizenship, they are a citizen of that country and cannot approach the UK embassy for assistance should – for example – they get arrested on a charge of war crimes.

      Still, if it means he’ll never darken our doorstep ever again, we should chalk that up as a result.

      • innerbearsdenurchin says:

        Within the proposed Constitution, there is provision for renunciation of citizenship but the method is yet to be devised.

        No doubt he will expect to be consulted.

      • hektorsmum says:

        Too right Paul that is a win win situation, never want to look on his smirking wee face ever again.

    • Indigo says:

      He was born in Edinburgh, I saw his records when I worked in the health archive there years ago, I felt obliged to check for cloven hoofs or other signs…😉

      • hektorsmum says:

        Thank you for the correction, I do hope he was born as far away from me as he could get, West would do, I certainly would not like to think he was born in the Elsie Inglis, oh the contamination. Just as well it became an old people’s home.

  26. JGedd says:

    Well done again, Paul. I was never a fan of Blair from before he became leader of the Labour party. It was evident then that he was being groomed for eventual leadership and was very much the chosen heir to John Smith. Paying attention to the carefully released insights from Blair, the new Golden Boy, which were assiduously fed to a willing media in the form of articles and texts of speeches drafted to display the trajectory of thought of Blair and his acolytes, it became obvious at the time, that he was prepared to travel much further on the road away from socialism.

    It was apparent that he belonged to a right-wing faction which was prepared to subvert the Labour party. I thought that he was dangerous and worth the watching but when Smith died and Blair succeeded I decided that I had had enough of the Labour party and never voted for them again. In fact, in the general election of 1997, I remember being accosted by a Labour party activist canvassing in the middle of our small town who asked if I was voting Labour.

    As I stepped round him, I replied, ” I can’t vote for Labour because I’m a socialist.” Slightly taken aback he said, ” I’m a socialist, too,” to which I answered over my shoulder as I went on my way, “Well, don’t let Tony Blair hear you say that.” He looked completely baffled.

    Blair went on to be even worse than I had suspected. A dreadful man and a future psychological study I would think. I often thought that if Money could put on flesh and walk around in human form, it would look just like Tony Blair with “his tombstone smile.”

  27. Free at 63! says:

    Powerful words, Paul, you have surpassed yourself.

    I wouldn’t have bought a used car from him, but even my worst nightmares were nowhere near the depths he sank to. Your words made me think that the hope we had in 1997 to end the 18 years of Tory rule has come to this: grinding poverty; food banks; you know the rest; and such sadness of what could have been with a Labour Party true to its roots.

    I’ll replace my cynicism with the fervent hope of a ‘Yes’ vote to rid us of the horrors of the last 35 years.

    Thanks, Paul

    • Raycb says:

      The irony is, 18 years of Tory rule did more to help the poor than the previous Socialist Labour leadership ever managed when their policies came close to bankrupting the country (relatively speaking of course). You want a Yes vote because You want a Socialist Government back in power – You want to hand more power to more politicians within an even more bloated state. Have you ever sat back and contemplated that perhaps it is You who knows what’s best for You and not politicians in an ivory tower? (whatever their political persuasion).

      It is an unfortunate reality that there will always be poverty in some form but relative to what’s happening in the rest of the world post the worst global recession in living memory, I’d like to know exactly how you think having a Socialist government in power at Westminster would’ve managed the situation to be in any better a state than it is today?

  28. Wendy says:

    I love your blog. Thank you for being you and for doing what you do. Please keep doing it.

  29. Graham says:

    Agree fully with your desire to send this war criminal to the Hague.

    But the Scottish justice system, which jailed Megrahi for a crime he didn’t commit, is as rotten to the core as the british establishment of which it is a part.

    I doubt that will change after independence unless a written constitution provides for judges and jurors to be severely punished for miscarriages of justice.

    • Indigo says:

      It might take time, but when the power centre changes and power reverts to the Scottish people I sincerely believe things will start to change for the better, let’s hope for the best x

  30. Nigel Mace says:

    How neatly BT transforms into TB – in every sense!

    Blair is the worst British politician of our times by a margin beyond measurement. Like one of the posters above, I knew him for an untrustworthy, self-aggrandising piece of low life from the first – long before he became Labour’s self-poisoning leader; I just didn’t realise that he was also mad with messianic self-conviction, though I have to admit that my late wife did. Let us gain independence for all the reasons that we all know so well – and let us one day use it to track down and bring this evil man to justice. For the present, let’s recognise that he fits quite perfectly with the roll call of dishonour that accompanies the whole BT enterprise – racists (BNP, EDL etc.), bigots (Orange Order) and the deranged of Little England/Lost Empire Land (UKIP), not forgetting those most hypocritical members of the British Estanblishment, the Labour and LibDem parties and the most mean-hearted and rapacious Tory party in our lifetimes.

    ‘No’ – the campaign we can tell the value of by the company it keeps, and Blair is its fitting emblem.

  31. carthannas says:

    “For years most of Scotland did not believe it was humanly possible to loath a politician more than we loathed Margaret Thatcher, until Tony Blair proved us wrong”

    Pure, dead brilliant. How true. I wish I’d said it. What a great piece altogether. Dìreach math dhà rìribh!

  32. Morag says:

    I enjoyed that article immensely. Powerful piece of writing. Unfortunately, to do anything about Blair we’d have to get ourselves a completely revamped criminal justice system as well as a new country.

    This is the Crown Office that knew full well they were prosecuting innocent men for the Lockerbie bombing, and selectively lost evidence down the back of the sofa to conceal this fact. This the bench that convicted one of these men on a farrago of circular reasoning based on evidence that shouldn’t have been sufficient to justify the issuing of a parking ticket. This is the Crown Office that’s covering up its “mistakes” by spending a shedload of money sending police and lawyers to Libya, ostensibly to find the accomplices of a man who had nothing to do with the crime – and they know that.

    This is the system that hounded Shirley McKie to avoid owning up to a fairly simple mistake, and in the end paid her off with £700,000 of our money to keep the final ruin of their reputations out of court.

    So no, I don’t expect this system to touch a hair of Tony Blair’s head. Not unless we sack the lot of them and find some honest lawyers to replace them.

    • innerbearsdenurchin says:

      Honest Lawyers?

      I think I have a better chance of finding a hen’s tooth.

      Always the optimist, I promise to let you know.

      Please don’t hold your breath.

      • Graham says:

        Lawyers AND judges are the lowest of the low in our society, even lower than Scottish labour MPs (who are not themselves lawyers).

        I favour life imprisonment for lawyers and judges responsible for miscarriages of justice. In free Scotland, this must apply to those responsible for locking up Megrahi.

  33. Bigbricks says:

    An incisive post, which expresses very powerfully what many former Labour voters in Scotland feel, I think. Thank you Paul.

  34. Morag says:

    Oops, I just noticed that Graham said what I said, only not so long-windedly!

    • Graham says:

      See also my response to innerbearsdenurchin above.

      We want independence to create a just society. A just society can only be created if the entire current Scottish justice system is purged and a fresh one created.

      As proved by the discraceful way in which the Crown Office acted and is still acting regarding Megrahi, the Scottish justice system is rotten to the core and not fit for the purpose.

      • Morag says:

        I agree with you, but I’d also point out that there are decent, honest and honourable lawyers. Several of them are working hard to redress the miscarriage of justice. Aamer Anwar is one of them.

        The problem is that the decent, honest and honourable lawyers by and large do not enter the Crown Office and if they do they don’t rise to the top. This is what needs to change.

        • Graham says:

          Yes, these type of people will have to be promoted if we want to create a just society in independent Scotland.

          Due to a rotten to the core corrupt system, “decent, honest and honourable lawyers”, like “decent, honest and honourable” politicians, soon either get corrupted or are ostracised and sidelined.

  35. Eric Abercrombie says:

    Thanks again Paul. You give me hope for a different world.

  36. Neil says:

    I put this on you tube a while ago. I hope it complements another great bit of writing from Paul.

  37. Luigi says:

    Fantastic article, WGD. You certainly take no prisoners It’s incredible that, after two illegal wars, a continuance of rampant privitisation and global financial meltdown, there are still Labour diehards wandering around Scotland in complete denial about what (and who) the Labour party now stands for. Time for the ostrich heads to come out of the sand, methinks.

  38. Raycb says:

    Would that be Tony Blair the Scottish educated Labour Prime Minister that the Scots voted for every single time?

    At least independence will ensure we get the politicians we elected…..oh wait.

  39. wrbcg says:

    Thanks for mentioning Don Roberto – he is so often forgotten as a founder of Scottish Labour as he doesn’t fit the the Labour Party’s mythology of its origins. It is doubtful whether Keir Hardie would have entered parliament without RBCG’s encouragement and fight for MPs to be salaried.

    He was instrumental in changing Scottish politics not just once but twice. There is now a Cunninghame Graham Society to promote his memory.

  40. Hettie (@fawkirkbairn) says:

    One of your finest pieces of writing…brings back bitter memories of the feeling of utter powerlessness felt at the run up to the Iraq war despite going on the London demo.Knowing we were being lied to..
    Your writing did, as someone has already said, moved me to tears at the utter wasteland and continued suffering Blair and his accomplices created.
    He is indeed a loathsome odious excuse of a human being.

  41. anne Gorman says:

    Brilliant. I loathed him from the beginning. He had the opportunity to reverse some of Thatcher’s destructive policies bur chose not to. A man without conscience.

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