The tombstone toothed son of Satan, the warspawning liemongerer of Labour, the parasitical worm in the bowels of progressive politics, has treated us to something new. No, he’s not suddenly realised that his Christian faith means he’s supposed to repent of his sins, for Tony believes that Christianity has a lot more to do with product placement. The product being himself being placed in a position of power and influence which allows him to make tons of money. Neither has the great dissembler been overcome with a bout of self-awareness leading him to beg for forgiveness.
No, what’s happened is that the toothy trickster has treated Scottish independence supporters to the novelty of using us as a threat in someone else’s Project Fear. What’s even more of a novelty was that Tony wasn’t charging tens of thousands for uttering his words of self-serving wisdom. However the greatest novelty of all is that he was actually telling the truth for once.
No really. Tony told the truth. He has such a reputation for untruth telling that when someone says the sentence “Tony Blair told the truth” the immediate and entirely natural reaction is to accuse them of lying. Or at the very least being under the influence of mind altering drugs of the sort which you don’t usually get on prescription. The last time Tony knowingly told the truth was early in his marriage when he told Cherie that there was no lavvy paper left in the toilet. But even that degree of truth telling stopped when they got staff. Tony is the only man on the planet who never needs to ask “Are you calling me a liar?” because he can take it for granted that we are.
When Tony Blair tells the truth, you feel the need to go and lie down in a dark room for a while. When Tony says something that is neither a lie nor dissembling, there is some essential imbalance in the universe. It’s a bit like discovering that Iain Duncan Smith pays the rent on flats for homeless people or that George Osborne has been known not to pull the wings off a fly. It would almost be like discovering that Fluffy Mundell was halfway competent and actually put Scotland’s needs before those of the Tory party, but that would be silly. We’re just dealing with the ridiculously implausible here, not outright fantasy. Fluffy has never knowingly, or even unknowingly, uttered anything approaching words of wisdom. Just words of wincedom.
In an interview on French radio, Tony said that there was a “little mentioned” aspect to the debate on whether the UK should remain an EU member or should leave. Apparently that little mentioned aspect is that if the UK votes to leave the EU, then Scotland will vote to leave the UK and remain in the EU.
It comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that the possibility that Scotland might leave the UK if we vote to stay in the EU but England votes to leave. Far from being little mentioned, it’s been extensively discussed. In fact in Scotland we discuss the possibility of a second independence referendum if we vote to stay in the EU but England votes to leave far more than we discuss the merits or demerits of remaining a part of the EU. The truth is, in Scotland it’s EU membership which is little discussed, because it’s supported by a large majority so isn’t an issue. In England, politics revolves around the question of EU membership almost to the same extent that Scottish politics revolves around the question of independence.
What Tony’s off the cuff remark tells us is Scotland and England don’t have the same priorities, and the English – that is, British – political classes don’t give a toss about Scotland. So that’s not new at all then. So much for Scotland playing a vital role within this caring and sharing family of nations that make up the UK. I seem to recall that during the independence referendum the Westminster government begged Scotland to stay so that we could have a great effect in shaping and influencing Britain. Now we discover thanks to Tony that the most discussed aspect of the EU debate in Scotland scarcely registers amongst the London based political classes at all.
Mind you, it’s not like anyone in Scotland is surprised by this. Scotland’s central place in Westminster’s heart turned out to be the exclusion of EVEL and Tory MPs that no one in Scotland voted for turning down every amendment proposed to the Scotland Bill by the MPs that Scotland did actually vote for. The Tories hid in the bars of the Palace of Westminster, only coming out to enter the voting lobbies and jeer at the aspirations of a country that just a few short months before they told us was a much valued partner. So naturally they don’t give a toss about what Scotland wants when it comes to EU membership. Scotland is a possessed province which will do what it is told. Its opinions don’t matter.
Tony doesn’t really care about Scotland either. He only introduced devolution because he was told that if he didn’t Scotland would have been independent by the turn of the millenium. And then he introduced a kind of devolution that was designed to act as a lifeboat for Labour during those periods when the Tories were in power in Westminster, so that Labour in Scotland could protect itself from a future Thatcher. But Labour’s own greed and unwillingness to surrender control meant that the lifeboat was leaky and lacked any shelter from the Tory storms.
Now the lifeboat has sunk and Scotland is on course for independence anyway. Tony can give whatever warnings he likes, Tony is to credibility as James Kelly MSP is to charisma. Thatcher was the unwitting midwife of Scottish devolution, Tony is the unwitting midwife of independence. That, and the war crimes of Iraq, will be his lasting legacy.
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