The criminal incompetence of the British state, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature

After seven long years the Chilcot report was published on Wednesday, giving the country a bit of relief from the self-inflicted disaster of Brexit by focusing on the self-inflicted disaster of the Iraq war. No wonder the Blairites wanted Jeremy Corbyn out of power before it was published.

The thing to remember about the Chilcot report is that it was carried out by a man who is a fully paid up member of the British establishment, who bent over backwards to give the British establishment the benefit of any possible doubt that was going, who took longer than the war itself in order to give the British establishment time to prepare its excuses, and yet he still delivered a report that condemned the serial failures and venality of the British establishment.

Tony Blair always claimed that history would be his judge. Well history has just judged, and it has damned him. The legal basis for the war was flawed, the preparation for the war was flawed, the planning for its aftermath was flawed. It was all as flawed as Tony Blair’s soul. Yet whatever planning, whatever preparation, whatever legal advice, Britain would have gone to war anyway, because Tony Blair had promised George W Bush that he would be with him whatever. And the reason he did so was in order to get one up over the Tories and the Tory press so he could claim to be the defender of the so-called special relationship with America. He did it so he could get himself a place in history as the great victor in a small war. The greatness of Tony Blair is as mythical as WMDs in the Iraqi desert.

Well it all exploded in his face like a missile strike in Baghdad, and the whole world is still suffering the consequences. All for Tony’s ego. All for the aggrandisement of a pathetic post-empire that still can’t accept that it’s just a middle sized European country. All for a Britain that still dreams of ruling the waves while it sinks into irrelevance. Western contractors profited from the war to the tune of almost $140 billion. The ghosts of 179 British servicepeople and a quarter million Iraqis paid the price.

Britain loves to glorify its military. Yet it sends them into wars that the political class has not prepared for, without the proper equipment. And then when they come home maimed and wounded they have to rely on charities to meet their basic needs. Ex-servicepeople are disproportionately represented amongst the ranks of the homeless. But Britain will only honour its ex-servicepeople with parades and pomp, not with homes over their heads or a decent standard of living. Hypocrisy is not honour.

The Blairite faction of Labour’s hypocrisy was on full display in the Commons as the report was digested. As Jeremy Corbyn, one of the minority of Labour MPs who had opposed the war, addressed the Commons he was heckled another Labour MP. Ian Austin MP, who voted three times against holding an inquiry into the war, called Corbyn a disgrace and yelled at him to shut up. What’s the real disgrace is the lack of humility from Labour MPs who supported Blair and took the country into war on a false prospectus. What’s the real disgrace is the way in which they’re trying to mount a coup to unseat the party leader at a time of national crisis when the country was never more in need of an effective and united opposition. What’s the real disgrace is the arrogance and sense of entitlement of a political class that refuses to accept responsibility for its wrong doings.

Tony Blair gave an emotional speech in response to the report, close to tears as he realised he wouldn’t be able to charge £50,000 for this speaking engagement. He mentioned 9/11 almost as much as he mentioned Iraq, even though the 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Iraq at all. And throughout it all he stuck to his lie that there was no secret commitment to go to war even though the Chilcot report found that he’d told George W Bush, “We are with you whatever.” It was everyone else’s fault. Big boys done it and ran away.

The speech was almost as long as the Chilcot report itself and it was a masterclass in sociopathy, begining in a half croaked and unbelieved apology and rising to a crescendo of self-justification. You couldn’t call it heartfelt because it came from a man with no heart. The way Blair spoke you’d think that Chilcot had absolved him of all blame rather than putting the largest share of the responsibility squarely on him. But let’s give credit where credit is due. In this speech Tony Blair managed to make the Brexit Leave campaign seem like a paragon of honesty, forward planning, and foresight. He was terribly terribly sorry, but he wouldn’t say what for. At times he seemed close to tears, but they were tears for his own reputation.

What the Iraq war and the Brexit debacle have in common is that the country was taken into them both without planning or preparation, purely for the short term benefit of a political class which then refused to accept any responsiblity for the mess that it created. And what the Iraq war and the Brexit debacle also have in common is that those responsible won’t have to face any sanctions or punishments for their failures.

The consequences are borne by the rest of us. The people are punished. There was no planning for the aftermath of the Iraq war, and no planning for the aftermath of the EU referendum. Both were intended as short term instruments to boost the careers of their backers, and to hell with the country and the people. That’s the British way, where rank incompetence substitutes for policy. That’s the state we’re in.

This is what you get when you have no written constitution, no established means of holding politicians to account. You get a political class which writes the rules to suit itself, then when we are faced with a disaster of that class’s creation it wrings its hands and says that it’s not broken any rules and it’s done nothing wrong.

We’ve got to get out of this dysfunctional state. The structural and malignant incompetence of the British state and its masters isn’t a bug to be fixed, it’s a feature.

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46 comments on “The criminal incompetence of the British state, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature

  1. Mike Annis says:

    For starters, Austin’s constituency party need to start a deselection process. That is despicable behaviour from a sitting Labour MP, no matter his feelings. As for Blair, time to throw him and his ilk to the wolves. Sadly it won’t happen. There is no justice in this country for ordinary people.

    • Marconatrix says:

      If we send him enough rope maybe he´ll hang himself … TBH he actually looks like a ¨dead man walking¨.

      But what of his cabinet at the time? They weren´t all stupid and they weren´t all naive, and they must have known or at the very least strongly suspected that there were serious economies being taken with the truth. Yet they allowed themselves to be swayed by Blair´s silver tongue. Perhaps there really is a Devil. In which case may they all burn in Hell.

  2. Iain Patterson says:

    Excellent analysis Paul!

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug The criminal incompetence of the British state, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature […]

  4. Kenzie says:

    I haven’t seen Campbell’s name mentioned very much?

    • Jamie Tintin says:

      He’s just written an OpEd in the Gruan trying to justify himself and the Dodgy Dossier…no surprise there.

    • PQsCPRteam says:

      Yes who did write that dodgy dossier ?Yet like that dangerous egotistical Boris, the media will still rush to ask Campbell’s opinion on the next Labour crisis. As if their opinion holds some credibility .
      Of course was that the same Campbell who intimidated the knee bending BBC executives ?

  5. Saor Alba says:

    Blair’s Dark Night of the Soul.
    His is not the only soul that’s as black as night.
    All the Blairites are MONSTERS.

  6. Blair could have been a great Prime Minister. But instead he chose:

    – to ape a Republican president in the US – just like Thatcher
    – to patronise and bloat the House of Lords – just like Thatcher
    – to turn a blind eye to the worst excesses of “the City” – just like Thatcher
    – to widen the gap between rich and poor – just like Thatcher
    – to embed the chronic miseries of poverty, deprivation and hopelessness in our poorest communities – just like Thatcher
    – to denial any culpability – just like Thatcher
    – to never really apologise – just like Thatcher

    And so, just like Thatcher, he will be remembered, in Scotland at least, as one of the most despised Prime Ministers – just like Thatcher.

    And lest we forget here is a list of every Scottish MPs who voted for war in Iraq:

    Irene Adams (Paisley North)
    Douglas Alexander (Paisley South)
    Gordon Brown (Dunfermline East)
    Russell Brown (Dumfries)
    Des Browne (Kilmarnock & Loudoun)
    David Cairns (Greenock & Inverclyde)
    Dr Lynda Clark (Edinburgh Pentlands)
    Alistair Darling (Edinburgh Central)
    Brian Donohoe (Cunninghame S)
    Peter Duncan (Galloway)
    George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley)
    Nigel Griffiths (Edinburgh S)
    Tom Harris (Glasgow Cathcart)
    Adam Ingram (E Kilbride)
    Eric Joyce (Falkirk W)
    Helen Liddell (Airdrie & Shotts)
    Calum MacDonald (Western Isles)
    John MacDougall (Central Fife)
    John McFall (Dumbarton)
    Anne McGuire (Stirling)
    Rosemary McKenna (Cumbernauld & Kilsyth)
    Lewis Moonie (Kirkcaldy)
    Martin O’Neill (Ochil)
    Anne Picking (E Lothian)
    John Robertson (Glasgow Anniesland)
    Ernie Ross (Dundee W)
    Frank Roy (Motherwell)
    Jim Sheridan (W Renfrewshire)
    Rachel Squire (Dunfermline W)
    David Stewart (Inverness E & Lochaber)
    Brian Wilson (Cunninghame N)

    each one is culpable for what happened.

  7. Jamie Tintin says:

    Just before Blair resigned as PM, some people I knew said Brown would be a much better leader of Nu Labour. I got fed up pointing out that Brown colluded with Bliar over the Iraq War and that as Chancellor, he was the paymaster. There was a rumour at the time that Brown would oppose the war, but no doubt he bottled it. If Brown HAD opposed the war I think there would have been much less likelihood of British troops going in – Brown could have unseated Bliar and it might never have happened. Still, we’ll never know and I hold Brown as culpable as Bliar.

  8. Macart says:

    The report will merely confirm what people have known in their heart of hearts from the beginning. Our government used our mandate to wage an illegal war. The UK went to war on a lie, a nod and a wink. They signed our names up to one of the most shameful actions undertaken by any UK government.

    The middle east is in the middle of a full fledged ongoing humanitarian crisis. Countless dead, populations in full refugee flight and the tale of the UKs contribution to the current crisis begins to unfold.

    Blair’s true legacy? Toxic would be a kind description. The ramifications for the the UK public may be felt for decades to come.

    Are we there yet? What more will it take to convince people of the nature of politics in the UK?

    If the political class thought their current low esteem had bottomed out? I believe they are about to discover the public can find new and uncharted levels of contempt in which to hold their politicians.

  9. jamescaine709 says:

    Reblogged this on Jim's space.

  10. John Edgar says:

    I liked your pointing out the fact that for the ordinary”heroes” who are maimed mentally and physically, charities have to step in.

  11. shemorvena says:

    The British Political system that is Westmonster is well and truly broken and in it’s death throes. Politicians must be held accountable, there is no other way. A new modern Parliament must be constructed for the English and Scotland must escape this a Disunited Kingdom

  12. cirsium says:

    superb post, Paul. Thank you

  13. […] Source: The criminal incompetence of the British state, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature […]

  14. Les Bremner says:

    Why do we use the word ‘war’?
    It was an invasion, an invasion of country’s sovereignty.
    It was an act of unwarranted aggression.

  15. Robert Graham says:

    Angus Robertson got Cameron with a stinging question when he asked him when is this British Government ever going to learn from their mistakes he then went on to list the failures of tory and labour Cameron as usual failed to give a believable answer .
    This was after or maybe before a Tory stood up all loud and proud to ask Cameron to congratulate his town southend or whatever shit hole he represents because the tories had just taken over the council , for f/ks this total shite on today of all days defies description then another tory time waster talks about apprenticeship fairs it’s beyond f/kn belief these people are professional i was trying to think of a profession on a par with a tory MP nope can’t think of one low enough

  16. diabloandco says:

    The whole thing has left me sad and angry and unimpressed with Blair’s acting ability.

    I rarely hate but he is most worthy of my hatred.

  17. Jan Cowan says:

    No wonder Blair was almost in tears! Tears of fear, I should think, considering his deceitful behaviour has been trumpeted throughout the world.

  18. douglas clark says:

    Amongst the list of the walking dead that voted for the Iraq War I noted:

    Tom Harris (Glasgow Cathcart), who appears to be never off our TV as – a go to – commentator on things Labour and Scottish.

    Frankly, I find this bizarre.

    The guy is given credibility by whom? You or I have more credibility than him.

    Well, you more than I, perhaps.

    • John Edgar says:

      Harris wrote an article in the Telegraph, where he is a regular contributer. The article was entitled that it was time for Tom Watson, Labour’s Deputy Leader to “knife ” Jeremy Corby .

  19. Now go read or watch Robin Cook’s resignation speech – please!

  20. MI5 Troll says:

    Our Christian crusader Blair is a liar, with him and Campbell still unashamed dossier “Deniers”. I am shamefaced that I voted for that shower for about 20 years. I never voted for them again after their war. I see the family’s are thinking of some kind of court procedings and good luck to them. I would like to see him sweating in the dock.

  21. AAD says:

    RIP Robin Cook and Charles Kennedy. All MPs who voted in favour of killing thousands for the gratification and enrichment of Donald Rumsfeld and arms manufacturers should be de-selected by their constintuencies. (Bush is and was so pathetic and ignorant; you could almost see his strings being pulled.)

  22. Dear Tony, Whatever emotions crocodiles may have when they devour their prey, remorse is definitely not going to figure, so just spare us the insult of parading tears and your Fettes-bred chagrin, before the rest of the world.

  23. Iain says:

    What would be really frightening would be if Blair believed what he was saying in yesterday’s Address to the Nation.

  24. Ian Gould says:

    nye bevan said he thought the tories were lower than vermin ,I think if he was around today he would add Blairites to that

  25. Blair says “world a better place” because of his disastrous decision to attack Iraq:

    I challenge him to give us one single, unequivocal example of how the world is a better place because of the choices he made.

  26. kat hamilton says:

    chilcot validated what a deluded shyster the former pm is….no remorse, or proper apology, just arrogance and pretend concern….in contrast jeremy corbyn did make a heartfelt speech against the war and its consequences despite the cabal trying to shut him up…also charles kennedy and robin cook being totally vindicated for their principled views when decency meant something…truly sickened by whole episode, brexit..everything they touch is a shambolic mess..when will the electorate wake up and vote for indy as a way out from this madness..

  27. B19 WOF says:

    Not to forget the mod cutbacks, the en masse ‘security companies’ (see War Plc., Stephen Armstrong and Route Irish, Ken Loach) who all jumped on the bandwagon to recruit the disillusioned Paras and Marines, amongst other personnel, with false hopes of financial security for loved ones in the aftermath, who have not been included in the death toll…

  28. twathater says:

    And so the lunatics continue and move on, today on BBC arsewipe news Cameron has just committed 600 troops to be stationed in Poland at the request of NATO, to frighten and warn the Russian bear not to try anything, Jesus wept, 1 day after an expensive drawn out waste of time enquiry these armchair warrior ( hawks ) or VULTURES IMO want to carry on as normal and poke the big bear with a stick just to see who has the biggest balls.
    If these diaper wearing mummy’s boys and girls want to rule the playground why don’t they dress themselves in khaki pick up a big gun and fcuk off to Poland and stand guard, it’s easier to send innocent squaddies to do the dirty work, whilst they stay at home and preen and pontificate


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