And you thought that after the deaths of a whole lot of celebrities who were actually talented but Ed Balls doesn’t get voted off Strictly, Scotland getting ripped out of the EU despite the fact we voted to remain, and the election as US president of a serial groper and narcissist who’s appointing outright fascists to key positions in his administration that 2016 couldn’t get any worse. Well you were wrong, because 2016 has been a great cosmic joke in proving how all reasonable expectations are as well founded as John McTernan’s reputation as a political sage. It can get worse. It’s going to get worse. It has gotten worse.
Tony Blair, the Great Boor of Babylon, is returning to politics, and he’s bringing Jim Murphy BA Politics (Failed) with him. Because in their estimation, if no one else’s with the exception of John McTernan, they’re exactly what Britain requires in its hour of desperate need as the Tories flounder in a planless and plotless Brexit which is so chaotic and inchoate that Liam Fox is actually an influential and powerful member of the cabinet and Boris Johnson counts as one of the more organised and reasonable government figures.
Yes, what Britain really needs right now is a narcissistic war criminal and a man who presided over the utter annihilation of the Labour party in Scotland and then refused to resign. But Jim is a brave and fearless figure who once stood up to an egg and then selflessly and in a spirit of sacrifice deliberately walked into a placard being waved by Sean Clerkin. That’s exactly the kind of gritty and realistic politics we need in order to challenge the howling loons of Brexit. Because when your politics are infantile and childish what you need is a man who bases his strategy in the politics of the primary school yard.
The press reports this week that Tone is looking for an office in central London from which to mount his campaign against populist politics. You might think that in order to campaign effectively against populism that you’d need a figure who was capable of making an appeal to the populace, but Tony and Jim and John think that they’re the ideal people to do it because the best way to challenge populism is with political figures who are deeply unpopular. It’s a bit like thinking that the best way to challenge the chronic diarrhoea of British politics is by infecting it with dysentery.
Tony Blair and his way of doing politics is what brought about the massive loss of public trust in our political system in the first place. He shows not the slightest degree of awareness of his responsibility for traducing the hopes and aspirations of the millions of people who voted for him way back in 1997. He shows no sign that he understands why people distrust him, hate him, and hold him in contempt. And yet he has the unmitigated gall to believe that he’s the best person to rescue Britain from the sink of despair into which he consigned it. Tony doesn’t believe that his reputation has been destroyed, because he’s surrounded himself with people who have trashed their reputations as comprehensively as he has.
In order to get his great new project off the ground, Blair hasn’t just enlisted the worst politician in Scotland, oh no. He’s going to enlist the worst politicians in Britain who haven’t wrapped themselves in the fleg and started to sing the praises of Brexit. Tony is also in talks with Nick Clegg and George Osborne so that you can get angry now to save yourself time later. Still, you can understand the logic, by enlisting Nick and George and Jim, Tony gets eight faces for the price of four. It also means that they can produce lots of policy papers and even though no one will ever want a copy they can still say they’ve sold out. The logo of Tony’s new organisation is going to be a condom, because you can inflate it with hot air, it prevents anything productive, and it protects the pricks within.
The man who destroyed public trust in politics is not the man who is going to be able to restore it, and certainly not while he continues to enrich himself and refuses to accept responsibility for taking the country into an illegal and destructive war which set off a chain of events leading to the murderous chaos that blights the Middle East today. The world is a scarier and more dangerous place thanks to Tony and his tombstone teeth. He’s the parasite of hope and the ghoul of dreams, hovering over the body politic like a vampire, sucking out all that is good and progressive in order to make money for himself. He’s the reason that Britain voted for Brexit, because people were kicking back at a political class that’s out of touch, unaccountable, and self-aggrandising. He’s not the solution to Brexit, Blair and politicians like him are the problem that caused it.
Brexit and Trump happened because people are sick of lying politicians who can’t be held to account, so they lashed out and their anger was coopted by reactionary forces which will be even worse in the longer term. Tony is patient zero in the disease that infects our body politic. All Blair promises is more of the same managerialism, more of the same cant, more of the same disease. Blair has failed before he’s even begun. Tell me why, I don’t like fundilymundillies.
But the struggle against the illness can also be fought in ways which do promise the hope of something better, which do aim to deliver fairness, justice, equality, and which don’t blame the victims of the political establishment for the crimes of that establishment. The Scottish independence movement, Bernie Sanders in the USA, and the Momentum movement in the rest of the UK are all examples of a positive and progressive challenge to the sclerotic self-interest of an entrenched political class. If we want an answer to Brexit, an answer that’s in the interests of the people of Scotland, an answer that promotes social justice and challenges inequality, an answer that allows us to hold our masters to account, Scotland is going to have to provide one for itself. And we’re well on our way to doing just that. We don’t need Tony.
Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-22nd-nov-2016
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