by STEPHEN GLOVER
“Tony Blair’s deranged, messianic egotism
laid bare the dangerous flaws in our democracy”
Pictures and captions by Lasha Darkmoon
Nazi war criminals in their nineties are being rounded up every day.
This war criminal in his sixties is still at large.
How much longer will he escape justice?
The phrase ‘elected dictatorship’ was coined by Lord Hailsham, a respected Tory Lord Chancellor, to mean that, once elected, a British government could do more or less as it pleased.
But Hailsham can surely have had no idea of how far Tony Blair would go.
The first question we should ask ourselves is how this man was able, in the world’s oldest and most revered parliamentary democracy, to override the constitutional checks and balances about which we were taught at school, and do virtually what he wanted.
And the second question, no less pressing, is how we can protect ourselves against another messianic egotist in the future doing the same as prime minister. Would it be too much to suggest that David Cameron, albeit in a much more circumspect and moderate way, has taken a few pages out of Blair’s book?
Perhaps partly because he had never previously been in government, Blair felt he could re-order the system as it suited him. He side-lined Parliament (which he was able to do because he had a thumping Commons majority), treated his Cabinet colleagues with contempt, and suborned or ignored senior civil servants.
Bower relates how, without any debate or consultation, Blair opened the floodgates to mass immigration while instructing ministers never to discuss in public the supposed advantages of the unprecedented influx.
Because he was on the whole surrounded by compliant ministers, they did as they were told, though Jack Straw, New Labour’s first Home Secretary, expressed a few feeble concerns. He was told by Blair not to worry. ‘Immigration,’ he declared, ‘is a good thing.’
Blair often found reasons not to attend Cabinet. When he did so, he ensured that meetings didn’t last more than 40 minutes. Ministers — with the obvious exception of his thwarted rival, the brooding Gordon Brown — were in awe of him and his electoral success, and unlikely to protest.
Once the high-handed Blair had made up his mind to invade Iraq, he froze out, or kept in the dark, the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Cabinet Secretary, the Foreign Secretary and most of the Cabinet.
In other words, Blair and just a few intimates inveigled Britain into the Iraq war — one, incidentally, that contributed to the Syrian debacle which has triggered a catastrophic migration of historic scale — in a way that reveals how easily Britain’s constitutional system can be subverted by a determined and dishonest national leader.
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On arriving at No 10, he had already excluded the distinguished Cabinet Secretary, Robin Butler, from the regular Monday morning meetings to discuss the week’s agenda.
Now the planning for an illegal war was largely carried out within his ‘sofa circle’ at No 10 comprising, among others, his chief-of-staff Jonathan Powell, his sinister spin doctor Alastair Campbell, and the serpentine Peter Mandelson, godfather of New Labour.
The Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, accepted being kept out of the loop. Also marginalised was Admiral Lord Boyce, Chief of the Defence Staff, who was made of sterner stuff, and came close to resigning. The consequence of Blair’s cloak-and-dagger approach was that insufficient preparations were made, and many British troops went to war without proper equipment.
When the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, produced a written opinion saying that war would be illegal, he was cast into outer darkness. In due course he obligingly changed his mind.
Two senior civil servants in particular were bent to Blair’s will. John Scarlett, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was lent on by his friend Alastair Campbell to ‘sex up’ the September 2002 dossier making a fabricated case for war.
LORD GOLDSMITH, BRITISH ATTORNEY GENERAL —
the entire British legal system was placed in the hands of this powerful Jew
[LD] To hedge his bets, Lord Goldsmith started out by saying that the Iraq war was ‘illegal’ —then suddenly changed his mind and said it was legal after all! — that it was perfectly legal to kill 1,455,590 Iraqis (up to now) and reduce Iraq to rubble. The Israelis were naturally pleased with this ‘wise and judicious’ decision that was to be of such enormous benefit to them. So were all Lord Goldsmith’s Jewish friends in high places who had much to gain from the destruction of Iraq. And so was British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the ultimate lackey of organized Jewry—a man who is now, by sheer coincidence, a multimillionaire on very friendly terms with Goldman Sachs, a disreputable Jewish organization that is reported to have taken over both America and Europe. [LD]
And Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6, acted as Blair’s messenger to Washington. Despite having no intelligence from Iraq of any value, he aided and abetted Blair’s march to war.
Reading Bower’s book is a profoundly depressing experience.
One misguided man, admittedly practised in the arts of deceit and manipulation, was able to take us to war while failing properly to consult Cabinet colleagues, and ignoring or corralling public servants. It is amazing that this should have happened in a supposedly advanced democracy.
Could it happen again? You bet it could. I do not accuse David Cameron of the peculiar combination of egotism, lunacy and clever calculation which made Blair so lethal an operator. The Prime Minister seems to be a balanced person with his feet placed pretty firmly on the ground.
That said, there have been disquieting examples in the past week or so of Mr Cameron using the Civil Service to the disadvantage of ministers who are legitimately campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.
Whitehall should be studiously even-handed. Instead, it connived in yesterday’s ‘dodgy dossier’ and put the case for staying in the EU in the most tendentious terms. And why should ministers in favour of Brexit be denied documents shown to their pro-EU colleagues? That is neither fair nor neutral.
Needless to say, I am not putting Mr Cameron in the same category as the deluded and dangerous Tony Blair. But I think the Prime Minister must be careful not to go any further down the very murky path forged by a man whom he and his allies have preposterously called ‘the master’.
WANTED FOR MURDER!