The Trial of Tony Blair
On January 15, BBC 4 is running a special drama/comedy “The Trial of Tony Blair” which imagines the British PM’s life after office ending in a war crimes tribunal. The trailer is on Youtube and we are free to image what kind of freaked out combination of an Afterschool Special and 1941 that a U.S. network would come up with given the American scenario. The production team is responsible for a more lighthearted treatment of David Blunkett, one of Blair’s flunkies you probably haven’t heard of. This new peice seems to be appropriately grim and it seems like a good time to reasses Blair’s legacy, since he’s more or less promised to get out by the end of this year. The pro-Labour media will treat the departure as is if the historical record is yet to be written. Some people in the UK anyway will want to believe this tripe for reasons of national pride if nothing else. Bush’s decision to kick up the war a notch pretty much drops his latest round of justifications. Where does that leave Blair, Bush’s hanger-on? Not where this earnest Guardian reader thinks it does.
What is a leader who claims he wants calm and rational diplomacy doing, going around the Middle East cultivating an “Arc of Moderation” against Syria and Iran?
Blair has to be consistent first, has to think about what he truly, truly wants, before we can judge whether Bush has really, really sidelined him.
That is really cute. There isn’t an American alive, not even one of the chattering classes, who wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Blair has his own agenda. In the U.S. Britain’s role has been seen as equal with that of Australia. Without those two, there’d be no plausable countries to constitute the famous “Coalition of the Willing“. Plausible means English-speaking. Real alien PMs wouldn’t get directly quoted in US media. The foreign PMs translate the spin into language that worldly people will consider. That’s what makes this Dave Chapelle skit so funny. Blair gets on TV more often because he has the authoritative British accent middle class folks know from PBS. Opinion makers admire his entrepenural spirit and he is better looking than that Australian Howard. That’s the U.K. advantage and the extent of the partnership.
Someday after the 2008 elections PBS may get around to running “The Trial of Tony Blair” as a kind of meta-commentary on Bush’s legacy. Suggesting now that TB ever acted under the pretence of free-will would confuse the public television programers, who have taken it for granted that he was just along for the ride. This in turn would create uncertainty as to whether or not Blair might still be right, and push a few chuckleheads into the pro-war camp. Subtlety supports the war effort. More Blair hating please.