Daily Archives: September 1, 2010

The character of Tony Blair

In  1999 I published an article  entitled The character of Tony Blair in Free Life magazine. A copy is below.  That article portrayed Blair as a nervous, vain, weak, cowardly fantasist who displayed traits which marked him down as a psychopath, especially his habits of telling people how moral he is – “The more he spoke of his honour/The faster we counted the spoons “ – and  of lying about matters great and small. (My favourite Blair lie  is  his statement  at Prime Ministers Questions in the Commons on a Wednesday  that the British EU rebate was quote “non-negotiable” only for him to give away part of the rebate two days later).

The publication of  Tony Blair’s autobiography A Journey confirms all the character flaws I fingered in 1999.  Both in the book and in the promotional appearances  around it Blair  behaves  in the low narcissistic manner of the ideal Oprah guest as he shamelessly parades himself as a victim in everything which drew blame to himself.

Sadly for Blair but happily for the rest of us , the carapace of an adolescent ego – Blair is essentially sixteen years old and will be sixteen years old if he lives to be  a hundred – blinds him to the fact that his incontinent desire to bear what he fondly imagines is his soul  renders him contemptible.   Blair  tells us that he was terrified of the realities of power, frightened of Gordon Brown to the point of abdicating any control over government spending,  that he was happy lying in the service of policy , boasts that he is manipulative and admits he was  in thrall to a man (Alastair Campbell) whom he describes as constructively mad, a description which clanks more than a little because  Campbell spent time as a psychiatric in-patient in the 1980s. (Peter Oborne’s biography of Campbell gives chapter and verse about his behaviour leading up to his hospitalisation in a psychiatric ward).

There are two stories you will not find In A Journey . The first is the attempted suicide of Blair’s daughter in April 2004 which the valiant British mainstream media censored en masse – see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/09/322591.html

The second concerns me. For reasons known only to the very strange minds of the Blairs ,  they attempted to have me prosecuted during the six most important weeks of Blair’s life, the 1997 General Election campaign. My crime? For asking them to act over racist behaviour within the Labour Party.  I will return to this subject at a later date  but the gist of the story is contained in the EDM below which now forms part of the House of Commons record :


On  10 November 1999,  Sir Richard Body MP,  put  down   this

Early Day Motion in the House of Commons:

That  this House regrets that the Right  honourableMember  for  Sedgefield [Tony Blair]  attempted  to   persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring  criminal               charges  against Robert Henderson,  concerning  the  Right honourable Member’s complaints to the  police  of  an  offence  against   the  person,   malicious  letters  and  racial insult  arising  from  letters   Robert   Henderson   had  written  to   the   Right  Honourable   Member   complaining   about   various   instances of publicly-reported racism involving the  Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution   Service  rejected  the  complaints  of  the   Right    honourable  Member and the Right honourable  Member  failed  to  take any civil action   against  Robert   Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon   Robert  Henderson,   notwithstanding  that   Robert  Henderson  had  been   officially  cleared  of  any  illegal action.


The character of Tony Blair

Robert Henderson

(Published in Free Life no 34 September/October 1999)

“In  November 1984,  the Leader of  the  Opposition  asked  Blair  to  come  to  his  room.   ‘Tony  was   absolutely shivering,’ recalls Charles Clarke, Neil Kinnock’s Chief of Staff. (John Rentoul’s biography   “Tony Blair” p161)

“Despite attempts to get to the heart of Mr  Blair,  however, Miss Barak found him ‘boring’ and ‘timid’.    ‘He  was  like  a  scared  child’,   she  told  the Telegraph last night. …There doesn’t appear to be  a  message there.  He may be an average  politician  but  I don’t see him as a leader.”  (Report  of  an   interview  between Blair and Daphne Barak of NBC  – Daily Telegraph 4/2/97 P4)

These  two  quotes provide the  only clues needed  to go  to  the  core  of  the Blair character;  he  is  by  nature  very  nervous.  The first describes Blair’s behaviour as a recently  elected MP;  the second shows Blair as the leader of a  party which was shortly to go into a General Election as just about  the   hottest   electoral  favourites  ever.   Twelve   years experience  and the assumption of the highest office  in  his  party  had  made  absolutely  no  difference.  He  was  still  incredibly  anxious  because  basic  character  is   forever.

Behaviour  may  to  a  degree be  learned,  but  such  learnt behaviour is situational not general.  For example,  a coward  may  gain  confidence as he grows older in  circumstances  to  which he becomes accustomed,  but he never becomes  naturally  brave.

Even  with the office of prime minister to bolster  him,  two  years  experience of government,  a largely  quiescent  media   and  no  political opposition worthy of the  name,  Blair  is  still  extremely  unsure of himself and  finds  it  immensely  difficult to handle any setback,  for example,  his tremulous  response to questions about the 1999 EU election defeat.   If  readers  wish  to  discover  in  an  objective  fashion   how  unconfident  Blair is,   I suggest that they tape either an  interview in which  he  is under pressure or his  performance  at Prime Minister’s Question Time. Then play the tape back in  slow motion. The reader will then see what psychologists call         microexpressions. These are fleeting facial expressions which  are  so  rapid  that  human beings pick them  up  if  at  all  subliminally.  Blair’s most common microexpressions are those  of anxiety.  Nor does it take much to cause Blair to  display  signs  of   anxiety:  it happens whenever he  is  feels  that   people are not wholly with him, for instance at the 1999  TUC  conference.  Blair  has  undoubtedly  gained  in  situational  confidence  since  the  election,  but  give  him   one  good emotional belt and he will be back to emotional square one.

This  nervousness  finds  its  constant  expression  in   his obsessive  desire to control.   Before the election,  we  saw that trait primarily in the subjection of his party. Since he became  prime  minister   it has contaminated  all  parts  of  political life. Indeed, Blair’s first days in power confirmed  the view that he  is  a nervous authoritarian.  There he  was  in May 1997 as secure as a politician can ever be, yet one of  his  first decisions was  to attempt to emasculate  Prime Minister’s  Question  Time by reducing it to once a week.

Since  then,  Blair  has engaged in  a  massive  exercise  of     pacification  of opposition through (1) a tightening  of  the  hold  of the Labour hierarchy on the selection  of  electoral  candidates,  (2)  by threatening  to withdraw the  whip  from Labour  members,  most  notably in the  case  of  those   who  campaigned  against devolution,  (3) through the  sending  of  Labour members away from Westminster on a rota basis to “tend their  constituencies”,  (4) by unashamed cronyism and    the  seduction  of  his supposed  opponents  (Ashdown,  Hesletine,  Patten,  Clarke et al) with a mixture of  specious  influence   and jobs,  (5)  by  the diffusing effects of devolution,  (6)       through the proposed effective abolition of the Lords and its  replacement  with  second  chamber  utterly   dominated   by political  placemen,  (7) by  the deliberate diminishment  of  the importance of the House of Commons through  a combination  of his frequent personal absence and the persistent habit  of  breaking  policy  to  the  public via   the  media  before  a statement is made to the Commons and, not least,  (8) by  the adoption  of a presidential style and (9) the virtual end  of cabinet government.   In addition to these directly political  acts,   he  has been largely  successful in  controlling  the  media  through a combination of bullying and complicity  with  those  who  control  the organs of the  media.   He  has  now  reached the position of every natural dictator whereby anyone  who disagrees with him is either mad,  bad  or an  extremist, vide  his outbursts against those who do not wish to get  rid of the pound and the  extraordinary intolerance he  displayed  during  his speech to the 1999 Labour Party Conference,  when  everyone  who  disagreed with him was treated not  merely  as wrong  but  in  morally defective. Out of  his  weakness  and         paranoia grows megalomania.

In  a country without any stable political  tradition,  where violence  and coup are the staples of political  life,   such  behaviour  might  be considered normal even  rational.  In  a  country with the strongest non-violent political tradition in the  world  it  smacks  of  rampant  paranoia.   It  is  also   fundamentally undemocratic.

Because of Blair’s fetish of control, many  assume that he is  a natural leader,  yet  before becoming Labour leader he  had  never   occupied   a   position  of   prime   authority.   An  extraordinary fact but true.  At his school,  Fettes,  he was  not even a prefect let alone head boy.  At Oxford he took  no leading part in student politics.  As a lawyer he never  rose   beyond  the  ranks.  His career as a  politician  was  coolly  unremarkable until he became Labour leader.  This  in  itself  suggests  that   Blair  is  far from being  one  of  Nature’s    number ones.

His  frantic  efforts  to  avoid  blame  also   point  to   a   subordinate character,  while his remarkable ageing since  he  became  prime minister indicates a man under  great  stress.    Being  comparatively young,  the effect of ageing is  perhaps   more  dramatic  than it would be in an older  man.  Yet  even   allowing  for  that,  the  transformation  is  striking:   an   unnatural  gauntness,  a face lacking muscle tone,  dry  hair   and  substantial  lining of the face – he looks  a  good  ten  years older than when he took office.  Interestingly a rumour  was  floated in the Sunday Telegraph a few months back  which  suggested that he might step down in the foreseeable  future.

I  would  not utterly  discount it,  although  it  should  be  treated  as  a  very long shot.  Plainly he  is  finding  the business of leading a government a tremendous burden.    Why,  it might be asked,   did he seek high political office if  he  was so unfitted for it temperamentally?  I  attribute it to a childlike   ego   and  a  failure   of  imagination.  Blair  wanted to be PM because his self-esteem required that he  was  in  the same way a boy might want to be captain of  football.

His  ego  and  the  lack  of  imagination   ensured  that  he  completely  failed  to  understand  the  massive  difference between being an opposition leader and  prime minister. If he wishes to get out,  his problem (and ours) is that he is  now  trapped  by  circumstances  and may  find  it  impossible  to  relinquish  control even if he wishes to.  Such  a  situation  would drive him to ever greater attempts a control.

Most  people will say to me at this stage,  hold  on  Robert, this  man  was  barrister for ten years,  how can  he   be  a   profoundly nervous,  subordinate creature? Well,  that’s most  people  for you,  always looking for the obvious and  missing   it.  The  depressing  fact  is that   the  vast  majority  of  barristers   show  considerable signs of  nervousness  before  entering a court.  Many do so within court. That is the first   thing  to  note.  The second thing to understand  is  that  a   courtroom  is a very structured environment where  the  rules  are all in favour of the lawyer.  He decides what evidence is  to  be introduced on his side of the case;  he  decides  what questions are to be asked; he decides the order of questions;   above all he cannot be questioned. In addition,  the majority  of  witnesses  will  be people who will  be  unaccustomed  to appearing in public and possessed of a lessor education  that   the barrister.  All in all,  the courtroom is the ideal venue  for the nervous person possessed of public ambition, once the  procedural  rules  have  been  learned  and  the  environment adapted to.

Those  are  the  general  advantages  of  the  courtroom  for  barristers.  However, the barrister  can make the environment  even  safer  by his choice of the field of law  in  which  he  practices.  Blair  specialised in employment and  trade  law.  Thus  he  rarely  had  to appear before  a  jury,   which  is  generally  considered within the legal profession to  be  the  most difficult of legal tests.  Perhaps equally  importantly,  this  area  of  practice  meant that  a  great  deal  of  his   arguing  would have been done in pretrial submissions  rather  than orally before a judge. Blair would also have avoided the most difficult type of expert witness,  namely the scientific witness. (If the ordinary person wishes to see lawyers making  complete fools of themselves,  I suggest that he or she  goes  along  to  a  run-of-the-mill murder  trial  which  turns  on  forensic evidence.  It is a most depressing experience to see  the  sheer  level  of  lawyerly  incompetence  generally   on  display).  It should also be noted that a barrister cannot be sued for incompetence [This has since changed].

Why  is  Blair  so nervous?  I  put my money  on  a  lack  of  emotional  development  and  the  uncertainties  produced  by  intellectual  mediocrity.   In  his  behaviour,  Blair  is  a  caricature of adolescence. His hilariously bogus  attempts at  public   emotion;   his   childlike   belief,   never   better  demonstrated  than  over Kosovo,  that the speaking  of  high  flown and impractical ideals wills their end,  his continuing   uncertainty in public debate and above all his desperate need   to  control,  all suggest someone who is forever sixteen  and dreadfully afraid that they will not be taken seriously as an adult.

Blair’s speech to the 1999 Labour Party Conference  displayed  his  adolescent nature beautifully. We had the  exhibitionism of  his  constant references to how well he had done  in  his    life  and  how  often he met important  people.  We  had  the   equation  of conservatives with evil and the  designation  of    anyone  who disagreed with him as conservative.  We  had  the  horribly   contrived  sentimentality  particularly   in   his  references  to children.  We had the fifth form PC  idealism.   All  of  this  delivered  in a  language  best  described  as  Advanced  Mawkish,  with  his piping fifteen year old’s voice and his usual hilariously inept phrasing. (Incidentally,  the microexpressions   during  the   speech  also  said  he   was  extremely nervous.)

How bright is Blair?   Obviously he is not a complete dimwit.   Indeed,  I suspect that he would score respectably in  an  IQ  test.   But  equally there is solid evidence that he  is  at   best  an  educated dullard,  able to spout the odd  piece  of  learning  and capable of shallow superficial  analysis,   but  devoid   of   any   deep  understanding   of   anything   and  originality  of  thought.  He  gained  only  a  second  at  a  university (Oxford) notorious for its generosity  in granting  good degrees in a subject (law), where hard work will get  you  most  of the way to a first.  Moreover,  Blair achieved  this  middling   degree  despite  having  no  great   undergraduate  distractions such as serious involvement in student politics.

I think we can say that was mediocre performance.  To that we   may  add  his  performance in  the  Bar  Examination,   where according  to  his biographer John Rentoul  he  “achieved  an  undistinguished Third class”.  That was an indication of pure  laziness   which  points  to  the  debilitating  disease   of  intellectual idleness.  It is probably that fault rather than an innate lack of intelligence which is the biggest stumbling  block to Blair’s ability to understand.

Intellectual  idleness  is a big,  big problem,  because  the   intellectually lazy will, in the nature of things,  generally  fail   to   comprehend  a  complex  problem adequately.   In government  that can be very expensive  in terms of  sins  of  omission and commission as the intellectually lazy politician  acts  recklessly or fails to act, both  out of ignorance.

Time  and  again  Blair  gives evidence   that  he  does  not  understand the consequences of his policies, vide devolution, the  social  chapter and   the single  currency.   Worse,  he  appears  driven by ideas that are suited to  student  debates  but  not government.  His stance on Kosovo provides the  most  vivid demonstration of these various weaknesses.

During the Kosovan war,  Blair constantly behaved  in a  most   uncontrolled   manner.  He urged the use  of  ground  troops, including a very substantial British contingent, he agreed to  take in unlimited numbers of Albanian refugees,  he said that  cost  was  no  object,  he was  willing  to  commit  a  large  proportion of our military forces  as “peacekeepers” for what  would  certainly be years and could be generations  and  gave  no  heed to the cost either of that or of reconstructing  the  damage  caused  by Nato military action (and this at  a  time when  cuts to British  welfare are very much on the  agenda).

Yet all those massive commitments did not come at the  outset  of  hostilities.  Rather,  they were the  consequences  of  a   miscalculation  of  Milosevic’s  resolve  and  a   threadbare  military  strategy.   Not content  with  those  irresponsible  commitments,  Blair has maintained a reckless  aggressiveness  towards  Milosevic since the formal end of hostilities  which  has virtually ensured that  he stays in power.  In the longer  term,  Blair has stored up resentments against  Britain,  not  least  amongst  the Russian political  class,  for  seemingly driving Nato’s hardline approach which effectively humiliated Russia  by treating them as of no account.  All these  things were done gratuitously and without apparent  thought for  the  consequences and we have no indication that Blair understands  the consequences.

Most  worryingly  Blair has shown himself to be an  unashamed warmonger.  I  would like to believe that his   public  words  were  simply a cynical manipulation of the public to  promote   his  reputation and were made in the certain  knowledge  that Clinton would not commit troops to a land war.  Unfortunately I  think   that  Blair  was  anything  but  cynical  in   his belligerence. The Observer reported on 18 July [1999]  that Blair had agreed  to  send  50,000 British troops to take  part  in  an invasion  force  of  170,000 if Milosevic  had  not  conceded Kosovo to Nato.  Incredible as this may seem, (and it was not denied  by  Downing Street) such recklessness  fits  in  with Blair’s general behaviour.  So there you have it,  our  prime minister would have committed the majority of Britain’s armed forces  to a land war in which we have no national  interest, regardless  of the cost,   deaths and injuries.   The  danger  remains  that  Blair will find another adventure  which  does  result  in  a  land war.  Over Kosovo,  he  behaved   like  a reckless  adolescent  and  nearly  came  a  fatal   political  cropper.   Yet Blair appears to have learnt nothing from  the experience,  vide the unpleasant and malicious fanaticism  in   Blair and Cook’s declarations of their intent to both  unseat Milosevic  from power and bring him before  an  international  court,  vide the humiliation of Russia,  vide the  ever  more  absurd   declarations   of  internationalist   intent   since   hostilities ceased.  That adolescent idealists’ mindset could   lead  Britain  down  a  very dark path  indeed.  It  is  also  incompatible with a foreign policy that supposedly encourages  elected   governments  (however  imperfect  they  are)   over   dictatorships.

I  do not subscribe to the view that Blair has  no  political  policies:  he  has  all too many drawn from  the  ragbags  of  political correctness and internationalism. What he lacks  is  any  constancy of thought in his attachment to  the  detailed   political ideas needed to  achieve his general ends.   He has  detailed  ideas,  but not for long.  All  politicians  change their  views  to a degree:  Blair  has  most  comprehensively  altered his. Some time ago I went systematically through John  Rentoul’s  biography of Blair  noting his varying   positions  at  different  times   on  all  important  areas  of  policy.    Incredibly,  there is not  a single one on  which he has  not  described a 180 degree turn. For example in 1988 he said this about  the  need  to protect British  industry:  “Without  an  active interventionist industrial policy…Britain faces  the  future  of having to compete on dangerously  unequal  terms.”   (Iain Dale: The Blair Necessities P57). Compare that with his  present hardline free trading stance in government.

Equally  noteworthy   is the manner in which he  changes  his  mind.  Blair does not do what any normal man would do in  his position,  namely  gradually inch towards a new  policy.  No,  with  Blair  it  is X one day and Y the next  with  damn  all  meaningful  explanation  of the change. All he ever does is say is  some such nonsense as  “time has moved on”  or   “those were  yesterday’s  ideas”.  Such  behaviour  raises  a   most  pertinent  question,  how does one distinguish between a  man  who  continually  changes  his mind without  warning   and  a  calculating liar?   There is in principle  no objective  test    to decide between the two circumstances. In effect,  Blair is  saying that he should never be held to account for  anything.    In  fact,   one  of  his  strongest  traits  is  a  desperate  determination to avoid blame.

This  inconstancy  of  principle  takes  us  neatly  to   the   discrepancy  between  what he says and does.  Blair  presents  himself  as  Mr Compassionate Morality.  Yet his  public  and  private  actions  (and increasingly his  words)  persistently  belie this.  The lines “The more he spoke of his honour,  the   faster we counted the spoons” come to mind.

In his domestic policy Blair has adopted a tone of aggressive  intent  against those least able to fend for themselves:  the  poor,  single  mothers and the disabled.  This  comes  as  no  surprise  to  those who remember his words before  he  became   prime minister on the subject of beggars, whom he represented   in an interview in the magazine “The Big Issue” as aggressive  and unworthy of help.  The mixture of disgust and exaggerated  fear  in that interview was wonderful and ancient.  On  being   asked  whether he gave money to beggars he said he  did  not.  And this from a man whose life is  comfortable going on rich.  It  was  the  mentality  of the  selfish aristocrat  who  is utterly  divorced  from the lives of the masses and  is  both revolted and scared by them.

So much for Blair’s self-advertised  compassion,  but he also likes to portray himself as the Common Man. His lifestyle and  that of  his  wife are a bit of a barrier  to  this.    Most notably  they failed to send their children  to  non-selective state  schools  despite Blair’s   public  decrying  selective  schools in accordance with Labour Party policy. Actually that  little piece of business is very revealing. Blair effectively  changed  one of the Labour Party’s most cherished policies  –   non  selective  education  – by personal fiat  for  once  the  leader had crossed the selective Rubicon the Party had to  of  necessity  follow.   Shameless  hypocrisy  allied  to   utter egotism.

So what do we have?  A man who is essentially a  megalomaniac  adolescent;  a weak authoritarian who is  nervous,  paranoid,  cowardly,   intellectually   lazy, hypocritical,   morally vicious, without fixed principles  and seemingly oblivious to   shame. A man who is never in the wrong. A man whose is highly manipulative.  A man who is the most tremendous  egoist.  Put  all that together and the word  psychopath comes to mind.

What is a psychopath? The term does not mean, as is popularly thought,  someone  who  does not  understand  the  difference  between right and wrong.  In fact the psychopath is as  aware of  the  moral  rules of a society as  the  next  man.   What  distinguishes   psychopathic behaviour from the norm  is  the  perpetrator’s    ability   to  break   moral   laws   without  experiencing the normal emotional pain of doing so.  In other words, these are actions without conscience.

All  human beings are capable of psychopathic behaviour.  But   most people will only engage in such behaviour in exceptional circumstances,  such  as times of extreme stress or  where  a  society’s morality is tribal rather than general. The classic  instance  of  both types of behaviour may be  found  in  war, which on the one hand produces a willingness to kill  through  fear  of attack,  and on the other creates  a state  of  mind  which  allows  the  ordinary  man  to  kill  even  when   not   immediately threatened,  and to accept as reasonable  killing  by  his fellow countrymen and allies which is to all  intents  and purposes murder.  All bombing of civilians falls into the     latter category.

What  distinguishes  the psychopath from the mass of  men  is  that the psychopath’s normal behaviour is psychopathic. Blair   meets  this  criteria.   His   common  actions  include   the  following:  he  breaks  his word as a matter  of  course  but  exhibits  no signs of emotional discomfort when doing so.  He  changes  policy  from one day to the next.  He  lies  without compunction,  for example the pledges he made to persuade the Ulster Unionists to accept the “peace”  Agreement which  have        subsequently  been  dishonoured  in  the  breach  utterly  as   hundreds  of  convicted  IRA terrorists  have  been  released  without a single weapon being handed in.  He behaves  without  regard  to the consequences of his actions on others.  He  is  the  most consummate hypocrite.  He refuses to accept  blame.   He constantly attempts to manipulate others.  Most tellingly,   he  claims a high moral position whilst committing all  these   immoralities.

What  do  Blair’s character defects mean for  his  (and  our)   government?  Shortly before he died, the historian Max Beloff  wrote a piece for the Times newspaper entitled “Third Way  or   Third Reich?”  (9/2/99)  in which he charted the similarities   between  New  Labour’s tactics and those of the  Nazis,  such  behaviour  as the enticement of political figures from  other  parties  to  camouflage  New  Labour’s  purpose,   the  tacit concordat  with business whereby donations and  support  were traded for an understanding that a Blair government would not  be   radical  in  its  treatment  of  the  economy  and   the obsessive  party control.  Beloff also suggested  that  Blair  might eventually  be enticed by the attractions of the Fuhrer principle.

Beloff’s  views were met publicly with a mixture  of  outrage  and derision.  But they are based on objective facts  coupled  to  hard arguing.  Moreover,  Blair’s language and views  are often remarkably similar to those of fascists,  in particular  to  the views of Oswald Mosely.  Consider  these  startlingly  similar sentiments  taken from Blair (The Blair Necessities –

BN) and Mosley  (Varieties of Fascism – VoF):

I  believe we have broken through  the  traditional  barriers of right and left;  that we are developing  a  new and radical economic approach for  the  left   and centre 1996 BN P14

Above  all it is a realistic creed.  It has no  use   for immortal principles in relation to the facts of  bread-and-butter;   and  it  despises   the   windy  rhetoric which ascribes importance to mere formula.    VoF P170.

One Britain. That is the patriotism for the future.  BN 1996 P13 LC

It  must be absolutely clear to the British  people  that  we are a political arm of no one  other  than  the British people themselves BN 28 1996

We need a new social morality. BN 19 1996

We seek to establish a new ideal of public service,   and  a  new authority based on  merit  Albert  Hall April 1934 VoF

The case advanced in these pages covers, not only a  new political policy,  but also a new conception of   life.  In  our view,  these purposes  can  only  be               achieved  by  the  creation of  a  modern  movement  invading every sphere of national life. VoF P171

The new establishment is not a meritocracy,  but  a  power  elite  of  money-shifters,  middle  men  and  speculators…people   whose   self-interest   will              always  come  before  the national  or  the  public  interest. BN P42 1994

Many more instances exist of such echoes.

Any authoritarian is bad enough, but with Blair one  gets the worst  of  all possible worlds for he is  the  most  damaging   type  of  authoritarian.  He is not a strong,  able  man  who  brooks no argument because he believes that he knows best and  has  a  record  of achievement to  support  his  pretensions.   Rather he is a weak, fearful character who suppresses dissent   because    he   doubts   his   own   capacity.    Incompetent  authoritarians  are  always  the  harshest  enemies  of  free expression for the very good reason that  they keep  creating ever  greater  crises  which can only  be   publicly  hidden, albeit temporarily,  by ever greater repression of dissent.

The dangers of Blair’s authoritarian tendencies are amplified  by the  nature  of  those  about  him.   Forget   all   the protestations  of  a  change  of  Labour  heart.   These  are  cavorting    prigs  harnessed  from  the  same  stable   as   previous Labour governments. Mencken’s  ‘Show me a puritan and I  will show you a sonofabitch’  comes readily to  mind.  The  focus of their meddling may  have changed, the desire to  meddle  has not.  They will feed Blair’s natural  dictatorial  instincts.

Instances  of Blair’s fascistic desire to control grow by the day.  These  range  from the risible such  as  his  seemingly insatiable  desire to formally comment on such great  affairs of state as spats in football and golf  (vide the Ryder  Cup) and  the downright dangerous such as the planned  testing  of all criminal suspects for drug use.

Most forms of government are  institutionalised  gangsterism.  That  is what I foresee Blair creating  in Britain if  he  is  given  ten years in power.  Far fetched?  What would we  call the  behaviour  of a Third World leader who  appointed  close  personal friends to two of the three most senior positions in  a  country’s legal ministry.  (Question.  How would a  person   taking  legal  action  against  the  Blairs  be  assured   of  impartiality?  Answer. You tell me.) All the indications are,  from  cronyism to Blair’s unhealthy attitude to any  form  of  dissent,  that a Blair government  will be one based  on  the  primitive  idea that justice is for one’s  political  friends and injustice for one’s political foes.

Blair controls because he fears dealing with the consequences of  the unpredicted.  He is a weak egotist who  will  behave both  incompetently and viciously should he come  under  real pressure. He lacks courage and that is always a fatal lack in the long run.

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