Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In which I outdo Uncle Jimmy as a fan of Tony Blair, and am proud to do so

It's funny, really: also very revealing.

Uncle Jimmy, aka Keep Tony Blair For PM, is undoubtedly a fan of Tony Blair, or at least of Tony Blair as he likes to imagine him. He complains incessantly (literally: at the foot of every post on his blog is a quotation reminding us of it) that the British press give TB a hard time: and so they generally do (for the most part a well-deserved one).

So you'd think if the British press made a fuss about a Tony Blair story and Jimmy ignored it totally, it must be a wicked fabrication, or at the very least something showing TB in a bad light, surely? Well, actually, not a bit of it.

Take this story from back in June, which was widely reported. Now nobody ever agrees with another person's Desert Island list of anything, but speaking both as a non-fan of Mr Blair and someone with strong opinions on books, I rather liked his list. The books I knew on it I liked, and the ones I didn't know sounded interesting. It didn't show any tell-tale signs of having been carefully crafted to make him look clever, or to show the common touch: no Jeffrey Archer or Da Vinci Code!

So why did Jimmy completely ignore it? I don't know, of course. I could make a joke about Jimmy the American pseudo-Brit forgetting to take his head out of Fox News that day to have a look at the European news: but I shan't. Because I think the real reason is even more revealing: I think Jimmy is embarrassed by some of his idol's choices. I mean, here is the man who purged the Labour party of any links with socialism picking a three-volume biography of Leon Trotsky? Jimmy must have shuddered when he read that (even TB makes a joke about it!) Worse still, he includes a book on the Crusades as viewed from the Arab side, implying that Muslims have a point of view that is as valid as that of Christians. For TB "It neatly corrects the myth prevalent in 
the way that history used to 
be taught in the West – that we were the civilised folk struggling against the barbarians". But that is precisely Jimmy's point of view, not just about the Crusades but about the present day. And as for Arab medicine being more advanced than that of the crusaders, and talk of "savvy and cultured Muslim counterparts": that kiond of talk gets you labelled by Jimmy as someone who values Muslims over the "indigenous British" (whoever they are).

But the absolute oh-my-god-we-must-hush-this-up-at-all-costs entry on Tony's list is the last: a biography of the Prophet Muhammed by Martin Lings. I've heard excellent things of this book, but what on earth must Jimmy have made of this choice? After all, to him and his fellow-racists at BareNakedIslam, Muhammed was not only a false prophet but a murdering paedophile rapist who founded a death cult. To Jimmy, it must feel as though Blair had selected The Protocols Of The Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf. So Tony Blair has shown himself insufficiently Islamophobic to meet Uncle Jimmy's exacting standards: thus his book selection must be swept under the rug.

And now, this week, Tony Blair makes a statement (in the Guardian's Comment Is Free section) on the recent British rioting. Understand this: Jimmy normally considers the Guardian, and especially the CiF section, as irredeemably mired in socialism, multicultural political correctness, and hatred of Tony Blair. So for it to give TB a platform, which he then used to give his opinion on a very topical and important issue, would surely rate a mention in Jimmy's blog, yes?


And again, I don't think it's just Jimmy's understandable disinclination to say something nice about the Guardian. After all, he wouldn't have to make a habit of it. I mean to say, I actually agree with Tony Blair's article and I'm not ashamed to say so: but I wouldn't wish it to be taken as a general precedent.

No, I fear once again TB has failed to live up to Jimmy's expectations. In his article on the riots, TB doesn't blame the riots on black and Asian immigrants. Nor does he delude himself that the rioters were symptomatic of a general decline in moral standards in British society. They were a small minority of criminals: and Tony Blair gets it. Even better, and possibly a first for TB, he admits that he made a mistake when Prime Minister:

In 1993, following James Bulger's murder, I made a case in very similar terms to the one being heard today about moral breakdown in Britain. I now believe that speech was good politics but bad policy.

Wow. Tony Blair admitting that he promulgated bad policy (on one occasion at least). Tony Blair refusing to toe the line of David Starkey and assorted racists and blame the riots on immigration. Once again, this must be hushed up. It didn't happen. Nothing to see here, folks: move along.

Well, for once (or I suppose twice, counting the book list), I shall stick my head above the parapet and support Tony Blair, unlamented ex-PM though he is. Sometimes he gets it right: and if KeepTonyBlairForPM doesn't like that, he can piss off back to the USA and take his false idea of Tony Blair back to his Texan racist cronies.


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