We can disagree over Iraq but we should stop vilifying Tony Blair

by Simon Bartram

Tony Blair was arguably one of the boldest and most talented politicians of the late 20th and early 21st century. Domestically he is widely credited with delivering vast swathes of progressive legislation across the country, introducing the minimum wage, allowing civil partnerships, and strengthening employee rights. Britain’s social values radically changed during his time in office – the values of the older generation were swept away, and a new morality gained greater acceptance.

Whether legislation was the enabler or the consequence of these changes is up for debate. Yet it is Blair’s foreign policy which overshadows what would have been quite a progressive legacy. From being characterised as a saviour by the British press in 1997, Blair’s image as a war criminal was frequently propagated by the press, and, as the coverage on the Chilcot Inquiry reveals, it still endures to this day.

When confronted with media reports of loud, clamouring protests over his foreign policy, it’s easy to forget that more people actively voted for him than his opponents in successive general elections, even after his, and Parliament’s, disastrous decision to enter Iraq (undoubtedly a clumsy and calamitous execution, in hindsight). A silent but substantial number of people voted for him. No doubt a good number of these people had inanimate political views, or would have been more interested in parochial matters, such as their local health services, or were Labour tribalists, or were simply uninspired by a Tory leadership that was more interested in niche topics like Europe than bread-and-butter issues like Education. And yet still, it appears that these people would have been at worst ‘neutral’ on Iraq and, indeed, there would have been people who supported Blair’s intentions in Iraq. We seldom hear about these people.

One of the unique features of opposition is that there is always a platform for the rebel – it is never inappropriate to speak against the status quo, whilst, conversely, supporters of it rarely feel the need to randomly unleash polemics in praise of what’s occurring. There’s no incentive to do so, for a start. Why speak when change is not needed? There are far more opportunities to criticise than to defend.

Opposition is also often the trendiest position. Supporters of current policies are committed to defending the inevitable fact that not everything about the current situation is perfect, whilst, in contrast, advocates of change can paint an alternative just as the artist paints his self-portrait: beautiful, but not realistic. Whether we entered Iraq or not, suffering would still have been a dominant occurrence in Iraqi life. The question of which suffering is preferable is a morally difficult question to answer, especially when the outcome of intervention could never be determined prior to the event. I wouldn’t seriously charge any reasonable person on either side of the Iraq debate as a maliciously-intentioned monster. And I don’t blame weary, quiet supporters of Iraqi intervention for not rising and tackling that precise insult when it is so often spewed by fervorous, frenzied non-conformists.

I should, at this point, satisfy the curiosity of many readers and answer the central question at the heart of the discussion quite plainly. I think our intervention in the middle-east was a mistake. I don’t think it is so obviously a mistake, and I especially don’t think it could be seen to be so obviously a mistake in 2003. The removal of Saddam Hussein, and, as a direct consequence, the beginning of the liberation of the Kurdish people from mass persecution (involving, yes, chemical weapons), was undoubtedly a splendid act. Indeed, under many of the international treaties that the UK has signed up to, Iraq arguably lost its right to sovereignty long before 2003. However, the destabilisation of what was already an unstable region, and the road towards a physical war against an abstract ideology that the initial rhetoric surrounding the war has led us down, are perhaps too great a price to pay when we see the unimaginable barbarism that has flooded great parts of Syria and Iraq, and the publicity and advocacy it has provided to supporters of extremist Islam within western nations. The roots of this violence pre-dated 2003, but our intervention certainly exacerbated it.

I have little doubt that, no matter what Chilcot’s report contains, Blair will continue to be vilified by many (but I add, not all) on the left who often tie their left-wing identity to anti-warism and (as if they are synonymous) anti-Blairism. Yet this is the same Blairism that played a hand in toppling real war criminals. Therein lies the spectacular irony.

The mass rape and ethnic cleansing sanctioned by the sadistic thug Slobodan Milošević in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia ended largely thanks to Blair’s leadership. So too was Charles Taylor’s child slavery in Sierra Leone. In fact, if you judge a man by his enemies – Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Mullah Omar, Robert Mugabe – Blair fares a lot better than the likes of Vladimir Putin whose passive, self-interested, appeasing foreign policy has equally harmed the middle-east by strengthening the hand of dictators like Assad. And yes, it’s true, Blair himself played real-politik with dictators like Gaddafi. There are many infamous pictures of Blair shaking hands with Gaddafi (as if that would be surprising for a world leader establishing diplomatic relations, or any different from any other British Prime Minister) – but to bring it up is simply a lazy smear. The untold story is that Gaddafi surrendered his own (underestimated) stockpile of weapons to Bush and Blair after the invasion of Iraq.

The difference between Blair’s intervention in Iraq and the actions of these war criminals previously mentioned is that, in Blair’s case, there is conceivably a moral case to be made, and a moral intention behind intervention, even if you disagree with it. People who deny this are simply not serious people. They trade in hyperbole and cash-in cheap moral equivalences to boost their political capital as anti-war radicals, hiding the shaky foundations upon which they launch their abuse against Blair. This is not the fruits of mature disagreement, but of blatant opportunism to spearhead a political movement founded by crackpot war-for-oil conspiracy theorists whose evidence is a lot less convincing than that presented by foreign intelligence services in the so-called “dodgy dossier”.

Intervention in Iraq was not an unmitigated disaster. We shut down the network of terrorists operating with Iraqi diplomatic passports. We shut down Iraq’s capacity to make chemical weapons (which still existed and had historically been used against Iran). We partially freed the Kurds (albeit only to be subjected to a new menace in the form of the so-called Islamic Caliphate). We brought justice to a man, Saddam Hussein, whose sick criminal deeds were far worse than Blair’s. And we brought at least the hope of a stable democracy. Those who deny the compatibility of truly free democracies within the middle-east (other than in Israel) seem too eager to promote the soft bigotry of low expectations. I’d wager that a silent majority would sooner submit to the quiet virtues of enlightenment values than suffer yet more religious strife.

As Chilcot’s report is set to be published, we can expect more of the trite, banal, clichéd caricatures of Blair. The whole discourse serves as babyish agitprop whose only achievement is to reduce months of arduous decision-making into a simple choice. Questions of war and peace, international affairs, and diplomacy do not have simple answers. They require thought. And the most well-intentioned security agents, political leaders and public supporters can make decisions that are not always conclusively correct, and yet they do not deserve to be hounded for their decision. For this reason we must resist attempts to blur the lines between real war criminals and people with whom we merely strongly disagree. Neither side wants eternal conflict in the Middle East, and nothing is gained by castigating Blairites, so it makes sense to call a truce in the propaganda war against Blair. We must resist the temptation to lazily and grossly malign either side of the Iraq debate when both ultimately want the same goal. There is strength in unity, and “never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep.”

Simon Bartram is a freelance writer. He works full-time in the City of London and is a student of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

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21 Responses to “We can disagree over Iraq but we should stop vilifying Tony Blair”

  1. Bob says:

    Say your comments to either the families of service personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan in Tony’s wars and see how long you survive. He sent troops int a war ill equipped, ill prepared and Day 1 after cease of hostilities. Iraq was at least illegal but if he so sure he was right let him be stood up at the Hague, indicted for ‘Crimes against Humanity and Waging an Aggressive War’ also the family of Dr David Kelly following his very suspicious death.

    What about Libya and extraordinary rendition, he alone with Straw and Miliband D have questions to answer.

    The we can add his threat if he was questioned about ‘cash for honours’ he would resign.

    Vilify him, he should be doing at least 25 to Life in Belmarsh.

  2. Tafia says:

    So you reckon it’s wrong to vilify a Prime Minister who stood up in Parliament and knowingly lied over something as important as taking the country to war.

    What appallingly low standards you have.

  3. Tafia says:

    Oh, and I was actually in the Forces during Bosnia time, and it wasn’t Blair who showed any leadership over it in any way shape or form. He was as ineffectual as Major before him.

    Bosnia was brought to an end by Bill Clinton because America got bored with Europe;s inability to deal with what was only a very small war. Then in August 1995 started to call all the shots – a full 2 years before Blair was even PM. The Americans – quite literally, threatened the UN to either attack the Bosnian Serb army or authorise NATO to do it, or they would just go ahead and do it alone and show both organisations up as being weak and indecisive. NATOs IFOR than replaced UNPROFOR in Nov 95. There was precious little discussion by the Americans – they basically said we’re in charge now and it will be done the way we say or we will keep bombing them till they agree. The the American Dayton Accord was then implemented in full, by force, on the ground with all three sides – Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Serbs and Bosniaks told to their faces that they would accept the accord in full or face the consequences of the American airforce. To quote one America General I overheard ” Give me a week with these sons of bitches and my air force and I will deliver you a very humble and compliant nation.”

  4. Robert says:

    I agree with much of this article. However, it was clear to me in 2003 that Blair was lying when he said that a peaceful resolution was possible. It became increasingly clear that he had decided months before that the UK would participate in the invasion of Iraq, particularly during the pathetic attempts to get the UN to pass a second resolution. War should always be the last resort for a Prime Minister and Blair cannot say that about the invasion of Iraq.

  5. John Reid says:

    Can’t fault what’s been written here, But David Kelly’s death wasn’t suspisious, he was used, to take the blame for the lack of WMD ,and humiliated, he was manically depressed, when he committed suicide.

  6. Madasafish says:

    I remember watching and listening to Tony Blair discussing the war before it happened with a group of students. He was articulate clearly deeply committed and convincing – if you had an open mind and had done no research and were so naive or dumb that you relied on a politician for “facts”.

    I also did my own research on the Iraqi military machine and was struck how every professional military assessment said that sanctions meant they had no spare and everything was out of date and basically 50% of the equipment was non operational. How could I reconcile this with Tony’s statement and the war supporters such as Con Coughlin of the Telegraph .

    I came to the conclusion Blair was a liar. And if you then viewed Tony Blair through that prism it explains why – despite having the biggest majority of any Government since WW2 for a long period – he basically achieved very little.

    Tony Blair was a presentable and articulate con man.

    No wonder he has no credibility left .

  7. Simon says:

    Bob, I don’t think the litmus test for whether a war is just is to see whether it would be easy discussing the topic with the families of those whose son joined the armed forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan. It would obviously be a very sad and awkward experience. We don’t (and shouldn’t) apply that test to other wars. The question could easily be turned on its head – could we explain to Saddam’s victims, or the victims of Hitler’s Germany, why we sat back and did nothing (assuming we did)? I don’t think we should privilege the opinion of either victim on either side of the debate as having the sole monopoly of judgement over whether Iraq was, decisively, right or wrong.

    I conceded that there were huge mistakes made in planning the war – both in terms of equipping the army against the army (although I can’t think of many wars where that criticism isn’t made), but more fundamentally in anticipating what would be necessary to secure a peaceful settlement. We often forget that, actually, Saddam’s regime fell pretty speedily. It was the subsequent sponsored terrorism, guerrilla warfare and local fractionalism that halted any progress to peace thereafter. This peace was sought by the communist, socialist, Kurdish, and other political parties that had to go underground during the Saddam years. I’m sure these comrades would rather we got over the backwards debate about 2003 and looked forward to 2015.

    I don’t think we have sufficient evidence to fairly place Dr David Kelly’s death on Blair’s conscience; though I reckon many are committed to doing so and won’t be persuaded otherwise on that matter as it rather neatly fits their argument. He had a stressful job to do.

    As for Britain being the aggressor, Saddam’s regime would be multiply convicted of breaches of the Genocide Convention, which we, as signatories, are mandated to prevent. You can call the British the “aggressor” if you want, but it appears to me to be simply wordplay. It is not aggressive in the same way that Hussein (or more recently Putin) were aggressive against a sovereign state. If you think otherwise, then the word “aggressive” loses its moral significance, for me.

    Tafia, I don’t think Blair knowingly lied. There’s a difference between lying and being mistaken. The fact is, intelligence services (both domestically and abroad) had strong grounds for believing that Saddam had chemical weapons.

    As for Blair and Kosovo, Blair pushed Clinton to intervene further in Kosovo, just as he pushed Bush to intervene more in Afghanistan. There’s a popular narrative that suggests that Britain follows America’s lead – but it only appears that way for geopolitical reasons (i.e. we could never intervene solely on our own). But even after our intervention in Kosovo, Blair commented in 1999 on the struggle that still existed for many people against totalitarian states, listing, among his examples, Iraqis. And whilst I have no doubt that Blair’s friendship with Bush played a huge role in cementing his commitment to invading Iraq, none of this was blind nor without principle.

    Robert, I would struggle to believe that, had Saddam been more co-operative, Blair would be able to justify (or want) to invade Iraq, regardless of what the Americans did (though I suspect the Americans would have felt the same way). Though I accept that, when forced to make a decision about intervening, his desire to remain a strong ally of America (partly due to the relationships he had developed within the White House, and his previous intervention in Kosovo) may have been one of the decisive factors committing us to intervention when the choice had to be made.

    Madasafish, the problem was that international intelligence simply didn’t know because of the non-transparent way in which Saddam conducted himself (both trying to assure the west whilst not giving too much away which would challenge his status as a player in the middle east). We do know that the infrastructure from their weapons program still remained, and the odd stockpile was found – but true, nothing on the scale that we were led to believe.

    I would also dispute the claim that very little was achieved between 1997 and 2007 – Irish peace process, Bank of England independence, low NHS waiting times, better employment protection policies… It was by no means a flawless premiership. Iraq was a huge flaw, but there was also much to quibble with over his domestic policy. But my point was never to claim he was a fantastic PM (only bold and talented); my point was that we should stop grouping him with the likes of real war criminals. The claim is a waste of ink.

  8. Mike says:

    Excellent article. Tony Blair does not deserve to be vilified by some members of the Labour party. He advanced Labour’s cause and was popular with the normal member of the public (not some lefty who goes to protests at University). And you wonder why some hard working, patriotic members of the working class are defecting from Labour in the North to UKIP. It is because of this self-indulgence

  9. Tafia says:

    Two very simple things Simon:-

    As for Blair and Kosovo You mentioned Blair and Bosnia in your main post. Blair had less than a gnat’s withered bollock to do with Bosnia.

    I don’t think Blair knowingly lied…… intelligence services (both domestically and abroad) had strong grounds for believing Hans Blix said they didn’t have them, MI5 advised the government that in their opinion not only that he didn’t have them but that he was no threat, as stated by the then head Baroness manningham-Buller and remind us about the dodgey dossier and ‘sexing up’.

  10. Tafia says:

    ?cont. And as is now widely reported Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, has threatened to expose the secrets of the ‘dodgy dossier’ if he disagrees with the long-awaited findings of the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s role in the Iraq War and that way back in 2004 key intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction used to back the case for war was withdrawn by the intelligence community because it was seriously flawed. That Dr Brian Jones, formerly of the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), told the government at the time that no-one on his staff had seen evidence of the scale of weapons capability being touted by Downing Street and that no-one knew what chemical or biological agents had been produced since the first Gulf War and there was no certainty among intelligence staff that agents had been stockpiled. “There was a reasonable assumption that there may have been some stocks left over from the first Gulf War, if there had been any other production, then we have not identified that it had taken place.”, and that John Scarlett, chairman of the JIC, was warned a month after the dossier’s publication the intelligence was not strong enough to back the presentation of some of its claims.

    John Morrison, former deputy chief of DIS said before the war that Blair’s claims on Iraqi WMD were met with disbelief in Whitehall. “The prime minister was going way beyond anything any professional analyst would have agreed”

    The man is a liar.

  11. Bob says:


    “I don’t think the litmus test for whether a war is just is to see whether it would be easy discussing the topic with the families of those whose son joined the armed forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

    If it is a just and honest war and in defence of your country, relatives whilst aggrieved would understand, but war in Iraq and Afghanistan was unnecessary, in the Saddam was in his box. Whilst a despicable tyrant, you did not have inter sectional religious slaughter you had following his downfall. If you lived in Iraq, you could live relatively peacefully, same as Libya if you followed the rules. Post GW2 there was NO PLANNING for day 1 of peace, police and security services were disbanded but not disarmed, at least in Germany post 8th of May 1945, police and to an extent local authorities were maintained but investigated and de-nazified. Also, the forces in Germany were far larger than in Iraq, in other words, war on the cheap.

    “I don’t think we have sufficient evidence to fairly place Dr David Kelly’s death on Blair’s conscience; though I reckon many are committed to doing so and won’t be persuaded otherwise on that matter as it rather neatly fits their argument. He had a stressful job to do.”

    We don’t have evidence because the Hutton Enquirey was a ‘whitewash’ and the files sealed for 100 years, so NO Coroners Inquest was held so therefore Dr Kelly’s death is still very suspicious. Nobody truly knows Dr Kelly’s state of mind and the way he was thrown to the wolves in front of the select committee was disgraceful. I still hold Blair responsible or at least implicated in his death until proven otherwise.

  12. Bob says:


    “I would also dispute the claim that very little was achieved between 1997 and 2007 – Irish peace process, Bank of England independence, low NHS waiting times, better employment protection policies… It was by no means a flawless premiership. Iraq was a huge flaw, but there was also much to quibble with over his domestic policy. But my point was never to claim he was a fantastic PM (only bold and talented); my point was that we should stop grouping him with the likes of real war criminals. The claim is a waste of ink.”

    Irish peace process was started by John Major not Blair, BoE independence was indeed Brown’s creation but what he did not do was to place a control system for the banks, the Tripartite system did not work and I remember Mandleson stating he did not have a problem ‘with people becoming filthy rich’ or Ed Balls which can be seen on You Tube pushing ‘light touch regulation’. Well we saw where that got us in 2008 with no control over the banking sector. Remember Northern Rock or the shotgun marriage of Lloyds and RBS. This happened because Blair did not sack Brown some years before and his title is also First Lord of the Treasury

    NHS, yes it is in debt to PFI companies for the next 30 to 40 years with very poorly negotiated contracts and that led indirectly to situations like Mid Staffs and the CQC not regulating properly. Low NHS waiting times only gained by farming elective surgery to the private sector through groups such as BUPA and Spire and the creation of ISTCs who also took advantage of the NHS off because of poor contracting. Hiving the armed forces into PFI as well through Sodexo in PAYD and Air tanker.

    Bold and talented, he can defend that at the Hague with Miliband D and Straw one day for complicity in extraordinary rendition. What is the difference between him and his acolytes and Saddam and his sons of Ghadaffi. Just Blair and friends did not get actual blood on their hands, but they are never the less are bloodstained.

  13. Mike says:

    Bob – the soliders volunteered (no conscription) so they paid the ultimate price for which they knew could happen as they signed up.

    The Blair Government was successful and the coup against him by Brown, Balls and Red Ed just goes to show how bad the rest of them really are.

  14. Mike says:

    Lets give Kelly a rest. One sad, depressed loon dies and you think the whole world collapses. I like Government to put a bit of stick about (as FU said in House of Cards (UK)) and get stuff done. Not be so paralysed by indecision.

  15. Tafia says:

    “I [could have] said in early March to Tony, ‘look here Tony, I’m not going to support this’ – and after all I’d seen everything – ‘I’m not going to support this, you’ve got to decide; if you go ahead with this I’ll resign’.

    Jack Straw, former Foreign Secretary, explaining his regrets over his involvement in the Iraq invasion, feeling genuinely convinced at the time (despite the lack of hard evidence) that Saddam had WMD when he approved the deployment of troops into Iraq, a feeling he now believes to be wrong.

  16. Seymour says:

    the values of the older generation were swept away, and a new morality gained greater acceptance

    Old bad, change is good even if it promotes evil, freedom of speech only allowed for those agreeing with labour policy, politicised and corrupt police chiefs.

    A large number of people believe that he legalised immorality along with condoning lying and stealing by MPs. Whatever did happen to his expenses claims, oops shredded by mistake.

    A really good con man.

  17. Tafia says:

    A millionaire, a barrister, a politician, a liar, a warmonger and a traitor walk into a bar.

    The barman says…

    What can I get you Mr Blair.

  18. Bob says:

    Mike: Have you ever served, I doubt it. they were sent into a war in Iraq on a lie. Saddam was not a threat to the UK.

    Dr Kelly was a renowned weapons inspector for the UN, and a head of a directorate at Porton Down, not a place to be given to depression. His death is a result of being thrown to the wolves at the HoC.

    paralysed by indecision, just poor decision making. Joe ‘ good day to bury bad news’ Moore along with Prescot having the Paddington crash survivors investigated to see if their court case was motivated by political affiliation. Upright and honest, more lower than a snakes belly and fifty times more corrupt.

  19. John Reid says:

    Who was he a Traitor too Tafia? I think a barrister and a liar are the same thing anyway.

  20. Tafia says:

    Who was he a Traitor too Tafia?

    When you knowingly and deliberately lie to Parliament you are a traitor. Parliament is the will of the people. Blair also placed serving the interests and wishes of a foreign government – in this case that of the USA – above those of his own nation and people – the definition of a traitor. Then he was also a traitor to the Labour party to every value the Labour party he led had ever stood for, abandoning principle after principle, sucking up to the right wing press, and dragging his party ever further towards the right. All that mattered to him was power for it’s own sake. Supported by a coterie of fellow travellers, shyster, fraudsters and opportunists.

  21. Karl Naylor says:

    The Iraq War was an oil grab and there is plenty of empirical evidence that control of oil was a major factor in the decision to invade as part of a geopolitical strategy for re-ordering the Middle east. Denouncing it as a ‘conspiracy theory’ and dismissing the weight of evidence is mere propaganda.

    Blair’s career since stepping down as Prime minister in 2007 has followed the trajectory he pursued while in office and, in fact, since the 1990s. However, the problem with some of Blair’s opponents is that in accusing Blair of being ‘corrupt’ or a ‘liar’ they appear as embittered and marginal when compared to Blair’s ‘success’.

    It’s Blair’s foreign policy that makes him unpopular; the catastrophic aftermath of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequently events in the Middle east, including the rise of ISIS, are quite rightly seen as a consequence of that policy of overthrowing Saddam Hussein. But Blair was hardly alone in advocating ‘regime change’.

    Irrespective of the issue of weapons of mass destruction, Blair insists what he did was a ‘judgement call’. Had the post-war situation not been destroyed by extremists then Iraq would have been a content land where the oil wealth was used for both the mutually beneficial interests of the West and the people of Iraq.

    Blair’s vision was a militantly progressive one and he adheres to the same worldview in 2015. In dealing with the Middle east ‘peace process’ between Israel and Gaza. By negotiating BG’s role in developing Gaza Marine gas, what he calls ‘the wider region’ would benefit from energy security and ‘stability’.

    Blair regards himself as a short term realist with long term idealist vision of the globe as a nexus of harmonious lands interconnected by airports and shopping malls; benign consumerism gives the people everywhere of all races and cultures peace and caters to their desire for happiness and ‘stability’.

    Blair is not actually really a diplomat entrusted with resolving Israel-Palestine conflict. most of his work involved using his behind-the-scenes ‘diplomacy’ to get the ‘best deal’ for the Palestinians by developing the Mediterranean gas reserves and getting corporations to invest in the PA administered territories.

    In Blair’s cosseted world historical antagonisms would be forgotten when ‘stability’ is assured. If this means short term emergence measures-such as a military coup in Egypt in 2013 or Israel’s attempt to ‘demilitarise’ Hamas in the Gaza Strip by using overwhelming military force and bombing-then that’s frankly regrettable yet inevitable.

    Blair’s entire outlook in this sense is consistent. In 1996 he lauded the authoritarian model of Singapore as a beacon of ‘good governance’. Hamas and terrorism are simply ‘reactionary forces’ that cannot compete in the 21st century with the will of the masses in the Middle East to have a society like that in the UAE.

    Blair represents something quite strikingly creepy, as though out of a JG Ballard novel- the ‘evil of banality’. Blair was the first PM to tap into the dreams and wishes of ‘the people’ and to base his regime on ‘what the people really want’. He has extended this sinister outlook into global affairs with catastrophic zeal.

    Blair’s ‘vision thing’ for the Middle East is essentially Israel’s but one he firmly ‘believes’ is ‘right’. His job is to advocate energy policies that will shore up Israel’s security and those of Egypt and Jordan, as well as the PA as the effects of Mediterranean gas ‘trickle down’ to the people out of the grasp of ‘extremist’ hands.

    When Blair’s job is seen in plain view, it could be said he is doing a good job. His aim is to back energy policies which benefit Britain and the region; the use of Mediterranean gas to provide stability and growth shall ‘deliver’. So the people of Gaza will demand to have their part in it too once they stop voting for Hamas.

    There is no demonization inherent in pointing out that these are in fact Blair’s ‘convictions’.

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