A troubled soul – Blair makes his move!

Posted on: 18 August 2010 by Mark O'haire

There’s not one human being – alive or dead – that hasn’t done something they truly regret or are ashamed of. Tony Blair seems to be an exception.

Tony BlairYesterday evening his office announced that he was going to donate all of the advance and future royalties from his, soon to be published memoirs, to charity. The figure will be well in excess of £5 million – the advance alone was £4.7 million.

The response to this gesture was one of appreciation from the Royal British Legion who will receive the money to help pay for a rehabilitation centre for injured servicemen. The rest of the world seems to have condemned it as a shallow gesture to get publicity; pay off his conscience for starting the war in the first place; blood money and variations thereof!

Now I’m no supporter of Blair and his war – I was opposed to it from the outset and see it as one of the worst mistakes Britain made and one that history will condemn us for. Had he not made this crucial mistake the world would be a better and safer place and a lot of young soldiers would still be alive today!  Add to this the tens of thousands of Iraqis that have died and the cost of executing this war, it truly was one of the dumbest mistakes ever made. The so called ‘risk to our security’ only materialised after we joined the US in starting the war!

I can’t stress enough how much I blame Blair for being suckered into joining Bush on his ‘Holy War’ but in the case of the gift to the British Legion I don’t think he did it to gain public credit. Blair is a clever man and there is no way that he and his advisors had not fully assessed the media and public response to this gesture. They knew what was going to be said and construed from this donation – yet he still did it.

My view is that Blair’s a very troubled man who is still bearing the pain and anguish as a consequence of the action he took as Prime Minister. I think every day that he reads of another soldier’s death or bombing atrocity he dies a little inside. There won’t be a day that goes by without questioning himself over the decisions that led him to this place.

Being a leader is a tough and lonely job and when you make mistakes it’s even lonelier! I can’t forgive the decisions but I can forgive the man who made them – we’ve all been in the place where we’ve done things we regret and would love to change. Sadly as Prime Minister they are all out in the public domain and being jotted down in the pages of history books.

The money given will never clear the slate and I doubt if it will alleviate the anguish Blair suffers. If he really wants freedom from all this he only has to utter -  ‘Sorry – I made a mistake!’.

Thinking about it, maybe writing the cheque is easier!

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