Sunday, 19 March 2017

"I was a journalist at the time and I felt misled by that"

Confession time: I am one of those people who supported the Iraq War. (Yes, I know). I was so supportive of it that I stopped listening to Start the Week on Radio 4 for several years after Andrew Marr took over and used edition after edition (or at least it felt like that to me) to bang on about the Iraq War from every angle possible, almost invariably featuring someone, or several people, bemoaning the causes and consequences of the Iraq War, accompanied by the murmuring agreements of Mr. Marr. It felt like being harangued by a BBC presenter riding their personal hobby-horse and I missed Melvyn Bragg and Jeremy Paxman's less political versions of the programme. (I've long since relented). 

Andrew Marr, talking to Tony Blair this morning, finally confirmed my suspicions about him at that time when he said: 
The other thing about that whole period of New Labour politics and what followed was there was a lack of trust in politics. We saw the 2008 crash - and people are still suffering hard after that - but also a whole series of scandals, weapons of mass destruction and so forth. I was a journalist at the time and I felt misled by that.
It certainly felt at the time (to me) as if he'd fallen out of love with Tony Blair (along with many others at the BBC). 

And, it turns out, he had

And that he'd taken it personally too. 

In my feistier previous-but-two blogging incarnation I wrote about that famous clash between Alistair Campbell and Andrew Marr in 2010 after Andrew had made a disobliging introductory quip about the 'dodgy dossier' during a Marr show interview: 

Well, he clearly did have an opinion of this after all. Obviously.


  1. Mark Thompson told a lie on Marr. He said that nobody expected Trump to win, not Republicans nor Democrats. Even Trump's inner circle were surprised, he said. It was just like Brexit in Britain, he continued, everyone was surprised. This is patently false. Some of us saw the Brexit result coming. It was more a surprise to bubble dwellers than to ordinary people who weren't convinced by the media that it was impossible.

    The main thrust of the segment is that Trump is a fantasist rather than a liar, and is so self-obsessed that he thinks he can make things true simply be saying it over and over again. That's a bit rich from the CEO of a paper which did everything they could to convince the public that Hillary Clinton was going to be a great Presidnet (repeating it over and over in the hopes that it would become true), and has been seriously busted for falsehoods recently.

    Marr will get the usual complaints about being pro-Union and anti-FREEDOM for his segment with Ruth Davidson, but he asked some solid questions and made a very good point in support of another Scottish referendum: it's lame for Remainiacs like her, who said leaving the EU would be a disaster for the Scottish economy, to then turn around and say Scotland shouldn't vote for independence now that the UK is leaving the EU, because that would be a disaster for the Scottish economy.

    It's not his fault that it's the easiest thing in the world for Davidson to poke fun at Nicola Sturgeon for using any old excuse to demand another one, as it's the reason for her existence.

    Oh, God, party political Pro-EU, stop Brexit at all costs, platform for Tony Blair.

    Mostly it's the usual nonsense about security and economic success, plus a set up for Blair to dismiss the 'elites vs populism' schism. Apparently, populism is good if it provides answers. Well, so are elites, Marr didn't say. Elites aren't doing that, so it's a problem.

    At one point, Marr asked him, "Did you know as PM when you allowed so many people to come in so quickly, A) How many people would come in and B) Have any sense what effect that would have on communities up and down the UK?"

    "No, we didn't know the numbers." Yeah, right. They knew it would be big and didn't care. We have those admissions on record. First of all, it's refreshing to hear a Beeboid actually admit that there was a question of rapid, mass immigration rather than 'immigration', full stop. However, the immigration problem was as much about third-world Muslim immigration and the resulting problems as much as about Polish plumbers moving into Gillian Duffy's neighborhood. No mention of fundamentalist Islam, 'grooming gangs', violence, etc.

    Other than that Marr had only perfunctory questions, easily handled by Blair. They both made the whole Brexit debate about immigration, and it's easy to show how Brexit won't solve the problem of too much immigration from outside the EU. Weak, anti-Brexit talking point that immigration was the only reason.

    After more BS about Brexit being a disaster, we get to the reason Blair is on: his idea of a Labour platform to keep Britain in the EU. It was fairly incoherent. Labour was for Remain, but as the people voted for Brexit, May has a mandate to get on with it. However, Labour must hold her Government to their promise that it would be perfect, and when it isn't, then Labour gets to claim they represent the public and demand that Britain stays in the EU. Got that? Marr mmmmed and nodded his head.

    He may have gotten in a personal dig at Blair for old times' sake, but the purpose today was to push an anti-Brexit agenda and agitate for stopping it.

  2. I am sure I am not alone in having an awful sinking feeling whenever Blair appears on our screens or pollutes the radio waves with his studiedly contrived dropped consonants. The BBC may well think that resurrecting him will help their anti-Brexit agenda, but I suspect it might be somewhat counter-productive. Please Blair, you have done enough damage in the world. Just go away.

  3. I caught part of the Blair interview and I agree that thean interesting point was that Blair misled Parliament and the country by our participation in the Iraq war. another expression for misled might be "lied to" . Another lie was that he was unaware about the numbers of easten European migrants who would come to this country. There was plenty of evidence, at the time, provided from a variety of sources that migration would be in the numbers that then occurred. France, Germany and other countries applied a limit to the numbers we had that opton but the government decided not to use it, amid quite a lot of protest. Blair seems to be popping up all over the place at the moment, being asked easy questions, you do wonder what are his motives, presumably money at the end of the day asthat seems to be the only thing he is interested in nowadays. Who is financing him?

    Christopher Scopes

    1. It's not just Blair's motive that need wondering about: it's the motives of those who are giving him a free platform for this Stop Brexit At All Costs agenda.

  4. He was back again this morning!