Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Friday, December 15, 2006

Saving the World - Blair's legacy to us all

It is worth remembering - as sometimes readers of this blog have a tendency to forget - the fantastic and heroic achievements of Tony Blair in the short time he has been Our Dear Leader. On assuming office, Blair's predecessor, Baroness Margaret Thatcher quoted the words of Saint Francis of Assisi - 'Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope'. But it is only really under Blair that we have finally seen that promise lived up to. In particular, one cannot really fail to do justice to the tremendous achievements of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the last decade or so. The values of democracy and civilisation have never been more highly respected around the world thanks to the alliance of George W Bush and Tony Blair.

The Glorious Victories of Blair's Foreign Policy
In May 1997, the late Robin Cook as Blair's Foreign Secretary insisted that:

'the fourth goal of our foreign policy is to secure the respect of other nations for Britain's contribution to keeping the peace of the world and promoting democracy around the world...Our foreign policy must have an ethical dimension and must support the demands of other peoples for the democratic rights on which we insist for ourselves. The Labour Government will put human rights at the heart of our foreign policy'.

A decade on, when asked by the New Statesman to summarise Blair's foreign policy, Blair's current Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has now stated the following: 'Anti-poverty, pro-development. I could say anti-conflict. We must never have another Rwanda.'
The horrors of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide left about one million dead after a bloody civil war - just compare that to the current situation in Iraq for example. Incomparable! Blair's brave new 'anti-conflict' foreign policy truly must rate as a new wonder of the world. The five glorious 'humanitarian' interventions in Iraq (1998), Serbia (1999), Sierra Leone (2000), Afghanistan (2001) and then Iraq again (2003) have brought peace to both war-torn Africa and the once troubled Middle East. Let us again remember the wise words of the Right Honourable Margaret Beckett about Blair's ten years in office: 'When he goes, people will say that Iraq's his only legacy, and that it's a terrible one. I don't think it's true at all'. No, Iraq is not a terrible mess at all but a truly remarkable achievement of foreign policy, that will be marvelled at by future generations of historians. 'Of course, there were mistakes...but that's human behaviour' she notes. The main thing now is firstly, while a total victory is not yet in sight, 'we're not losing'. 'Whenever I meet Iraqi ministers, they seem to have visibly grown in stature.' The news that American backed puppet leaders have put on weight truly brings a tear to ones eye.

More than just foreign policy triumphs
However, Beckett is known for being controversial and speaking her mind and she notes of Blair that 'I don't believe Iraq is his legacy.' Is this heresy? No, off course not - to simply focus on Iraq would forget the other outstanding achievements of Our Dear Leader. But what then will be his legacy? Rebuilding trust in Parliament and the Office of the Prime Minister? Education, Education, Education? Saving the NHS in 24 Hours? Ending Child Poverty in Britain? Peace in the Middle East? Making Poverty History? No - all of those accolades are but mere ripples in his wake. Of Blair, Beckett writes 'I think climate change will be his legacy.' Of course - what a fitting epitaph for Our Dear Leader, who after all has been not only a brave leader for millions of British people - but is a hero to humanity in its struggle against the forces of nature.

Blair's legacy
Blair's leadership in the struggle against the evils of Climate Change and so saving the world for future generations means that in his own way he may be likened to the Sun, giving light to lead the way forward for the whole of overshadowed toiling humankind. As the Communist thinker Rajani Palme Dutt once noted, 'That there should be spots on the sun would only startle an inveterate Mithras worshipper ...', but let us not forget that Blair's mistakes over Iraq really only show, ultimately, just how human he is. And thanks to New Labour, his Party, the Party of the People, the People's Party, Blair's essential humanism and compassion will continue to shine long after he has gone.

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At 5:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snowball, just to let you know I've finally got my copy of John Newsinger's book...I'll let you know my thoughts once I've read it...


At 8:55 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Cool, let me know what you think...hope it lives up to your expectations...


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