Saturday, 10 October 2009

Blair is Bad News for European Leadership and Hopes for a European Voice

The desperate defence (by some factions of the Labour party) of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom until the Lisbon Treaty has come into effect, has been attributed widely to the Conservative commitment to hold a referendum on Lisbon and campaign for a No vote if it Lisbon is not in place by the time the Conservatives come to power.

There is, also, another Conservative commitment that is helping to hold Brown in place: William Hague's undertaking to hold a Public Inquiry into the circumstances in which the United Kingdom was taken to war against Iraq, and the conduct of that war. Such an Inquiry would blight for good a Blair candidacy for the presidency or foreign relations post that the imposition of the Lisbon Treaty on the European Union would create.

Of course there has already been an attempt to indict Blair for war crimes which failed under United Kingdom law. Any attempt to bring Blair to answer for his behaviour over Iraq, under the absolute clampdown operated by the current Executive on information on both the legality of going to war and the conduct of the war, made that a foregone conclusion. A fully empowered Public Inquiry would alter this completely. And while indictment might still be prevented in our country, there are other jurisdictions that run in the UK that would not be so easy to control, once information has been put in the public domain.

There are two corollaries to this: first that no matter how important it is for our economic and financial credibility that Brown is ignored and credence is given to there being a Conservative administration in fairly short order, that national greater good will be sacrificed to keeping Brown in office until Lisbon is through and Blair is boosted into high office in the European Union. Second that if this objective is achieved, so damaging would it be to the newly constituted European Union to have either its president or its foreign affairs representative indicted for war crimes, immense pressure would be applied to prevent any further inquiry into the Iraq war.

Those who support a more federal Europe and a European voice in the world should perhaps register what is at stake here for Blair and his coterie. There are many europeanists, particularly in continental Europe, who bitterly contested the Iraq war and know that it amply fulfilled their worst fears. They should try very hard to disengage their objectives from those whose interest is at least as much in burying Blair's and New Labour's collaboration in the illegal prosecution of wars of primitive accumulation.


Sackerson said...

Exile, that's what must happen - for him (TB) or for us.

hatfield girl said...

The Blairite/New Labour interest is to get the levers of power in the UK shifted to a Blair-faction dominated European administration and, inter alia, to have the years of New Labour Blair/Brown maladministration to the point of criminality, buried.

Germany has a historically familiar mission - to reorder the settlements determined by the Second World War, just as with the settlements of the First. And, equally familiarly, there is some reason on their side.

Temporarily those interests coincide. But the can of worms that is going to be opened by Blair facing an Iraq war Public Inquiry is as nothing compared to the can of worms opened by, for instance, unsettling the Sudetenland (as President Klaus has pointed out) or the results of Poland being a country on castors being faced once again.

It should be remembered that Germany is not the country it was when the wall came down 20 years ago. The merest glance at the assertion of the German basic law over the Lisbon treaty, the German constitutional requirement that Germany should not run major deficits, in flagrant contradiction of EU fiscal control, the German refusal to co-ordinate with any other member state of the EU or indeed any other state at all on its response to the financial crisis, and its decision to exit now from emergency measures; its determined extinction of Sarkozy's Mediterranean countries grouping within the EU, its importance in Iran; its bilateral relations with Russia. The list goes on and on.

Blair's war crimes? Germany has had its fill of war crimes, and has skilled brushing-away guilt and retribution techniques - just look at Der Spiegel's account of the murder of the Goebbels' children. Germany can cope with Blair and all the dead children of the Iraq war with barely a moue of distaste.

If the cost of Lisbon and all its real aims is Blair and his war criminal past buried, the Germans will go along. We should not. This time, we should go to stand with the Czechs in time, and hold Blair and New Labour to account as well.

Sackerson said...


Scrobs... said...

"The Blairite/New Labour interest is to get the levers of power in the UK shifted to a Blair-faction dominated European administration and, inter alia, to have the years of New Labour Blair/Brown maladministration to the point of criminality, buried."

Perhaps the Brown element of the collusion is at stake as from today Hats.

Much sidling into the middle distance methinks.

hatfield girl said...

There's a lot of sidling about Brown, Scrobs. Most people who play football get their heads kicked from time to time, but I do wonder if he is being wholly truthful about his eyesight being damaged by someone taking the opportunity to kick his head in. His retina detatches when a young man and a reason is sought; and such a sporty, good all-rounder school boy reason, and so regularly put forward (at least for one of them, as both have done it and one been re-attached). He's as physically unfit for the jobs he's sidled into as he is unfit psychically and morally, so his incapacities are spun as courage over setback. How very New Labour - Never let a good kick in the head go to waste.