Monday, June 28, 2004
The Cockpit of the World

If you read the transcript of the interview that Tony Blair gave this morning with the Iraqi Defence and Foreign Ministers, you perceive that our Beloved Leader feels once again the hand of histrionics upon his shoulder. The phrase that Blair repeats during his short introduction is the link between Iraq, the Middle East and the Earth itself:

And this is a hugely important struggle therefore on behalf as I say not just of the people of Iraq, but the wider region and the world.

Blair, aware of the forthcoming handover, was unable to refrain from polishing his symbols, and exaggerating the importance of this event, and by reflection, his own role. Like all politicians who achieve a measure of longevity, Blair now displays a consciousness of his historical role. Yet, in this media-driven age, comparisons with past role models focus upon the symbols and remembered phrases of their time: Churchill's speeches, FDR's fireside chats, that air of gravitas which elevates statesmanship above politics.

Blair is grasping for statesmanship like a dying man gasping for oxygen. Like Bo and Duke, in the only way he knows how, Blair's hopes can be divined through his mediocre speeches demonstrating the vain ambition to employ the rhetoric of moral certitude. After thirty years of comprehensives, his own party have produced a generation that resonate more to Blunkett's nailjerk rhetoric than Blair's novocaine.

Still, teh handover should be welcomed as one step closer to the repatriation of our troops. In closing, it was clear that the new Iraqi government may have a problem in spotting their enemy. In one press conference, the Foreign and Defence Ministers were contradicting each other:

I believe today we will challenge those elements in Iraq - the terrorists, the criminals, the Saddamist anti-democratic forces - by bringing even the date of the handover of sovereignty before June 30 as a sign that we are ready for the challenge.

The security situation in Iraq is quite stable, although you hear sometimes otherwise, up to 90%, but the car bombs and explosions that are taking place are single incidents that are taking place and it is 100% done by insurgents from outside Iraq.

Now there's a job for Peter Mandelson!

(23.02, 28th June 2004)


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