Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wolves in Sheepie Fleeces

Strange that politicians' policies never quite turn out the way you expect. No two could prove the point quite so well as Tony “Big Tone” Blair and his old buddy George “Dubbya” Bush.

Blair was ambushed into supporting the war in Iraq. There isn't any other way to describe what happened. Perhaps in two or three hundred years we may learn just how this strange state of affairs came about. Certainly if you had suggested only a few years ago that the British Prime Minister would risk alienating his party and, indeed, the whole country by supporting a ill-thought out and extremely contentious overseas expedition by a Republican American President people would have, quite rightly, concluded that you had lost your marbles. But, it happened.

Likewise, ol Dubba has presided over a vast expansion in the American debt. Andrew Mellon must be whirling dervish-like in his grave. The national debt has sky-rocketed under the care of Dubbya. This is not normal Republican policy. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Dubbya's economic policy is simply to do whatever he fells like at the time.

In his strategy for dealing with the threat to America post 9/11, Dubbya shows again how Republican Presidents are temperamentally unsuited to waging war. Look at your history book if you're unconvinced. Civil War – Abe Lincoln. Now, in America it is almost impossible to find fault with “Honest Abe”. He saved the Nation. He saved he Union. He wrote what is probably the most succinct and stirring prose in the English language – next to Henry V's speech before Agincourt – the Gettysburgh Address. He also presided over the greatest loss of American lives in war ever – by a long way.

Other Republican Presidents in war time: Nixon (need I say more); William McKinley (Spanish-American War, as naked a piece of aggression it would be hard to find); War on Terror (Dubbya) – James Madison (War of 1812).

Evidence has it that Republicans are not really suited to the kind of discipline required to pursue a successful war policy. The painful experience of having to borrow vast sums of money to finance the same just sits too hard on their big-business supporting shoulders. They are more comfortable shafting the people and presiding over depressions (Herbert Hoover).

Blair, on the other hand, is simply inexplicable. How he could even begin to see any advantage in supporting Dubbya in his Iraqi invasion beggars the imagination. You would, quite rightly, expect him to organise the opposition – not lead the cheering. Unless there are unseen (and unreported) underhand deals to provide the UK with some substantial rewards for trooping off to Basra, Big Tone's abandonment of traditional Labour policy and manic support for a failed and flawed policy cannot be understood. As he winds down towards retirement to the lucrative lecture circuit, Tone is the only one who can possibly explain his strange conversion to conservative policies. It would be interesting if he decided to do so – don't hold your breath. People in the know should have seen this coming. Tone has been stealing conservative policies for years. He understands well that the British public are essentially conservative – but love to vote Labour to assuage their consciences. He has cunningly provided them with the opportunity.

Cartoonists should portray him as a slavering wolf dressed in a very fine fleece top.

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