Adam Boulton, Sky’s former political editor, tried to write a book on the Blair (blah) years at 10 Downing Street: Tony’s Ten Years: Memoirs of the Blair Administration published by Simon & Schuster. Boulton is married to Anji Hunter, the longstanding personal assistant to the Prime Minister; with so much inside information available one would have expected more than what resulted. On the other hand, one is not surprised that the book is one sided and boring while missing out on all major points of interest.
Throughout Tony Blair’s infamous tenancy at number 10 Downing Street, Boulton reported every row, revolt, reshuffle and resignation with gusto and not too concerned about facts. Nowadays, Boulton tries to set himself up as the Walter Cronkite of Britain while just as infamously trying to make capital out of no news items. Far from being the doyen of journalism of his delusional fantasy, he has become a bootlicker of the first order.
He has written a book that pretends to take the reader behind the scenes of contemporary history by interspersing unflattering but unimportant details of daily work in the Labour cabinet into a book devoid of any real revelations. Tony Blair will be ever so pleased with this eulogy, a flattery so sickeningly sweet treacle syrup tastes like vinegar in comparison. Boulton even tries to make a case that only Blair could have made the Northern Ireland peace process work by his skill and temperament. He doesn’t address the real questions of the Northern Irish problem, though: Is it really at an end? How much was paid to the Swiss bank accounts of Northern Irish politicians to make them swallow it? The only cause for a so called freedom fight like the Irish one (or any other I can think of) is always and only the personal enrichment of its leaders, an answer would be necessary.
To make the spinning of this fairytale more digestible to the less credulous reader, he sprinkled negative information into the book, well dosed and not too distracting from the herculean tasks of the great hero, just enough to make it seem believable. He revealed some of the lies, the blackmails, the bullying and the cheating at 10 Downing Street while Tony and Cherie Blair disgraced it with his mere presence. But we knew that all before, even if some details might not have been common knowledge. To that intent, he went in great detail into the Prescott election incident. Yawn. Yes, we knew all that, but what’s new?
He also wrote about many other persons other than only Tony Blair Superman: E.g. about Lord Mandelson of Sleaze, and most of the cheats come off very creditably instead of being sent to prison where they all belong. Which cabinet was he talking about? It is to hope that a person less hypocritically inclined will someday give us the true story of it all. Obviously, strong inducements have been brought to bear on Boulton and his wife to publish this hand tame accolade.
He analysed Blair’s press officer Campbell as a ruthless bully and a compulsive liar. Well, that was exactly why he had become press officer in the first place, one is tempted to say, and all he did was personify Blair’s personality. He had to convey the press releases of a Prime Minister who was a compulsive liar, a ruthless bully, and a war criminal.
He wrote about the ignorance of Blair, e.g. his complete ignorance of the Balfour Declaration which laid the foundation of a State Israel in the lands rightfully belonging to the people of Palestine. But we knew he was an ignorant git, anyhow, so what was new about that? To this day I am not even convinced that Blair is literate. And quite frankly, everybody ignores the Balfour Declaration, it’s impossible to know of it and defend the government of Israel at the same time.
The book contains too many faults in little details, not even worth mentioning, and a pile of wrong dates, that are not really that important to warrant making a list of them. The overall picture, though, is of a bought and paid for pamphlet. The main problem for the author is that the book doesn’t address any real issues; if ever a writer wanted to disqualify himself from ever being taken seriously, Boulton succeeded exceedingly. All the meat is missing from the bone, because the writer carefully avoids going into the troublesome spots of that Prime Minister’s criminal tenure at 10 Downing Street.
The obvious lapse concerns world politics. Boulton failed to explain what made the man become a war criminal, ordering and abetting the manslaughter of tens of thousands innocent people in Iraq, locals and British alike with Americans as collateral damage. He left us in the dark by what means Blair was convinced of the Bush game, if by flattery, by blackmail, or by pecuniary inducements, and hereby consented to kill British Boys and Girls in the friendly fire of incompetent American marksmen.
Did Blair know that Bush was lying through his teeth when telling the world about Iraqi weapons? (My answer is yes, he did.) Did he know that it had been Bush’s company which had sold chemical weapons to Iraq? (Again, yes, he did.) Did he know that the CEO in charge of that company at that time was some Hilary Rodham Clinton? (Again, yes, he did.) And how much was he paid for keeping quiet? (We would have to probe his Swiss bank accounts.) How much was he paid for sending troops into a war that is and was only in the interest of the Bush family’s firms in weapons and oil? (Millions.)
Or let’s quote Tony Blair: ‘It is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity.’ So stated in the ministerial code of July 2001 drawn up by the same Tony Blair at that time PM (for Prime Minister) of the United Kingdom. Sickening, isn’t it?
While Tony Blair was PM, the Government put a ban on all tobacco advertising. All tobacco advertising, that is, except for that of a very rich man. We talk of one Bernie Ecclestone, the man who makes millions each year from Formula 1 motor sports. The PM declared to Parliament that the exclusion of Formula 1 sports events from the ban had been done through normal Whitehall procedures. In reality, the decision was taken by Blair himself only hours after meeting Ecclestone in Downing Street. Again, the Swiss bank accounts of the Blair family would reveal it all.
Furthermore in May 2004, leaked documents and shocking photographic evidence exposed the nauseating practices of maltreatment commonly used by U.S. personnel on Iraqi prisoners. Abu Ghraib has become a name of shame, and nobody will ever trust a United States Government again after that. These atrocities have put a further fatal taint on all US troops after the Vietnam War and many more crimes against civilians and prisoners.
After the international outcry over this barbarism, Tony Blair played the dumb coxcomb he is and pretended not to know anything. ‘It is not correct that ministers or I were aware of those allegations in respect of American troops.’ This statement was never corrected despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Bill Rammel, who was a Junior Foreign Office minister at that time, had issued a statement to the effect that he had been briefed by the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross during a meeting in Geneva taking place seven weeks before the PM made the above statement to the Commons. He further stated that he convened an emergency meeting of Foreign Office officials immediately and was assured there that defence ministers were aware of the fact and had taken steps.
All this goes to show, Tony Blair is not only a war criminal, but also a compulsive liar and should have been remanded to a psychiatry ward ages ago. He has actively demoted the post of British Prime Minister to that of menial helper of a war crazed chimpanzee sitting in a cage called the White House. As every politician is hankering after the post of PM (for Prime Minister) all his life, all his life is spent in training to be PM (for Principally Mendacious).
Now, if you are somebody who likes to read fiction about what you already know, then fine, the writing style of the book is pleasing. The news content is zero, most grievously, considering that a person in the know would have been at hand to give information necessary to tell the truth. If on the other hand you’re looking for a factual book, don’t touch it.
In short: Adam Boulton wrote up the Blair administration’s tenure of 10 years at 10 Downing Street, while skipping all important information and delivering a eulogy on a war criminal. Buying the book is a waste of money and getting it from the library a waste of time. The author should be fined for a criminal waste of good paper.
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