Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Mr Blair - Was it worth it?

Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair was born 6 May 1953.

He attended Chorister School, Durham, and Fettes College. Both fee paying, and both very selective. From there he went to St John's, Oxford.

Mr Blair's grandparents, on his mother's side, were Irish. His grandfather George Corscadden was an Orangeman, (a Protestant). Mr Blair has used this ancestry to enable his children to have Irish passports - fair enough, many would like to be able to do that.

Mr Blair was first elected as a member of parliament for Sedgefield in 1983, when he was 30. He, apparently, told Michael Foot he was a Marxist and when he stood for his first election he said he wanted Britain to leave the EEC, wanted unilateral disarmament and so on, and so on - there are so many things Mr Blair has said, and later changed his mind - it's something we all do.

On 11th May 2007 - the day after announcing that he would formally resign from his job of Prime Minister on June 27th - the Mail carried an article about how people age. It had the title Don't worry Tony...None of us is getting younger. These are the pictures that were at the head of the story.

On the left is Mr Blair in 1997 - aged 44. On the right, ten years later, he is 54.

Since then Mr Blair has done a lot of things. The very first thing he did on leaving office was to declare himself a convert to Roman Catholicism. He had, Mrs R thought, some odd reasons - but his choice, his conscience - nothing to do with anybody else.

He used some of his money (and perhaps donations) to set up his Faith Foundation in America. Odd sort of thing for an ex-politician but - his choice, nothing to do with we Rigbys.

TonyBlairOffice shows that he does more than that, there's the "Africa Governance Initiative", the "Tony Blair Sports Foundation" (for NE England), "Breaking the Climate Deadlock" and also "Office of the Quartet Representative".

And here's a picture of Mr Blair in his role as the latter. (The picture is linked from a Google search, but the image link appears to be to Mr Blair's own site.)

Mrs R thinks it's a surprising picture and wonders if anybody else can see why. He seems to look ill at ease, unsure of himself. It isn't a picture of a 'statesman', somebody with power and authority. Maybe not getting that Europe job he so coveted hurt more than we know.

And that brings us to the latest pictures, taken in April 2010 - just a few days ago, and just a few days short of Mr Blair's 58th birthday.

This one was published in the Times on May 1st. There may, perhaps, be a little lens distortion - but neither a competent photographer with decent camera gear, nor a careful editor, would allow poor quality images to be published in a national newspaper. (It was taken by Ben Gurr who presumably works for the Times.) So, the picture has to be real.

This last one was published a couple of days earlier alongside stories mentioning how Mr Blair had come to lend his support to the Labour election campaign. It's from the Telegraph (follow the link to article plus comments).

When Mrs R first saw the picture of Mr Blair with his arms outstretched she as shocked by the way he looks. You see there are people in the Rigby family who are almost exactly his age and some who are many years older - he, unfortunately, resembles the very much older Rigbys who have been retired for quite some years.

Now, we all have our ups and downs, we all have our disagreements and Mrs Rigby actually thinks Mr Blair did a lot of harm to Britain and to Britain's interests, but she's never actually wished anybody ill, or dead. Never.

Mrs Rigby agrees with Andrew M Brown in the Telegraph. She thinks Mr Blair looks old and, frankly, he also looks quite frail. She seriously recommends he slows down and very quickly realises money isn't the be-all and end-all. She thinks he needs to realise he's made enough to live a very comfortable retirement, and he'd probably be wise to spend his time in Ireland, where he might not need to pay as much in tax, and where his humongous property empire might eventually generate less IHT.

Whatever has gone wrong, it's time, Mrs Rigby thinks, for him to take himself out of both the media and the political spotlights, otherwise we might soon be reading his obituary.


Sir Henry Morgan said...

"Mr Blair looks old and, frankly, he also looks quite frail."

My brother (a medical doctor) and I (a scrote) have already had this conversation.

We arrived at the only possible conclusion - and, as we are not as nice as you, hope.

And I personally hope it hurts as much as it must have hurt a bombed Iraqi.

Frank Davis said...

I think something must be very wrong. My guess is cancer of some slow, progressive sort. I now doubt that he'll live another 5 years.

Maybe he'd already been diagnosed with it when he stepped down as PM. And maybe that's why he converted to Catholicism. It might explain quite a lot of things.

But then, he was supposed to being the running for EU president.

I don't wish him ill. He was in his way a remarkable politician, even if deeply flawed as well.

Edward said...

Considering what the man has done, I find it difficult to be as charitable as Mrs. Rigby.

Blair has done more to destroy this country constitutionally, socially, financially and economically than Hitler and was far more successful than Stalin & successors in subverting its freedom.

I hope his conscience bothers him but don't think he has one.

Mrs Rigby said...

Yes, he did a huge amount of damage, and cost a lot of lives. His recent activity has been for personal gain - doesn't seem to have done him much good.