This weekend, in an article in The Observer, Tony Blair has, ’rounded on his critics’ who have accused him of stamping on civil liberties. He claimed that those who oppose him on such things as ID cards and changes to the legal system (including some within his own party) are “out of touch”.
This is the man whose wife swanned around the last election spending as much money on her hair as too many people in this country earn in a week.
He is the man who has helped to create a dental system system that pushes more and more people into private treatment and renders what little NHS provision that is actually offered as useless: no wonder dentists are deserting in their droves.
He is the man who has wrecked our parliamentary system, helping to make the Commons a mostly limp, supine facsimile of itself and devalued and hobbled the second legislative chamber.
He is the man who has pushed forward the largest public sector IT project ever, when by his own admission he can’t even use an iPod. This same project constitutes an appalling assault on our liberty and changes the nature of the relationship between the individual and the state forever.
He is the man who has presided over the mess that is our current school system and the corrupted mess that is the Academy system. He is the man who vowed never to impose top up university tuition fees in the 2001 Labour manifesto. The same higher education system is in total meltdown as a result of tinkering with the, “market” in education.
The same man, in tubthumping about crime, forgets to mention that his government is responsible for having the largest prison population ever and hasn’t sufficiently addressed the systemic problems that help to breed crime and disorder because, in spite of all the evidence, they are still obsessed with the primacy of free markets and persist in pursuing what, to all intents and purposes is legacy Thatcherite policy. And, as a result of the authoritarianism of this (supposedly leftist) government, huge numbers of decent, honest people have been alienated from the very institutions that are supposed to protect and support them.
And finally, this is the man who has taken this country into a needless and illegal war in a country that was no immediate threat to our national security and which has now, with the help of both us and the US, descended into a bloody and vicious civil war. Over a million people marched in the streets of London. Do you remember?
Remind us again, just who is out of touch with the public mood, Tony?
Sorry, I appear to be ranting. I’ll go for a cup of tea and a nice sit down now.