Friday, 7 September 2018

Tony Blair hasn't got a leg to stand on when it comes to "moderate values"


On September 6th 2018 the Tony Blair Institute published accounts that confirmed earlier reports of payments from Saudi Arabia of up to £12 million, then the very next day he was given a slot on Radio 4 to attack the Jeremy Corbyn and the current Labour Party leadership, and to pretend that the right-wing Labour faction are somehow "moderates".

What everyone should know about Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia is one of the most tyrannical regimes on earth which is ruled over by a large extended family of royal figures who enrich themselves on the vast oil wealth of the territory, whilst slave labour is rife in the kingdom.
  • Saudi Arabia is a profoundly misogynistic society. Until recently women were not even allowed to drive cars. Under current Saudi law all women are subject to the male guardianship law, which means they are barred from travel, education, access to public services, employment, opening a bank account, and even medical procedures without the permission of their male guardian (typically a father, brother, husband, or uncle).
  • Saudi Arabia is one of the many extremely homophobic regimes in the Muslim world where homosexuality carries a death sentence. Even the UK government's own website makes it clear that it's incredibly risky for gay or transgender people to visit Saudi Arabia.
The hypocrisy of Tony Blair

Just imagine having the brass neck to accept £millions in donations from probably the most illiberal regime on the planet, then attempt to lecture the British public on the importance of "moderate values" as an effort to get rid of one of the only political leaders in Europe who dares to stand up to the Saudi tyrants, rather than raking in donations from them like Blair does.

Despite knowing that the Saudi tyrants are using British weapons to commit war crimes in Yemen, the Tory government continues issuing £billions worth of arms export licences to them, something that Jeremy Corbyn says he would put a stop to if Labour come to power.

Conflict of interests

So here we have a man who has raked in £12 million from the Saudi tyrants actively propagandising against another man who is promising to harden Britain's relationship with them, and stop selling them weapons to commit their war crimes with.

Doesn't it strike you as rather a serious conflict of interests that a man who is essentially working for Saudi Arabia is pushing their interests by creating the fiction that the right-wing pro-Saudi faction of the Labour Party are the ones with "moderate" values, while Jeremy Corbyn and the majority of Labour Party members who are disgusted by Saudi Arabia's lack of human rights at home, and their war crimes abroad are the scary extremists?

Interestingly the BBC didn't quiz Blair over his £multi-million donations from Saudi Arabia during the interview, or ask him whether he considered it a conflict of interests that he's taking their cash whilst simultaneously propagandising against one of the only politicians in the western world who dares stand up to them*.

Reality-reversal

Aside from the hypocrisy and conflict of interests, perhaps the most remarkable thing about Tony Blair's latest attack of Jeremy Corbyn is the fact that it relies on such a transparent reversal of reality.

What Tony Blair is trying to convince us to accept is the idea that the kind of people who cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and a massive lawless terrorism breeding ground through the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq are moderates while those who opposed it are scary extremists.

That the people who take cash and gifts from the Saudi tyrants in return for supporting arms sales to the war crime-committing regime are the moderates, while those who oppose selling arms to tyrants to commit war crimes with are the disgusting extremists.

That people who support the orthodox neoliberal status quo that has enriched corporations and the incredibly wealthy at the expense of everyone else (through austerity dogma, wage repression, undermined workers' rights, public service cutbacks, financial sector deregulation, social mobility barriers like tuition fees, tax cuts for the rich, social security cuts for the poor) are the moderates while those who seek to make Britain a fairer place are the nasty extremists.

It just goes to show that Blair still hasn't moved on from the days of "weapons of mass destruction" and his contemptuous belief that people are idiots who can be lied to and tricked over and again without clocking the truth.

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* = Credit to Justin Trudeau in Canada who triggered Saudi economic sanctions and even threats of terrorism against Canada for daring to push them on their despicable human rights record. Also credit to the left-leaning Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for cancelling the supply of 400 guided missiles to the Saudi tyrants.

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