Tony Blair

1997: The Future That Never Happened

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The 1997 general election saw the hated Tories thrown out, indeed humiliated, and a bright New Labour government take office under an idealistic young leader, Tony Blair. There was widespread hope of change and improvement. It is useful to remember how enthusiastic much of the left was about Blair at this time with one former Communist Party intellectual actually describing New Labour as a “Gramscian project”!

War criminals exposed

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The Chilcot report went further than many expected in condemning Tony Blair's role in the invasion of Iraq. As Judith Orr says, it also reinforced the need to be vigilant against all warmongers.

It took 12 days for the Chilcot report on the Iraq war to be read aloud non-stop at the Edinburgh Festival event last month. The 2.6 million words of the report were not the whitewash some had feared. In fact they were a confirmation of what so many of those who protested against the war at the time said.

No wretched apology from Tony Blair

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From one whitewash to another. The Iraq Inquiry heard more evidence from Tony Blair.

The Wikileaks cables have already told us that Britain reduced the scale and scope of the inquiry so as not to embarrass the US. We now know that Blair privately told George W Bush that he could "count on us" for support for the invasion, and that Britain should be "gung-ho" about doing so.

He then expressed some sort of regret for the small fact that the invasion and occupation left over a million dead, but qualified this by saying that Britain should abandon its "wretched policy of apology" over the war.

Tony's trials

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The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War reached a stage few may have foreseen as Socialist Review went to press, with Tony Blair poised to appear following damaging testimony from civil servants, lawyers and even the odd minister.

An inquiry that appeared as toothless as the establishment figures that comprise it nonetheless threatens to propel the architect of New Labour into the realms of the 2007 Channel 4 drama The Trial of Tony Blair, in which the war crimes of the ex-prime minister catch up with him.

Of course, we are a long way from seeing Blair on trial at the Hague. We are even quite a way from seeing any conclusions from the inquiry, which goes on hold ahead of the general election once - and if - Gordon Brown appears.

There remains little reason to expect anything more than a whitewash.

Politics after Blair

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John Rees examines the strategic choices that those who oppose war and neo-liberalism face in the post-Blair era.

The end of Tony Blair's prime ministership, announced almost exactly five years after the events of 9/11, is a major success for the anti-war movement. For people who became politically active through the struggle against the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, five years can seem like a lifetime. But in terms of British politics it is a blink of an eye.

Blair's Crisis: Holed Beneath the Water

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Blair's government is in terminal decline. The war in Iraq is the prime cause, argues Alex Callinicos.

The decline and fall of Tony Blair's premiership doesn't quite have the majesty of a classical tragedy. But it is following an ineluctable logic. That the government should lose a crucial vote in the House of Commons was entirely predictable, given the nature of the situation. A government with a small parliamentary majority and an unpopular prime minister will always be highly vulnerable to backbench rebellions.

Women on the Front Line: Rage Against the System

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Sally Campbell explains why women lead the fight against Blair and New Labour, while Tash Shifrin spoke to some leading activists.

Further down the page are just some of the women who are on the front line against Blair, war and capitalism. Recently we have seen movements arising with an unprecedented level of involvement by women. One of the most enduring images in the last few years will be the school students in Parliament Square on the day the bombing of Iraq started - young women, in their school uniforms, being dragged along by police because they refused to move. Women have been prominent at the World and European Social Forums that have taken place throughout the world over the last few years.

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