It’s interesting how much the shadow of Tony Blair still hangs over British politics. He’d still often quoted on events of the day (e.g. here arguing to slow the rush to Brexit), and still obviously popular with many Labour Party MPs. But he’s having a bad week. Even before its release the Chilcot report is drawing attention to the hubristic warmongering that will forever stain his time in office:
Tony Blair faces calls for impeachment on release of Chilcot report
Labour and SNP figures consider legal action against former PM to ban him from office over role in Iraq war
Senior figures from Labour and the Scottish National party are considering calls for legal action against Tony Blair if the former prime minister faces severe criticisms from the long-awaited inquiry into the war in Iraq.
A number of MPs led by Alex Salmond are expected to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister when the Chilcot report comes out on Wednesday.
The law, last used in 1806 when the Tory minister Lord Melville was charged for misappropriating official funds, is seen in Westminster as an alternative form of punishment that could ensure Blair never holds office again.
Salmond, the former Scottish first minister, said there “has to be a judicial or political reckoning” for Blair’s role in the Iraq conflict. “He seemed puzzled as to why Jeremy Corbyn thinks he is a war criminal, why people don’t like him,” he told Sky News.
“The reason is 179 British war dead, 150,000 immediate dead from the Iraq conflict, the Middle East in flames, the world faced with an existential crisis on terrorism – these are just some of the reasons perhaps he should understand why people don’t hold him in the highest regard.
“[MPs] believe you cannot have a situation where this country blunders into an illegal war with the appalling consequences and at the end of the day there isn’t a reckoning. There has to be a judicial or political reckoning for that.” …
A “reckoning” for the leaders of this fiasco would indeed be welcome. More welcome still would be a formal recognition by the “coalition of the willing” of the false pretenses on which this war was based and the damage that it has done, followed massive reparations and assistance rebuilding the shattered countries of the region. Don’t hold your breath though.