Sunday, 20 December 2009

Something a Little Different: The Trial of Tony Blair

I am posting this first part, one of seven, primarily for those of you outside the UK who have never seen or perhaps never even heard of the program.

Given what has transpired this week I thought it would make rather splendid viewing or re-viewing for that matter. Others have already written on the subject, so saving me the job.

War crime case against Tony Blair now rock-solid

Neil Clark: A trial would be warmly welcomed by millions – so what happens next?

Tony Blair's extraordinary admission on Sunday to the BBC's Fern Britton - that he would have gone to war to topple Saddam Hussein regardless of the issue of Iraq's alleged WMDs - is sure to give fresh impetus to moves to prosecute our former prime minister for war crimes.

The case against Blair, strong enough before this latest comment, now appears rock solid. Going to war to change another country's regime is prohibited by international law, while the Nuremburg judgment of 1946 laid down that "to initiate a war of aggression", as Blair and Bush clearly did against Iraq, "is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole".

Blair's admission, that he "would still have thought it right to remove him [Saddam]" regardless of the WMD issue, is also an acknowledgement that he lied to the House of Commons on February 25, 2003, when he told MPs: "I detest his [Saddam's] regime. But even now he [Saddam] can save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully. I do not want war... But disarmament peacefully can only happen with Saddam's active co-operation."

The view that Blair is a war criminal is now mainstream: more The First Post.

Below, the Channel 4 blurb for the program, which can be watched uninterrupted at Channel 4 UK only.

It is some time in the future. Gordon Brown is moving into Number 10, President Clinton is thinking about her second term in the White House, and Tony Blair is swapping the corridors of power for the comforts of his home in Connaught Square.

Blair departs Downing Street with an unshakeable belief in his continuing relevance as an international figure of influence. But with Washington's warmongers discredited, he finds himself increasingly isolated.

Haunted by the continuing nightmare of Iraq, and obsessed by his legacy, Tony Blair retreats into denial, refusing to see the dangers he faces from the Special Tribunal on Iraq that has been set up to investigate war crimes.

As the film moves towards the final image of the former Prime Minister being hauled off to The Hague to face charges of waging an illegal war, The Trial of Tony Blair asks us to imagine a future where the unthinkable becomes thinkable.

Robert Lindsay returns to the role of Tony Blair, with Phoebe Nicholls as Cherie Blair, Peter Mullan as Gordon Brown and Alexander Armstrong as David Cameron.

Says writer Alistair Beaton: "I gather Mr Blair is very concerned about his place in history. This film is my idea of where that place might be. Whether it's fiction or prediction remains to be seen."


Update: Everybody loves Tony.

Tony Blair says it is not true that nobody likes him.

He insists he is very popular - especially abroad.

The former prime minister defended the huge amounts he has made since leaving office, claiming he could have made five times as many lucrative speeches if he had wished.

Mr Blair is believed to have earned £15million since leaving Number 10 in 2007 - and is using a loophole in company law to shield his earnings from public view.

An indication of his huge earning power is that he has raised more than a million dollars in a year for his U.S. charity with the equivalent of one hour's work per week.

In an interview, Mr Blair said his negative image in Britain was entirely down to journalists rather than any failings on his part.....

...Papers lodged with the U.S. tax authority show the Tony Blair Faith Foundation received more than $1.1million (£680,000) in 2008 although he put in just 50 hours' work.....

....The purpose of the foundation, according to the tax return, is to 'promote mutual respect, tolerance, friendship and understanding between the major religious faiths and to make the case for faith itself as a relevant, positive and benign force for good in the modern world'.....more the wail

h/t Ironside