Dear Mr Blair,
We were exact contempories at Oxford back in the early Seventies – while you were strumming away with ‘Ugly Rumours’ at St. John’s I was playing golf every day, not attending lectures and doing typical ‘studenty’ things at Christ Church. You will probably remember kind Barry Wild at St. John’s who was in the golf side with me, but one or two years older than us.
You probably receive a lot of ‘hate mail’ but this letter is intended to be more ‘admonition mail’ – please take it as such.
Where to start ? I suppose the whole country was awash with optimism and hope when you and Cherie first entered No. 10 Downing Street. We were all fed up with the likes of Jeffrey Archer, Tim Yeo, David Mellor, Jonathan Guinness et al. However, it wasn’t long before our dreams started to unravel.
Of course, you were saddled with one unpleasant Scottish bully at the Exchequer, but it was your choice to install a second as your Press Secretary. Bullies seldom prosper …
My church of choice is Southwark Cathedral. I understand (and it must have been in the run-up to Labour’s second term in power) that the excellent Dean, Colin Slee, invited you and others from rival parties to a political debate in the Cathedral. Apparently, you were the only one who refused (and still usually do one gathers) to answer questions from the audience. Somewhat ‘chicken’ dare one say ?
But more serious issues cloud your reputation. Like many others I was hoodwinked by Colin Powell’s speech to the U.N. concerning those ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ which proved to be utter bunkum. Your and Alistair Campbell’s contributions to that debate continue to appall.
The American Colony flat where my parents stayed when in Jerusalem
If only you had the moral courage to ‘fess up’ and admit your errors, your personal standing might improve. Your subsequent career is, to be honest, of little interest to me but a couple of things come to mind. First, your appointment as ‘Peace Envoy’ to the Middle East at a staggering salary of $1.5 million per annum with initially a grace and favour flat at the American Colony in Jerusalem, the very same flat that was occupied by my parents, David and Eve Summers, during the British Mandate WW2 years in then Palestine. Your only recent pronouncement was, I understand, to advocate the bombing of Syria … as ‘Peace Envoy’ ?
Secondly, I was recently in Azerbaijan. The security personnel at Baku Airport had the effrontery to steal packets of cigarettes from my case intended for my daughters – but that is a minor gripe in comparison to the astonishing waste of public money being perpetrated by Ilham Aliyev. I was aghast to discover that you are his (or is it his country in general’s ?) public relations guru.
Jesus, that’s truly playing ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is it not ? To be sticking up for a man who liquidates his opponents. How can you.
I remember once hearing you say that a significant influence on your life had been a teacher at Fettes, one Eric Anderson. You probably know he later went on to become headmaster at Eton. There are moments in life when one’s heroes rather let one down – Bob Geldof springs to mind here – likewise your Eric Anderson with whom I once played a round of foursomes golf at Sunningdale for the OEs against the boys or some such. When I told your favourite teacher that I was just a humble wholesale organic baker (not banker !) he then chose to ignore me for the rest of the round.
How you treat others in life, particularly those you deem to be of lesser importance than yourself, will come back to haunt you.
So Mr Blair, vale, adieu etc.
But please recall how Jack Profumo, who made one major error in his political life, comported himself in later life. Good work will always trump earlier fibs and lies.
You have plenty of time to make up for past transgressions – use it wisely and well,