Tony Blair says goodbye cruel world….cursing the press in a burst of self-pity….and comparing himself to great British statesmen of the past. Mr. Blair might consider what adjectives the Iraqi people might apply to him.
In seemingly full-throated roar, Mr. Blair used one of his last speeches in office before he is to step down in 15 days to settle scores with a press corps that he said has hounded, badgered, blustered and bludgeoned the nation’s leaders since he came to power 10 years ago.
“The fear of missing out means today’s media, more than ever before, hunts in a pack,” Mr. Blair declared in a speech organized at the offices of Reuters, the news organization, in London. “In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits. But no one dares miss out.”
He quoted from a past prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, who borrowed an expression from Rudyard Kipling to equate the press’s “power without responsibility” to “the prerogative of the harlot through the ages.”
Mr. Blair evoked the memory of two other former prime ministers, Gladstone and Disraeli, to vouchsafe that he was not the first leader to face “extraordinarily brutal treatment” in the press.
We know, Tony, we’ve heard this speech before, about how history will judge you and George W. Bush to be on a par with the great and heroic figures in American and British history. But you know what? saying it doesn’t make it true. In fact, saying it just makes you sound ridiculous.
You will be very fortunate not to be put on trial for war crimes.