He speaks! Tony Blair believes the manner in which Saddam Hussein’s execution was conducted was “completely wrong”, according to his official spokesman. And the BBC reports that the British Prime Minister is expected to have more to say on the subject later in the week. Finally!

Boris Johnson, the sage of Henley-on-Thames, first blew the whistle on Blair’s strange silence in the London Daily Telegraph last week:

What, nothing? Not a peep, not a dickie bird? How long can Blair maintain radio silence? If some soap star had popped her clogs or some Newcastle striker had gone to the great subs bench in the sky, then you may be sure that the Number Ten machine would have chuntered out some tabloid-friendly quote.

This is the Prime Minister who once used an official statement to call for the release of “Deirdre” from her fictional Coronation Street jail — and yet he won’t give the nation the benefit of his views on the death of Saddam Hussein.

You will note that in the case of all the soap queens and pop stars whose deaths were marked by Downing Street, Blair had no personal knowledge of them, let alone responsibility for their deaths. In the case of Saddam Hussein, Blair was not only personally implicated, but for better or worse he has implicated the entire country…

Other commentators and media outlets leapt on his theme, but Blair seemed busy – distracted, no doubt, by his holiday jam session at Robin Gibb’s Florida hideaway.

“How dare the Prime Minister pretend that it is somehow nothing to do with him?” Boris asks. “He was the only Western leader of any importance to join George W. Bush in the war to remove Saddam.

“It was Blair who sent thousands of British troops to join the coalition, and Blair who authorised the spending of at least £5 billion on a war in Mesopotamia, and it was Blair who was therefore directly co-responsible for putting Saddam Hussein on the end of that rope.

“Bush has at least had the guts to say something. Why not Tony?”

Blair may finally have something to say, but it’s impossible to disagree with Boris’s conclusion:

[I]f Blair is so busy on his yachts that he has no time to talk to the British people, then he should stay in that Bee Gee mansion.

If he can’t articulate his thoughts — our thoughts — on the disgusting death of Saddam, then he has ceased to give leadership. His premiership is effectively over.

Peter Fray

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