On Sunday I noticed Crikey’s latest enticement for me to update my subscription — a free copy of Tony Blair’s autobiography, A Journey. I quickly tweeted: “Dear Crikey — you do realise offering a free copy of the Tony Blair autobiography is a disincentive to subscribe, don’t you?”

It was a bit of a throwaway line, but why did I react so?

I must admit that part of my revulsion was due to the excerpts I had read about his “animal instincts” for his wife, Cherie. When you read him:

“On that night of 12 May 1994, I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength, I was an animal following my instinct, knowing I would need every ounce of emotional power and resilience to cope with what lay ahead.”

Your main fear is that one day Channel 10 will make it into a telemovie and we’ll be subject to some Bob ‘n’ Blanche style under-the-sheets acrobatics. Sure, we want to know about his feelings when he made big decisions, but if his feelings were that he was up for a bit of nookie, then include me out. As Bernard Keane so perfectly put it on Twitter: “Why does Tony Blair always come across like he desperately needs a punch in the face?”

The easy thing would be to blame it all on Iraq. But I am not one who gets all bolshie and calls for him to be tried as a war criminal. My main beef with Blair is his rewriting of history — that they went in to Iraq because Saddam was a bad man, and that things had changed after September 11 so we couldn’t take the risk, etc, (never mind that Iraq had zero connection with 9/11). Of course, let’s also ignore that the war set back the fight in Afghanistan by years.

He seems pig-headedly in denial that this main action of his government was based on nothing, so you quickly come to think of Blair as like the evidence of WMD, there’s nothing there.

And when you read his call for Gillard to take the “centrist path”, you know it really means go to the right.

Blair, like Beattie and Carr, were big on living in the centre and not being lefties. All three won elections, departed undefeated, but also left their parties hollow and reduced to rubble (or soon to be in NSW and Queensland). The drift to the right (the centre was passed two decades ago) is all part of the stupidity of some in Labor to think that if they go just a little bit more the right one day, they’ll win 100% of the vote.

Politics could once be divided into Labor and Not-Labor. Blair and his ilk instead tried to make Labor into Not-Labor, at which point the voters decided to not bother.

Blair personifies everything wrong with parts of Labor — yes, spin and style over substance; but most of all a fear that anyone will accuse them of being ideological.

In his book, Blair talks about crime and the idea that “draconian laws” are the price you pay to reduce it. He says this like it is some great insight, and does not pause to think that maybe the price was too high, and that as a leader of a centre-left party, he should know at what point that occurred.

So Blair’s book leaves me cold, because he leaves me cold. He inspires nothing but a hope his type of  influence over Labor is gone.

No, his book does not make me want to subscribe, but no problems, a free copy of In the Loop will do nicely.

* Read the blog Grog’s Gamut here.