A defence of the Iraq war, an attack on Gordon Brown and a hint of alcohol dependence. These are among the insights offered by Tony Blair’s memoirs of his decade as British Prime Minister, which have just been published.
Critics of the Iraq war hoping for an expression of regret in “A Journey” were left disappointed.
Lindsey German of the Stop the War coalition told reporters outside a bookshop: “Well, I think it’s clear that there is no apology from Blair, that he is justifying everything he has done, he is talking about future wars with Iran. All these things show that he is a serial warmonger.”
Blair admits to “anguish” over his decision to go to war and says he did not foresee what he calls the “nightmare” that ensued. He insists though that Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction, and that Iran too must be stopped from obtaining them by using force if necessary.
Of his successor Gordon Brown, he says he was “capable and brilliant” but had “zero” emotional intelligence. Blair admits that he did not dare sack Brown as Chancellor despite their scarcely hidden rivalry because it could have split the party.
Blair also reveals that alcohol became for him a prop to escape the pressures of the job although his drinking was not “excessively excessive.”