Things were pretty blah until Chris Patten and John Bolton nearly came to blows during BBC's Hardtalk last night. It was supposed to be a civilised discussion on Tony Blair's legacy that morphed into the US's handling of Afghanistan (no, we didn't see that coming) - "Unfinished business, because you were preparing to invade Iraq!" so Patten put it. To which Bolton (a man with a hilarious completely white walrus moustache and eyebrows but that's not the point) retorted: "To have the Brits lecture the United States on Afghanistan is a bit rich, isn't it?"
Haha! The classic blame game.
Anyway, I exaggerate - they would have come to blows, which would have been fun to watch, if JB wasn't unfortunately a looming talking video-con head in the studio. This isn't a Taiwanese parliament after all and Chris Patten is a lord for chrissakes. Interviewer then said hastily before the verbal blows continued: "Gentlemen, let's get back to discussing Tony Blair's legacy." Oh, wha-? Right. (Party pooper.)
Blair had it going good. He had advantages like being warm-blooded (unlike Putin), he was concerned about Africa when no one but Bono was giving a rat's arse and he certainly could not be accused of increasing his country's inflation a hundredfold (unlike Robert Mugabe, who incidentally is relevant here only because I find it funny when dictators call their foes "white imperialist". What was that about the pot and the kettle?) So he should have plenty to speak of and indeed, his accomplishments of the last decade in office have been plenty, in particular his much lauded work in Kosovo and Africa.
Then along came the cash for honours scandal and the damning involvement in the Iraq war. The sad truth around here is, the masses are unforgiving, the masses love to hate. Take PM Goh, he was truly the man of my generation. Incorruptible. Upright. All round nice guy. But ask your typical kopi-laking Singaporean what PM Goh has done during his time, and you'd likely get a kopi-spewing recapitulation of what his wife had said re $600,000 peanuts. It takes small things like that to tilt the balance between 流芳百世 and 遗臭万年, much less a full-fledged blunder of a war. For a man of such dynamism to be remembered for his "special friendship" with the White House chimp and their ill-fated foray in Iraq in the undoubtedly countless upcoming bios must be really flattering.
In other exciting news, I have a bad cough and nearly died on the treadmill last night, but that wasn't nearly as bad as the day Tony Blair was having, that's for sure. Still, revenue-wise (who cares about reputation when there are yachts in Monaco to hide your face in?), hope springs eternal - I for one would surely buy a Blair tell-all. So bring it on!
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