An extended news from the BBC last night due to the resignation of Tony Blair from the Labour Party , or, to be correct, his announcement that he will resign on 27th June. I was rather unsure as to why this required extra coverage but it was to allow us the opportunity to look at ten years of Tony.
Firstly, we saw him yesterday, an somewhat emotional speech in which he advised that "I did what I thought was right for the country". This seemed to be in regard to Iraq and war. What about the people who voted you in Tony and what they thought was right ? His speech came from Sedgefield where he is held in high esteem by loyal supporters so they were all emotional and crying etc. Tony was hugging them, tears in his eyes.
We were asked to think about our living standards and think about our local schools. How much better they were. Mention was made of the fact that there are "no longer pensioners freezing to death" Are there not ?
It was a big trip down memory lane after that. We started somehow with terror. We are apparently involved in this war with "our oldest allie, America". We have fought against global terrorism, this has come at a price and been costly" Cue back to Tony and another rendition of "I did what I thought was right." Then, more images of labour ladies crying.
A quick clip of Gordon Brown
Then Nick Robinson in Sedgefield. "Was this close to an apology or just another daytime TV confession" he asked us. Then we were shown Gordon Brown again being asked about Tony's ten stretch. He pointed out July 7th, Sept 11th, Princess Diana, advised the "the economy was strong" and that Tony "always tried to do the best thing" For some reason, Nick Robinson highlighted the use of the words "always tried" as if this was a criticism. Yet it was what Tony was saying about himself in his "I did what I thought" speech.
So Nick asked us to consider had things got better. It was hard to know. We have less child poverty. However, less of us are able to move out of our natal "born class". We were told the economy has risen at 2.4% per year, post war average is 2.1%. Flash to Tony and his education x 3 speech. Are schools better equipped - flash to classroom images of laptops, technology etc, then a slightly obese pupil was interviewed. We were told class sizes are now 26.3 pupils.
I would ask to you bear in mind here that figures can be extremely deceptive and electronic technology extremely impressive. For example one would assume that after a war the economy would grow at a massive rate, due to rebuilding etc. Surely we should also be considering what is being taught and what manner rather than just the technology involved. In basic extreme terms if a child is being educated with another fifty classmates, in an old hut, by an intelligent, free thinking, moral person who genuinely does care, then is that not better than in a technolab with a robot.
We are being conditioned to think that technology is better than humanity. And why the obese lad.
Then, believe it or not, more of the same, Nick advised us that some lamented the Euro and our lack of involvement, some praised Ireland and then there was the "contentious issue of war"
We are reminded in words and images of Operation Desert Fox, the bombing of Serbia, Sierra and 9/11. We moved on to the Taliban in Afghanistan, apparently British troops are still there, then Iraq and we see the symbolic image of the statue being pulled down.
We are then told that "Tony needs to believe in the rightness of something" before he does it. Then we were told that the date 11/09/2001 changed it all and that we had to "re-order the world around it". Did we, or is it just an excuse? Flash to parliament and Tony's speech that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons which only need 45 minutes to be activated. Bit like a bus. Cue another image of the statue being brought down. Mr Powell from the USA advised that USA had a "special relationship with Tony"
Where did it all go wrong (in Iraq) we were asked. This seemed to be blamed on unforseen sectarian violence. A lot of people also didnt like Tony's relationship with George Bush. Something was " a defining moment of our century" , I am not sure what.
Then more upbeat, Tony was cool, modern, relaxed, at ease, Cool Britannia. Images of Noel from Oasis at No10. Still mates Noel? Then we were again reminded of the death of Diana, the Peoples Princess. Some images of Diana were shown with Tony grieving. Tony went with the flow of society we were told, examples were given, reclassification of cannabis for example.
Then we were told of our fears,
We are scared of immigration, that is people's main scare
We are scared of a multi cultural society and have deep unease over Muslims
7/7 was mentioned and we were told of 30 active plots "on the go".
This therefore means we have to balance extremism against civil liberties.
Some poor points of Tony were then highlighted. Peter Mandelson (PM) was "less than open". Tony is not a crook though, he has simply "blundered into looking corrupt" . We were told we want a tolerant inclusive society. Oasis played in the background.
We then had an interview with PM who is "one of Tony's main men". He was open enough here though. Tony has not done badly, we just had "high expectations". When Tony started "we had lost influence in Europe and the World". Peter shrugged off the Iraq war and claimed it was not important to a lot of people. He does not seem to equate war with human suffering, or perhaps it does not trouble his humanity". PM told us that he will be loyal to Gordon Brown and hopes that Gordons legacy will be the same of that of Tony's - New Labour.
Over to the studio. Missing girl Michelle McCann. A new photo today, this time in a football strip. We went to the complex and saw police searching. Mr & Mrs McCann were at the police station. We went to the police station and a reported asked if the police were any closer to finding her. This is a nonsense question. As there is no news, we were given news of rumors. Over to the church, the cameras have been "invited" in so that we can see a vigil and "share in the outpouring of grief". We were then shown images of ladies in total grief. This is bordering on the criminal, certainly morally.
Over to Alan Johnston again in Gaza . No news.
Then, interest rate rises, more pressure on homebuyers. We have "shocking" inflation figures and today, for the UK, was "zero hours". I am not sure what about. Anyway another borrower, Zoe, was interviewed, she borrowed five times her annual wages and advised "if rates keep going up, I'll need to get a lodger in" Oh, the horror. We were shown images of streets, festooned with for sale signs.
ID cards, the cost is going up to 5.5 billion over 10 years. So these are coming are they?
Bit about the NHS, a problem seems to be mixed male and female wards, this seems to cost more somehow ?
Back to Nick, he told us this was historic, it was "not a political party but a man, not a prime minister, more a president". Is he inferring a president is better than a prime minister? Are we going to have a president soon. Perhaps with that in mind we were reminded of
Achievements - War on Terror, Princess Diana - price to pay sleaze and war.
His legacy - David Cameron.
Finished with scenes at Sedgefield, emotional women crying, hugging.
and Mandelson again.
There is a pattern in the news and it's images for those who care to look. It is devious, manipulative and obscene and based on your emotions. What do they want ?