Thursday, 29 August 2013

On trusting politicians


For the regular daily political fare we never trusted politicians - you know the drill:

"It's a politician, his lips are moving. He must be lying."

"Why do politicians never answer the question?"

"They'll say anything to get elected."

And so on - as Huey Long (legend claims) told his advisors: "tell 'em we lied."

However, when it came to the serious stuff - war, death, tragedy - our politicians put on their statesman clothes and lived up to that description: honourable. On these grave and important matters we trusted our leaders to be honest, thoughtful and considered.

Then a man came along who was so great and grand, so superior he thought he could exploit that decency. We went to war on a lie. People like me supported that war because we didn't believe a leader would lie about something as serious as sending men to war.

Tony Blair killed that trust.

And no matter how subsequent leaders profess their decency, honour and honesty - or indeed whether they actually are decent, honourable and honest - we will never believe them again.

In some ways this is the very worst thing - among a catalogue of horrors - that Tony Blair did.


No comments: