Monday, 6 September 2010

The Cancellation Of The Blair Book Signing - A Triumph For A Violent, Anti Democratic Mob

Tony Blair's book signing in London on Wednesday has been cancelled, with security concerns being cited as the main reason.  A book signing on Saturday in Dublin was marked by protests from anti war protesters.

Regardless of what you thought about the war or what you think about Blair's policies, who the hell do these protesters think they are?

They shout their nonsensical language of war criminal (ridiculous) and liar (untrue, unless you think the entire international intelligence community was lying at the same time - see Chris Mullin via John Rentoul here).  You would think that Blair was some kind of dictator figure who forced us into war.  The truth is that, after months of anguished debate, soul searching and record breaking marches, the House of Commons voted in favour of taking the country to war, after a tremendous speech by Blair.

Ironically, these protesters seem pretty detached from the democratic processes in this country.  Indeed, many of them seem more attached to a handful of tinpot dictators around the world.

You may disagree with Blair on almost every major issue but the violence of potential violence of protesters should not stop citizens from meeting their PM of a decade.  Tony Blair won three elections with landslide majorities.  One of these elections was two years after the decision to go to war. A recent poll of academics marked him down as the third most successful PM since the war.  His autobiography has been one of the best selling of all time.

It is only reasonable that people would want to attend his book signings.  It is rather a shame that the protests of a handful of activists has prevented those book signings from taking place.  The protesters will probably regard the cancellation as a triumph.

What it really represents is a defeat for pluralism and free speech.  It represents the triumph of an anti democratic mob.


  1. Well said,

    I too fear that this is a major defeat for free speech, pluralism and even democracy. Odd how the free speech, pluralism and democracy loving mainstream press have failed to show any real concern.

    There is an underlying current to almost all of the mainstream press's approach to Tony Blair that is deeply disconcerting. It is THEY who have force-fed their opinions on Blair to the public, and the public have swallowed much of it greedily.

    It might be the 'fourth estate', but it thinks it is the first. And in many ways it HAS taken that top slot above democracy, above the law, above the state.

    Never, that I can recall, has a former prime minister been unable (for fear of demos leading to violence) to meet at least some of the country's people after standing now. Yet, in over three years Tony Blair has seldom been seen in public. That is not how HE wants it to be. And the "arresters" have vowed to pursue him for the rest of his life. For anyone else but him this would be serious harassment and against the law. But he has no rights, it seems, being "inhuman" - unlike the rest of us "human righters".

    Many of us would desperately love to see and hear what he has to say on various issues. No-one seems to be concerned about OUR rights in this. The rights of the majority.

    Anyway, I have more than enough material to write a book on this, if time permitted, which it doesn't. Perhaps I should collaborate with others, like yourself and Julie on it. Interested?

    This needs to be addressed.

  2. Free speech died yesterday in this country with the cancelling of Blair's book signing . Only those who agree with what the media say may now speak what they want

  3. Brilliant article, David!

    My views and most likely those of the majority of people are not reflected in the disgraceful, grotesque, and ridiculous personal vendetta in the media against Tony Blair. The same goes for the tiny group of ultra morons who claim to represent the general public.

    Everyone hates TB? He's a liar and war criminal? Beyond parody. He won three executive terms, two landslides and one even after the Iraq invasion.

    It's not on us to prove that he's respected; it's on them to prove he's not.

    His achievements speak for themselves!!!

  4. Its time for ALL candidates for Mayor of London to publicly and unambiguously defend the right to free speech in London, and to also demand that the tiny mob of assorted ultra-left bullies be confronted by effective policing. Mass obstruction and intimidation are not what free speech and free assembly are about. Just as pickets in industrial disputes are rightly limited under law, in both number and tactics, so should any political stalkers be limited. This is not about Tony Blair but about freedom and democacy versus mob rule.

  5. This has nothing to do with free speech. Blair is welcome to speak freely, just as the protesters are welcome to assemble freely. He, and no-one else, chose to cancel the book signing. The hysteria here is baffling.

  6. Would you defend the EDL's or BNP's right to free speech? what's good for one is good for another


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