Tony Blair defines justice as “the simple conviction that, given a fair go, human beings can better themselves and the world around them” (SMH, March 27, 2006 .
That’s a novel definition for me. Just as in the law, the oath is carefully crafted – we are not just to tell the truth, but the whole truth and nothing but the truth – definitions must be judged by what they exclude, as well as what they include. Prime Minister Blair’s definition includes his conviction, but contains no admonition to action. One can hold this conviction that people can better themselves and their world if given a fair-go (I do) but could nevertheless do almost anything – say incarcerate the innocent to protect – and say I am “just”.
The consequence of this post-modern conviction-based morality, in which as long as you believe that people could have bettered themselves if given a “fair go”, is that justice as it is done, is left undefined.
And they said Tony was the bright one of the two?
“WE ARE in a struggle of a profound kind. Globalisation is a fact, but the values that govern it are a choice. We know the values we believe in: democracy and the rule of law, but also justice, the simple conviction that, given a fair go, human beings can better themselves and the world around them.”
What is the struggle? Why is it (what ever “it” is) profound? What is the choice of values? Why do our values govern globalisation? Isn’t globalisation itself a set of values (free trade, open borders, communication?).
He seems to support openness:
“Left and right still matter hugely in politics and the divergence can sometimes be sharp. But the defining division in countries and between people is increasingly open or closed: open to the changing world, or fearful, hunkered down, seeing the menace of it not the possibility.”
And yet it is Tony and his cronies who want to be able to imprison without trial, to imprison the mentally ill without crime, who have removed habeus corpus, who want to rate houses using satellite photos to spy on home improvements, who want to censor religious freedom, who sell peerages for cash, who want to destroy jury trial, who won’t free up education to allow selection… get the picture?
There are platitudes a plenty: “This is the age of the interconnected” Huh?? “This struggle is our struggle”. “If the going is tough, we tough it out”. Meaningless.
“To win this struggle [about values and about modernity] we have to win the battle of values as much as arms”. Ummm: when did arms come into the equation? This is not, then, a battle of values, just a battle, of interests.
“We have to show that these are not Western still less American or Anglo-Saxon values but values in the common ownership of humanity, universal values that should be the right of the global citizen.”
Isn’t the point that muslim’s (or at least many muslim’s) dispute exactly this point? Mustn’t we accept them at their word: that they don’t value modernity?
“Ranged against us are the people who hate us; but beyond them are many more who do not hate us but question our motives, our good faith, our even-handedness”
Umm: might they be in countries occupied by British and American troops? Might that not have pissed them off a bit?
Then we get to the grist: fuck you if have non-western values: “If we want to secure our way of life, there is no alternative but to fight… not just in our own countries but the world over.”
Thanks. At least now we are all clear. We are at war with Muslim culture, globally.
Then there is some palpable nonsense, completely incoherent with the preceeding statement: “In Iraq and Afghanistan… we have nations engaged in a titanic struggle to be free of a legacy of oppression, stagnation and servitude.”
Nope: in these two countries we have a struggle (mostly won by now) to impose sharia law, vendetta culture, and a religious leadership, un-challengable and utterly opposed to democracy (which is man’s will over god: treason) and equal rights (abomination).
Tony is kidding himself, we are all losing. The Muslim fanatic world needs to be left to its own devices, and essentially excluded from our world, let to descend back into what they wish for so ardently, and what is so opposed to liberal society.
Leaving them to their devices, not forcing them to convert to ours is the answer.