A million people have called on the government to rescind the knighthood given to Tony Blair,
The petition posted on the change.org website by actor and presenter Angus Scott says Sir Tony “caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society” while in office.
“He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes,” it adds.
“Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.”
The petition on Change.org was created by Angus Scott, who wrote: “Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society. He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes.”
The viral petition was not created on the parliamentary website, where petitions have legal standing. Petitions that are signed there by 10,000 people must receive a response from the government, and those signed by more than 100,000 people are considered for debate in parliament.
It was the same Late Archbishop Desmond Tutu that called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be hauled before the international criminal court in The Hague and delivered a damning critique of the physical and moral devastation caused by the Iraq war.
Tutu, the Nobel peace prize winner and hero of the anti-apartheid movement, accused the former British and US leaders of lying about weapons of mass destruction and saying the invasion left the world more destabilised and divided “than any other conflict in history”.
Writing in the Observer, Tutu also suggests the controversial US and UK-led action to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003 created the backdrop for the civil war in Syria and a possible wider Middle East conflict involving Iran.
He was not wrong! The fallout from the decision to invade Iraq based on the Dodgy dossier carries the ghost of countless dead, who died on a decision based on a lie.
A lie that destabilised entire regions, regions that almost a quarter of a century on are still in turmoil.
Of the other four living former prime ministers, only Sir John Major has received a knighthood-level honour, with Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May as yet missing out.
Sir Keir Starmer has defended the former prime minister, saying the honour was deserved.
The Labour leader said Blair was a worthy recipient of the Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, received in the new year honour’s list.
“I don’t think it’s thorny at all. I think he deserves the honour. Obviously, I respect the fact that people have different views,” Starmer told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
“I understand there are strong views on the Iraq war. There were back at the time and there still are, but that does not detract from the fact that Tony Blair was a very successful prime minister of this country and made a huge difference to the lives of millions of people in this country.”
Taking that analogy into account, the deaths of millions can be put to one side, as long as you are a popular leader and do some good domestically, that scope leaves a lot if evil people eligible for honnors.
On 1 January, Blair became a member of the Order of the Garter, England’s oldest and most senior order of chivalry.
The appointment was the personal choice of the Queen, who has up to 24 “knight and lady companions”, with current Prime Minister Boris Johnson not involved in the decision.
Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said it had not been the prime minister’s choice to award Blair the honour. “Appointments to the Order of the Garter are a matter for Her Majesty the Queen, there is no involvement of the prime minister or government, so it wouldn’t be one for me to comment on,” he said.
“I would point out every former prime minister before Tony Blair has received the Order of the Garter or Thistle.”
The appointment, which is made by the Queen, was last bestowed on Sir John Major – Blair’s predecessor. Appointments to the Garter are in the Queen’s gift and made without prime ministerial advice.
The Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has also defended the honour’s award. “Whatever people might think, it is one of the toughest jobs in the world,” he said, “and I think it is respectful and it is the right thing to do … They should all be offered that knighthood when they finish as prime minister.”
Asked whether Johnson should receive the same honour, Sir Keir Starmer said it had not been earned. “I don’t think that this prime minister has earned the right to have an honour. I do think Tony Blair has,” he said.
We are sure the millions dead based on the actions brought about by a dodgy dossier would disagree with Starmer and the rest of the establishment that honour their own.
In 2009, US President George W Bush presented Sir Tony with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest US civilian honour – for “efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad”.
But the 2016 Chilcot report into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war found Sir Tony’s government had chosen to join the US-led invasion before all peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted.
It also said planning and preparations for the country after the deposing of Saddam Hussein had been “wholly inadequate”.