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We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these things were produced by some wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God Who made us.

Abraham Lincoln

The departure of Mr Blair as the Prime Minister of the UK leaves mixed feelings. There were those who loved him - a decreasing number as the years went by, and those who loathed him - an increasing number as the years went by. Why?

In 1997 the Labour Party was elected by a very large minority of the electorate, simply to improve cash-starved public services, especially Health, Transport and Education. These had been disastrously by previous Conservative governments. Ten years on, after considerable tax rises and billions poured into these services, it is arguable whether these services have improved at all. Indeed, there are even some who maintain that they are actually worse, now that they are entirely run by government-appointed accountants and not by professionals for the benefit of the public. For example, there are many who need to see a doctor who now do not bother, because 'she won't do anything anyway, because of budget cuts'. Certainly, do not fall ill and go to hospital at the end of the financial year in March - you will be sent home without treatment.

Often, taxpayers' money seems to have disappeared into paying for massive waste and Communist-style bureaucracy with 'plans' and 'targets'. Tens of thousands of redundancies in the Health Service and hundreds of thousands of indebted University students (Mr Blair's unwinnable wars against the peoples of Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq have had to be funded by cutting public services) tend to suggest that perhaps no government is competent to run anything. Perhaps governments should instead simply stick to the task of protecting the country and its people and regulating the unbridled greed and serious injustices that result from Capitalism, leaving the running of public services to the professionals.

On the other hand, however debatable possible marginal improvements in such services, many point to Mr Blair's success in peace-making in Northern Ireland. But let us be frank: 'hand of history on shoulder' or not, peace would have come there anyway, as one of the many natural and inevitable results of the end of the Cold War. There was no longer any Soviet Union to covet Belfast Harbour as a nuclear submarine base and threaten the US nuclear base just opposite in Holy Loch in Scotland. Why continue to support the tired old Protestant powerbrokers? They had become as irrelevant as the tired old Protestant Apartheid powerbrokers in South Africa, once there was no longer a Soviet Union to occupy Cape Town Harbour.
Others point to the fact that Mr Blair set up a Parliament in his native Scotland and an Assembly in Wales as positive decentralizing policies. But these can also be viewed merely as part of the historically inevitable dissolution of the United Kingdom. This dissolution is simply the tail-end of the British Empire caught up in the unwinding of history, as Scotland heads for full independence from England and England heads for full independence from Scotland. The much-resented, often by both sides, 1707 Act of Union is simply going into reverse. As for England under Mr Blair, it not only did not see the re-establishment of its own Parliament, for which it has patiently been waiting since 1066, but became more and more centralized under a Calvinist Scottish government, the so-called 'nanny State'. Frighteningly, it seems as if this is to continue for many years yet, under the apparently almost identical Mr Brown or Mr Cameron.

Mr Blair's style of government sometimes appeared to be that of a President/Dictator, failing to listen to his own people, Parliament and Labour Party. It has not endeared him. Indeed, the UK has actually lost freedom under 'President Blair', becoming one of the most intensely camera-controlled and spied-on populations in the world. The excuses for this lack of freedom increased, especially after the Blair government created enormous internal hostility to itself among the children of Muslim immigrants by invading Iraq. But that was against all the counsels of his afterwards much-maligned Intelligence Services (which were in fact very intelligent) and his Diplomatic Corps.

Another factor, seen by some as anti-English, has been the massive and mismanaged Eastern European, especially Polish, immigration into England. However, far more anti-English than the influx of hard-working and generally very welcome Eastern Europeans, was Mr Blair's capitulation to the rule of the unelected and anti-democratic European Union. The EU is a fitting successor indeed to the Soviet Union, with the EU's latest 'amended treaty', or Constitution by the back door (because the proposed Constitution cannot be passed by democratic referenda). Mr Blair will inevitably go along with the new centralizing treaty and its 'ever closer Union' - especially if he wishes to become the President of the EU.

Surely, today an English politician of principle could instead be working with Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and the new Eastern European members like our one-time allies, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Lands, who know and fear exactly what the Soviet Union was and therefore the European Union will be. In such a way we could build up from the roots a new Europe, a Confederation Of Democratic Europeans (CODE). How much better this would be than to continue with the redundant and tyrannical Soviet-style 'European Union'. It is loved only by top-down, Neo-Carolingian Germany and its colonial allies in the elites of France, Italy, Benelux, Spain etc.

However, the one act of Mr Blair 'the peace-maker' which truly marks him out is his wars. The wars which he encouraged and fought against Serbia, his invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq may have been born from his psychological need for self-righteous, moralistic meddling. However, to the peoples of those countries (called 'insurgents' by the government-manipulated media), they seem like the old arrogant imperialism of the British, now under the command of the Roman legions of the Imperial US.
To make things worse, the invasions were followed by the 'suicide' of Dr David Kelly, the weapons expert and the 'heart attack' of the former Foreign Secretary, forced to resign because he disagreed with the invasion of Iraq. The 'suicide' of Dr David Kelly was followed by the gagging of the BBC and its now undermined objective news reporting. The proof is the present and extraordinary government-dictated anti-Russian media campaign. Launched by the present US administration, it is meekly followed by its British poodles and the media, who seem to approve of the fact that the British government harbours foreign criminals in London.

The smell of suspicion after the above 'deaths' has been intensified by the 'cash for peerages' scandal. Here the wealthy backer of the 'New Labour' Party, Lord Levy, interestingly, also Mr Blair's adviser on 'the Middle East', has been implicated in so far unproven allegations about corruption. For a government that promised to be 'whiter than white', all this has created a degree of popular cynicism that has further compromised democracy: 'Why bother to vote - they're all crooks anyway'. 'Don't vote, it only encourages them'. There are even those who spell Mr Blair's name B-L-I-A-R, their disillusion with politicians complete. But such cynicism will only make the task of those who are bent on destroying the last vestiges of freedom in the UK that much easier.

Again and again, the 'improvements' made under the Blair government seem to have been 'all style and no substance', change for change's sake. 'Spin' (i.e. lieing and media manipulation), photo opportunities, mere words, led 'The Economist' magazine twelve years ago to call Mr Blair 'Tory Blur'. Even the 'help' given to indebted Africa and 'climate change initiatives' turn out to be little more than empty promises for the distant future. The writing off of debts that had long ago been paid back, the replacement of coal-fired power stations by gas-fired ones that had already take place before Mr Blair and the transfer of polluting British manufacturing to China merely disguises the realities.

What then has happened in the last ten years?

1) Debt Slavery

The most remarkable event inside Britain has been the tripling and in some areas quadrupling, of property prices. This has made those who owned properties before 1998 wealthy - on paper. However, it has made all those not in the position of possessing these paper riches poor - in reality. By 2006 the debt of Britons who had adopted the 'American' system of 'buy now, pay tomorrow', had reached over £1,000,000,000,000 (some $2,000,000,000,000), an unimaginable sum for a tiny country and population. Indebtedness through property mortgages, personal debt and student debt (introduced by Mr Blair in 1997) means that Britons are indebted to 'anonymous', 'international' finance.

2) Fake Freedom
On account of the inherently undemocratic nature of the British electoral system, like all British governments since 1945 with one exception, Mr Blair's government was elected by a minority. At the last election, he received just over 22% of the popular vote. And that was with the help of such 'bread and circuses' populist measures, such as permitting unrestrained drinking (resulting in widespread alcoholism, especially among zomby-like young), the continued free-for-all of abortion and encouraging virtually every other form of spiritual and moral enslavement and degradation.
During this time, freedoms in Britain have been considerably eroded. With biometric identity cards and camera surveillance, there is no doubt that, consciously or unconsciously, a police state is being forged. Apparently, our under-equipped armed forces fighting in and, worse, dying in, already lost wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are fighting for freedom and democracy there. That is disputed. But what is certain is that they are not fighting for freedom and democracy inside the UK, where freedom and democracy are certainly needed. And so we come to the main change of the last ten years.
3) Iraq
It has been said that the word 'Iraq' will appear on Mr Blair's gravestone (yes, he is mortal). Iraq may not kill him, but it will haunt him until his death and, far worse, afterwards. And this is the real question.
The men, women and children of Serbia, killed by NATO bombs at Easter and the attempt to snatch away from Serbia the Serbian Kent and the Serbian Canterbury, called Kosovo, and put it into the hands of the grandchildren of Nazi and Communist-encouraged illegal immigrants; the men, women and children who have been massacred and maimed in Afghanistan because they felt patriotic about their country; the 200,000 men, women and children massacred and maimed in Iraq, because other countries thought they knew how to run things better and could invade and occupy a multi-layered land with a complex history with impunity; the million Iraqis who have already fled the chaos and civil war in Iraq and now become yet more refugees in an over-refugeed world; none of these will forgive Mr Blair easily: especially those whose religion is not about forgiveness.
The Iraqi children, holding up their maimed limbs, faces and minds, may come to haunt Mr Blair for the rest of his life. The risk is that his every day may become a bad dream, his every dream a nightmare and his every nightmare a living hell.

Mr Blair used to take communion in his wife's Roman Catholic Church before he became Prime Minister. It is said that he will finally officially become a Roman Catholic after he leaves office. His latest and fourth visit to the present Pope of Rome, his last foreign engagement, seems to confirm this. It does seem strange that he should be allowed to do so, when the former Pope of Rome (together with every other religious leader in the world) condemned the invasion of Iraq. Outwardly, there have never been any words of repentance, let alone acts of repentance, for the massacres that have resulted. There has only been Mr Blair's stubborn self-justification, despite his family's suffering. However, we do not know and cannot judge; perhaps, inwardly there has been repentance.
And perhaps, in general, we are too severe with Mr Blair for his 'legacy' and dreams of greatness. The fact is that very few politicians have the right to claim greatness. They are puppets of history, conditioned by the spiritual state of the societies in which they live and the state of their own souls. Perhaps, we should not be so hard on Mr Blair. There is truth in the statement that every people gets the government it deserves and the hardened cynics who say that Mr Blair should spend his retirement looking for 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' are grossly unfair.
There is also such a thing as greatness; it is what all of us occasionally do. It is known as doing God's will. Thus, we all agree that the world is in a sorry state. But it is no good blaming God. Blame rather the humanity that has turned its back on God and says that it can, by itself, solve all its self-created problems, from wars to climate change. What arrogance! What hubris! It is no irony that the wars that are being fought in order to obtain access to natural resources, like oil, are the very cause of climate change: as ever, man punishes himself with that which he sins.
There is no problem that Almighty God cannot solve, because He is Almighty. And without Him, and man's repentance for all that he has done since 1054, when this Western Mess all began, man will go on creating an Almighty Mess, instead of worshipping and living by the Almighty Maker. But as long as human-beings delude themselves with the myth that they are not to blame for what is wrong in the world, and that they can find solutions outside God, the world will continue to speed towards its Armageddon, with or without Mr Blair as Prime Minister.

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