Parliament Proposes Statue to Tony Blair: A Suggestion

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.  Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.

— Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895

In the week when Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for Tony Blair to be treated as other alleged war criminals and be tried at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, incredibly it transpires that the UK Parliament’s House of Commons Works of Art Committee has been in discussion for plans for a statue of the man who faces an attempt at a citizen’s arrest seemingly every time he appears in public, to feature in the Members Lobby.

Since this proposed Orwellian tribute to a man that numerous leading international law experts are indeed working to have tried in the Hague will be at the taxpayers expense, the tax payer should surely have some say in the matter.

Last year, sculptress May Ayres held an eye watering exhibition of her work at St. John’s Church, in London’s Bethnal Green.  “God’s Wars”, was dedicated to the victims of Blair’s lies, the broken lives, broken bodies, broken babies, accompanied by chilling depictions of Blair, Negroponte and the worst of deviant military might.

Ms. Ayres, according to Curator Michael Perry, encapsulates the wickedness of the assault on Iraq, largely enabled, argue the lawyers, by Blair’s duplicity and “dodgy dossiers.” Perry writes:  “May and I both regard this lawless war as also the strangest and most sinister conflict that our country has ever been involved in.”

Writing in the (London) Observer (September 22nd, 2012), Archbishop Desmond Tutu, outlining the horrors Blair’s duplicity had wrought in Iraq, commented: “ … in a consistent world, those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague.”

If history is not again to be a “chronicle of lies agreed on”, and if there must be a statue in Parliament as there is of all other 20th century Prime Ministers, May Ayres exhibition’s presentation of Tony Blair could not be surpassed as the real man behind the orange perma-tan and seemingly ceaseless grin. The Committee surely need look no further for a belatedly accurate replica.

Oh, and given that he has also made a potential target of the British people wherever they travel and of British interests at home and abroad, for years, if not generations to come, perhaps it would be more aptly placed by Traitors Gate, at the Tower of London.

Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger's Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.) Read other articles by Felicity.