the Normster posts excellently today on the deranged and personal hatred of Tony Blair of which we have seen evidence in recent days as he has been promoting his book A Journey: My Political Life (which I had of course pre-ordered and am reading now, it is a biggun). I would urge everyone to read Norm's post - his hypothesis is broadly that it is psychological distress that causes people to react in this way; they cannot cope with facing their own support for bloodthirsty tyranny. This makes sense to me. In 2003 when That March took place I was in Glasgow and watched the march there. I went public a day or two later in Reading, remarking on the number of Iraqi flags being carried by the marchers and saying "I never knew Saddam Hussein had so many fans". The savagery that was turned on me then was visceral, and personal. No-one ever tried to debate the issues with me. No-one wanted to. After all, I was making a statement of fact. There were a lot of Iraqi flags carried that day. And if you march in the public street with a flag then you are, in a way that has been understood for many centuries, showing that you support or in some way belong to the entity (Careful. Ed.) that the flag represents. And it was of course the Guardianistas who were the most savage. Frivolously I might say that if I was pissing off Guardian readers I must have been doing something right. But more thoughtfully I would say that it was the Guardian readers who felt most uncomfortable with their support for tyranny, and least willing to face up to that for what it was. That was not the kind of person they thought they were. So they turned on the person who showed them that that was exactly the kind of person they were being. Reading Labour did not deselect me over Iraq - they might have tried, but as Mr Salter had by then been exposed publicly as a liar, having said he voted against the war when in fact he abstained, they would have quickly been in difficult terrain - or over any policy issue.
Read Norm on Iraq and hatred. Please.