The madness of King Tony

Perceptive observation by Armando Iannucci.

Am I going mad? I heard that Tony Blair thinks so. Not just me; everyone. You too. He thinks we’re all mad. Someone close to his circle told me recently that the reason Blair seems so resolute, so calm in the face of criticism, is that he thinks the media are just mad. And he confronts unpopularity with the knowledge that we, the public, are turning mad as well. The more we say: ‘He’s going mad’, the more it proves to him that we must be mad. Is that the logic of a madman?

I only mention this because I was struck by the madness of a remark Blair made last week. It was just as the High Court ruled that the government’s recent consultation with the public over what our future energy policy should be wasn’t consultative enough, and that he and his ministers would have to consult us on the policy again.

Asked if this would put on hold his plans to build more nuclear power stations, he said: ‘No. This won’t affect the policy at all. It’ll affect the process of consultation, but not the policy.’

Take a good hard look at that quote again. It’s mad. It’s based either on a belief in the possession of psychic powers so discriminating they can predict the outcome of a consultation before it happens (which is mad) or they’re based on the belief that words have no meaning other than the meaning one chooses to give them and that this meaning can change at any particular moment (which is at least three times as mad as the first example of madness).

A sane person would assume that a consultation about a decision would be part of the process of forming that decision.

He would indeed. Which is why Britain needs a new constitution. At present we have an elected dictatorship which can do what it likes so long as the Prime Minister has a working majority.