Tony Blair’s place in history will forever be coloured by the war in Iraq.
The Iraq war and its aftermath have seen the most contentious decisions taken by any British Government since 1945. Tony Blair stands accused of leading the country into war on a false prospectus, subordinating British interests to George W Bush and showing gross negligence in failing to plan for postwar Iraq.
The only other event that comes close to earning a prime minister such ignominy is the Suez Crisis of 1956, when Anthony Eden lied to the House of Commons. In that short-lived conflict, 21 British servicemen were killed. By contrast, 179 British soldiers died in Iraq, and untold numbers of Iraqi civilians lost their lives as a result of the hostilities and the instability that followed.
Blair’s place in history will forever be coloured by the war. The Channel 4 drama, The Trial of Tony Blair, struck many as far-fetched when first aired in early 2007. Now a full public inquiry, so long in the offing, is upon us. Technically, Blair will not be on trial, but he will be forced to defend his actions in the full glare of the public arena.