Blair shows a regrettable lack of humility

TONY Blair once again demonstrated that he is no mere mortal, like the rest of us (your report, 30 January). He has absolute knowledge, even when that is based on the dogma, ignorance and arrogance of our US allies. His performance at the Chilcot inquiry on Friday confirmed conclusively that he could never bring himself to even consider he might, one day, teeter on the brink of making an error.

This infallibility would be a heavy cross to bear for anyone but the blessed, "Praise the Lord", Teflon Tony. He regrets nothing, even when faced by the chilling statistics of the conflict to date. The Iraq war has been a good one for Blair personally. His defiant stance and support for any US-led initiative has paid off handsomely, particularly on the after-dinner/lecture circuits.

It might, however, have been of some comfort to the relatives of those who have died if Blair had shown a more humanitarian side, as one might expect from such a devoutly religious person. Perhaps even the omniscient Blair should take notice of advice given by Oliver Cromwell: "I beesech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."


Victoria Road

Lundin Links, Fife

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For anti-Blair fanatics, nothing would change their minds but I believe that any open-minded person would accept his motive for backing the invasion was at least sincere, in his own words "it was not a lie or a conspiracy, but a decision". Whether one agrees with that decision is another matter.

I appreciate his reasons for saying that he did not regret his decision to join the US, and support him in this, but feel it is a pity that he could not express sadness for the loss of life; however, this is understandable given the campaign of vilification waged against him, partly from those who supported the war in 2003.


Royal Terrace

Falkland, Fife

Tom Harris, Labour MP for Glasgow South, commenting on Tony Blair's appearance before the Chilcot inquiry uses phrases like "he did very well", "he was very convincing", "what a great communicator he is" and "it was good to see him in action again". Did Mr Harris miss that it was these qualities Blair used to mislead parliament, and the people, into the disastrous, probably illegal, Iraq war?

Will Blair's successor, Gordon Brown, acknowledge like the secretary-general of Nato has, that the subsequent action in Afghanistan is a "failure" and will he realise that our actions in Afghanistan are causing the destabilisation of Pakistan by militants who have fled Afghanistan?

Brown proposes to buy off militants who kill British soldiers but will not pay a small ransom for a British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates. Harris, who must know of all this foolishness, can only praise Blair's performance, probably unconsciously defining New Labour – all show and no substance.


Rosemill Court

Newmills, Dunfermline

It reminded me of a middle-class dinner party. The plummy tones of Sir John Chilcot and Co asked questions in a matter-of-fact manner. Awkward probing was avoided so as not to upset the guest. Sweeping generalisations by the witness, such as "Iraq is a better place", "Saddam killed over a million people", and "the world is now a safer place" were accepted without demur.

In fact, even the most civilised dinner-party conversation would have queried Blair's claims with more vigour. Has the war not divided Iraq on sectarian lines, displaced up to four million Iraqis, killed between 200,000 and one million people, has the war not ignited a Muslim/Christian conflict from the Philippines to Nigeria?

At the end of this very British inquiry, Blair's only act of contrition was to admit that he regretted it if his actions had divided the nation. No mention, however, of regret for the dead, British or Iraqi. This brought an outburst from the public gallery which was quickly quashed by the chair – I thought it was the hostess coming with the cheeseboard.


Victoria Terrace

Dunfermline, Fife