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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roughing Up Tony, 3 Feb 2010
S Wood (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, London,Terror (Paperback)
Tariq Ali's short collection of critical essays (or as he calls them "Rough Music") on Tony Blair starts of with the historian E.P.Thompson's definition of that term:

"Rough Music is the term which has been generally used in England since the end of the seventeenth century to denote a rude cacophony, with out without more elaborate ritual, which usually directed mockery or hostility against individuals who offend against certain community norms." (from Customs in Common).

The essays are (1) What Makes Blair Run - "Blair is a natural pander, and he will always make up to those richer and more powerful than he is."

(2) Grammar of Deceit - "Across the advanced capitalist world the neo-liberal model has atomized social and political life, weakened democratic accountability and drastically reduced the margins of reformist possibilities within the system."

(3) The Media Cycle - "The diversity fostered by Blair and Howard [Australian pro-war PM] is well illustrated by the 247 editors in [Rupert] Murdoch's pay in different parts of the globe: each and every one of them supported the war in Iraq"

(4) Days of July - ". . . Blair and his toadies should be forced to confront what is now a widely held view across the political divide: the central British role in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and, more broadly, Britain's unquestioning support for the US-Israeli war drive in the Middle East and across central Eurasia, has blown back in the shape of the London terrorist attacks."

(5) A Public Execution - "The execution itself was brutal. The shooters boarded the train and started firing even though Menezes had not offered any resistance as he was grabbed and pinioned by the surveillance team . . . eleven bullets were pumped into the target."

(6) The War Against Civil Liberties - "Blair had been angered, a few months previously, by as statement from Lord Hoffmann, one of Britain's senior judges, who stated bluntly that the laws been proposed by the government to curb civil liberties would inflict more damage to the fabric of British society than terrorism."

The "Rough Music" directed at Blair is sharp and to the point and acts as a valuable reminder - if his last Fridays appearance before the Iraq Inquiry wasn't enough - of what a damaging individual Tony Blair was for the British people, British democracy not to mention the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. As appendices it includes the infamous Downing Street memo as well as Tony Blair's speech on measures against [sic] terrorism.
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Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, London,Terror
Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, London,Terror by Tariq Ali (Paperback - 23 Sep 2005)
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