No-one should be knighted for just doing their job and certainly not Tony Blair

A letter from Dr WB Smith:

Monday, 10th January 2022, 2:26 am
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 2:34 am
Tony Blair, seen with Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams in 2005, with whom he negotiated in secret

I cannot agree with the editor’s opinion that Tony Blair should get a knighthood (‘Blair was a flawed PM but of course he should be called Sir,’ Ben Lowry, January 8, see link below)

Nobody should get an honour simply for doing their job, and certainly not if they performed dishonourably.

For all his charm, Blair did great damage to the Union and to the integrity of government across the UK. H

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Letter to the editor

e has rightly been criticised for his role in the murderous invasion of Iraq, but his fans continue to credit him for his role in the “Irish peace process”.

In fact the security forces terminated the IRA insurgency: Blair undermined them.

He deceived his partners in the multiparty talks, negotiating in secret with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness terms of appeasement which would never have been made public but for the Downey trial in 2014.

The sequence of events through which Blair abused the authority of his office is clearly set out in Austen Morgan’s Tony Blair and the IRA (2016).

The salient facts are these:

Sinn Féin/IRA did not sign up to the Belfast Agreement in April 1998

they continued to demand further concessions from the British government

their main bargaining counter was the threat of renewed violence

Blair conceded their two main demands: the early release of IRA prisoners and an undertaking that specified IRA fugitives from justice would not be pursued or prosecuted.

These concessions constituted political interference in and undermined the operation of the criminal justice system.

If a victim of IRA terrorism had known what had been agreed, they could have initiated a judicial review with a strong prospect of success.

Blair usurped the role of the Crown Prosecution Service; overrode the professional advice of his Attorney-General; and abused the power of his office.

But all this was done in secret, so no victim could have challenged it.

Dr WB Smith, Belfast 15

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdowns having had a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Visit

now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry, Editor