Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/470/1987

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2007

Review

The Trial of Tony Blair

A lost opportunity - indictment of a smug man

"IT'S 2010, Hillary Clinton's in the White House, Gordon Brown's in No 10 and Tony Blair is in the dock at The Hague." Thus ran the promotion for More 4's latest attempt at satirical drama from Alistair Beaton, author of last year's A Very Social Secretary - the Blunkett skit which was used to launch the digital channel.

Greg Maughan

Tony Blair is again played by ex-Wolfie Smith Robert Lindsay, and for the material he has to work with it must be said that Lindsay does a good job. But that's pretty much where the complements end.

The Trial of Tony Blair lacks any real purpose; Beaton swings from trying to present us with a Shakespearian allegory, with Blair confronted by demonic visions of Iraq, to giving us a cheap sketch show where Cherie Blair steals all the light bulbs from No 10 before the Browns move in. There's even a Little Britain-esque David Cameron attempting to get down with all the "hos and bitches" on a housing estate.

The two different aspects of the programme never really gel and you're left feeling that Beaton thought this was much cleverer than it actually is. Too many scenes are cut short before a sense of drama has been built up because the author has thought of a cheap pun and then doesn't know what to follow it with.

We see an increasingly haggard and insecure Blair converting to Catholicism because of the promise of forgiveness through confession. But then being incapable of admitting that the invasion of Iraq was wrong when in the confession booth.

Again and again Blair repeats as a mantra: "It was the right thing to do; it was a war of liberation." The idea here is that we all know that this is rubbish and so does Blair. We see him repeating his mantra whilst violently washing his hands, trying to get imaginary blood stains to come off.

But amongst this, there's absolutely no attempt to explore the real underlying motives for the Iraq war - the massive oil supplies in the region and the prestige of US imperialism, which Blair kow-towed to.

Essentially, the show was a piece of fantasy wish fulfillment, with Blair protesting at being swabbed for DNA when he's arrested, seeing it as an infringement of his civil liberties. When he's rushed into casualty with an expected heart murmur, he's forced to wait four hours in casualty where he spots stains of blood and shit smeared on the wall.

The satire here is less than sharp and you got the feeling that its viewers would be either smug armchair activists or people who'd been asked to review it.

What did we learn at the end of it all? The war was illegal. Politicians are liars. Nothing new at all.

There are millions of people across the country who hate Tony Blair, who hate New Labour and all of the parties of big-business and who are very angry not just about the war and occupation of Iraq but also what Blair and his cronies have done to the NHS, to our schools and public services.

They deserve not just a smug indictment of the actions of this government but also a serious discussion about the alternative and the potential for a new mass party that workers can rally behind and oust the corrupt big business politicians.

The Trial of Tony Blair, Repeated on Channel 4, 18 January 10pm and More 4 20 January 9pm.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 January 2007:

Labour ministers make us sick!

Keep up the pressure for 3 March demo


Socialist Students

Anger against top-up fees grows


War and terrorism

Iraq: Bush continues his dangerous blunder

Blair's vision: 'wars without end'

The Trial of Tony Blair


International socialist news and analysis

"We're moving towards a socialist republic of Venezuela" - Hugo Chávez

The veil and Muslim women

Sri Lanka: Urgent action needed

Fighting for a socialist world


Socialist Party news and analysis

Interest rate hike pushes up costs

Academies myths

What's behind the school leaving proposals?

Campaign for a new workers' party


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS stands firm on pensions

Fight the government's sell-off plans

Strike ballot put on hold once again

Re-instate Unique workers!

British Airways pensions

Fujitsu workers strike

'Single status' battle in Manchester

UNISON NEC elections


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 January 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Tony Blair:

triangleLeft comic's take on politics will have you in tears

triangleFilm - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

triangleFrom Militant to the Socialist Party

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleCorbyn's manifesto: An important step in the right direction

Iraq:

triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

War:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

6/12/17

Fire

The Socialist Inbox

6/12/17

Surrey

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

6/12/17

Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

30/11/17

Theatre

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

22/11/17

Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

22/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/11/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

15/11/17

Abortion

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

15/11/17

Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

8/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/11/17

Obituary

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

8/11/17

Theatre

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

1/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2