Cherie the class warrior

If you knew her only as the daughter of the “Scouse git”, the antagonistic son-in-law of the bigot Alf Garnett in the BBC’s Till Death Is Do Part, you could forgive her claiming to be “a socialist”. But no, Cherie Blair is the wife of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair and stands boldly by everything he has done as PM.

I raise the matter because yesterday’s Guardian carried a full page piece on her; well, actually an interview by Martin Kettle and headed Yes, I am a socialist. However, nowhere is this statement qualified! I mean, nowhere does Kettle report her advocating common ownership and democratic control of productive wealth, abolition of the wages system, free access to the necessaries of life. There is not one single sentence that puts her within a million miles of the socialist camp. Indeed, the interview presents a person standing in stark contrast to every socialist principal I know.

Only into the second paragraph of the article we are told Cherie is a devout Catholic, attends mass regularly, so clearly believes the problems facing humanity can be sorted by divine intervention, by her and Tony praying to God, rather than by the workers uniting and taking control of their own destiny, sorting out problems themselves and with available technological and scientific resources that have been liberated from the constraints of the market system.

Asked whether it was right for Britain to invade Iraq, she says “Absolutely” and insists that her husband is “a man of integrity…doing everything he could to avoid war.” Perhaps she was in a coma at that point, in the run up to the invasion, when her husband presented to parliament and the British public the now notorious dossier on Iraq, entitled Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, and which turned out to be a report the British security services had largely plagiarised from a 10 -year-old piece a student had posted on the internet. Perhaps both she and Tony were asleep that cold February morning when two-million marched through the streets of London demanding no to war?

She says: “I’m probably the only person in the country who insists my husband is a socialist”. What, Cherie? And you’re a QC? Does that one voice in 65 million not suggest that Tony might just be a recognised die-hard defender of capitalism? NO? Well how about the standing ovations he received from CBI conferences? Perhaps the way he was quickly snapped up by the legendary and famously corrupt investment bankers JP Morgan when he stepped down as PM? NO? Okay, how about the mountain of sleaze, the cash for honours, the unreformed Tory anti-trade union legislation, student fees, treatment of the elderly, the decimation of the NHS and the education system? How about the fact that the press recently reported that the rich-poor gap in the UK is now the widest its been in 40 years and that Labour came to power claiming that the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer under the Tories?

Look, it’s not just that nobody believes that Tony is not a socialist. The truth is that nobody believes the bloody Labour Party is socialist. It’s common knowledge that the present incumbents in Number 10 are further to the right than the Tories ever were; that back in 1997 Tony whipped of Thatcher’s clothes and left her standing there bollocks naked. I mean, Milton Friedman praised your husband, not Karl Marx.

I’ve not rambled here, Cherie, as much as I could have. Suffice to say that as a QC, with your level of legal insight, you could have ripped to shreds, under cross examination, any defendant making a preposterous and wholly improvable statement about themselves and made them appear imbecilic. Just be careful about how you bandy that "socialist" word about!