The recent publication of Chris Mullin's diaries 'A View From The Foothills' has produced a couple of thoughts (I should admit to not yet having read his book; all good things to those who wait).
Even if he had never entered Parliament, by any reasonable standard Mr. Mullin could be said to have led a very significant and worthy life. He wrote a novel, 'A Very British Coup', which was dramatised for television. This is a level of achievement very few people ever reach; and it is ironic that the greatest threat to the democracy he so cherishes should have come from the party of which he has been such a faithful servant.
As a journalist and campaigner, he worked tirelessly to overthrow the monstrous miscarriage of justice visited upon the Birmingham Six, being portrayed by John Hurt in a dramatisation of his efforts. If memory serves, he was one of the few pictured with them as they stood outside the High Court immediately after their release. Facing down the British state's security apparatus, and its fellow travellers in the Establishment, is a very brave thing to do at any time; to have done so on behalf of suspected members of the IRA at that time must have taken phenomenal courage and belief. I suspect that, much of his voting record notwithstanding, Mr. Mullin is one of life's good guys at heart; which is probably why he never went very far in the New Labour apparatus.
Mr. Mullin's achievements before entering Parliament absolutely eclipse those of Tony Blair, the man to whom he trusted his political fortunes. I understand that Mr. Mullin is not seeking re-election; may he enjoy a very long and fruitful career as Lord Mullin of Sunderland, and get back to doing what, as Chris Mullin, he used to be very good at indeed - shaking the Establishment and making people think. I hope he hasn't lost his touch.
Ah yes, Tony Blair. Blairs will be Blairs; if asked the question 'Is the Pope a Catholic', the sly, crafty, nasty Old Fettesian twister is likely to answer in the negative.
While demanding that others be tolerant to his standards, he might be unwilling to test the tolerance that others might be willing to show him. According to John Pilger, Blair's ability to move around the world may soon be seriously impeded by the prospect of being arrested for war crimes should he land in any number of countries.
Those who believe in One World will then have one of their biggest problems thrown into sharp relief; when it all goes wrong, there is nowhere on Earth that a global elite can exile themselves to.
Now that's a good plot. Chris Mullin should write a book about it.