The British Queen’s move in containing the name of former PM Tony Blair in knighthood list escalated local objections.
The petition had gathered over 700 thousand signatures. Tony Blair was named a “Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter” in 2022 honors list. Four days after releasing the list, the calls escalated about the Queen’s decision.
According to the online petition, the former PM deserves no honor, public or private and is responsible for a long list of war crimes. “Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society,” part of the petition read.
The former British Labour leader has been repeatedly chastised in the past two decades for his role in the US-led Iraqi war. Tony Blair held the Premier office for a ten-year period starting from 1997.
The assault, which led to the overthrow of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, heralded years of brutality in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq were slaughtered while the nation sank into anarchy as a result of war.
“He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts,” another part of the petition asserted.
To support their policies, then UK PM and American President painted Hussein as a worldwide danger with WMDs. Washington concentrated on neutralizing alleged concerns in the aftermath of the 9.11 attacks.
Following the occupation, however, the hollow nature of their claims about Iraqi arms was certified. The war only guaranteed a US presence in the Middle East.
Tony Blair; A Knight with a Dark Heritage
As the effort to strip Blair of his knighthood gained traction two days ago, the British outlets highlighted revived charges against Blair. According to these reports, one of his ex-staffer instructed then-Defense Secretary to “burn” a letter produced by then-Attorney General Peter Goldsmith. The letter, penned in 2003, asserted the Iraq war would be unconstitutional.
Washington and London had been unable to get a special UN resolution providing them with international support for the intervention early in 2000s. Blair’s then-chief of staff directed Hoon’s secretary that the message was to be removed once read.
The instruction was but disobeyed, and the note was placed in a safe-box at the Defense Ministry in the UK. These charges, which initially surfaced seven years ago, have previously been denied by Blair and Powell as baseless.
63 percent of Britons reject Blair’s competence for knighthood, according to a study conducted by YouGov. The poll, which included replies from 2,441 citizens and residents in UK, found that majority of Labour participants were similarly opposed to the decision.
Despite rising popular demand to have Blair’s knighthood rescinded, numerous political figures have voiced support for the royal initiative. Keir Starmer, the incumbent Labour chief, and Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons delivered separate speeches in support for the former PM. The two are both the former laureates of the British knighthood.
Observers believe that the politicians’ support for Blair is due to concern about a similar challenge in the future.
More than 460,000 people lost their lives during the bloody war. That started in March 2003. Multiple investigations proved that the US-led invasion started on baseless claims. The Outcome was violence, Blood, insecurity, extremism and poverty for the people in Iran.