Tony Blair likens himself to “abused and bullied women”

by Annie Kaszina on October 21, 2007

The support available for abused women in the UK leaves a
lot to be desired. Only recently two
white middle class professional wife beaters were treated with remarkable
leniency by the courts, one because he was “of previous good character”, the
other because “special circumstances” meant he was “unlikely to
re-offend”.

Perhaps it is in this context that we should view ex UK
Prime Minster Tony Blair’s comment, reported in Anthony Seldon’s recent
biography that his treatment at the hands of Gordon Brown’s allies was
"like an abused and bullied wife".


Are we meant to feel sorry for Tony Blair?

Did it even cross his self-serving mind that such a
comment serves only to reveal how very little he knows about the nature of
abuse.

Unless there are further, increasingly juicy revelations
to come, we must assume that Tony Blair was taking politicians’ licence. So he was attacked by Gordon Brown’s
allies. As someone who had not only
climbed to the top of the greasy pole of politics but stayed there for a good decade,
he would be no stranger to such tactics.

Presumably what Blair was suggesting was that he felt like
the victim of the situation, because Brown’s people said hurtful things to
him.

Poor Tony! Were we
meant to feel sorry for him? Were we
meant to fight his corner for him?

Did he feel increasingly powerless in his personal life?

Did he feel physically and emotionally threatened in the
home that should have been his sanctuary?

Did he feel increasingly isolated from the world and, more
specifically, from family and friends?

Was he publicly humiliated without having any redress?

Was he starved of the love and affection of the one person
whose good opinion of him mattered more to him than anything else in the world?

Had he constantly been vilified by someone whose wellbeing
he put before his own?

Had he lost all feelings of self-worth?

Was he likely to find himself penniless and, quite
possibly, homeless because he had to leave a toxic relationship in order to
survive?

I don’t think so.

Clearly he felt hurt and aggrieved about his treatment at
the hands of Brown’s allies. That’s
fair enough. Everyone is entitled to
their feelings, right or wrong. But
did he seriously expect that we the British electorate would feel that way
too?

Did he imagine that women voters would empathize with
him? Maybe even that those of us who
have experienced domestic violence would take him under our wing?

I’m afraid not, Tony old son.

The reality of being an abused woman is that all too often
doors close in your face and you have to make the hardest decisions of your
life more or less unsupported. Or even
if you have some support behind you, you may still be in danger of your
life. That’s a far cry from Blair’s
experience.

And then there are your children. Maybe your partner is trying to alienate
them from you, or maybe they are simply traumatized by what they have seen in
the home that should have been their sanctuary. Are we to assume that Blair’s children have experienced that kind
of trauma. When Blair was Prime
Minister, did Brown’s allies burst into the bosom of Blair’s family to crush the
cowering PM with harsh language and/or blows?

Unlikely.

Did Blair always, always have to watch every word
he said because otherwise Gordon’s allies would attack him mercilessly?

Did Blair risk his safety if he chose to repudiate Brown’s
attacks?

Did Blair become a mere shadow of himself under the Brown camp’s
constant, withering attacks?

Maybe he thinks he did.

And maybe he should spend just one morning of his life in
a women’s refuge somewhere listening to the story of what brought the women to
that place.

Tony, if you want to join the vast uncelebrated group of
abused women, we’d probably be happy to welcome you. But first you’d have to earn the right to do so by at least
becoming aware of what it’s like to feel hopeless, loveless and worthless.

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