The New Year’s Honours list 2022 was announced this weekend, featuring politicians, actors, scientists, athletes, and the like. But most “controversially” was the knighting of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, which has earned itself outrage from many across the left-wing political spectrum as well as all those who, regardless of their politics, rightfully hold him responsible for the deaths of many military personnel & countless civilian lives within the Iraq War (2003-2011).
But as a Communist, I don’t see any problem with the fact that Tony Blair has been knighted. I cannot think of a more appropriate person to be awarded “The Most Noble Order of the Garter” (the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system) than Blair, who is soaked in the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents. The notion that there are somehow “better” people who should be knighted or given honours of some kind by “Her Majesty” the Queen is a very bizarre one for socialists to take. We are supposed to be republicans, who do not believe the Monarchy should exist and see absolutely no legitimacy in their existence, or anything “sanitising” about their actions.
It should come at no surprise that the ruling class has no problem with Honouring someone whose actions have created such devastation, that the Queen is not some neutral force in the Class conflict. She is not the calm captain at the helm of the British State, but a pillar of the ruling elite whose longevity and age is used as a smokescreen to mask her true role within society. A role which has recently seen her paying the legal fees for her son Prince Andrew, as he attempts to entangle his way out of child sexual abuse charges.
There can be no forgiveness for a war criminal such as Tony Blair, and while we can roll our eyes at him being knighted, the only thing we should be disappointed about is that the sword was wielded by the monarchy, and went no further than his shoulder.
No petition in the world is ever going to make up for the deeds of Blair, and no knighthood will ever define someone as a force for good. Getting caught up in the theatrics of the ruling class is a dead end for politics, one which the liberal left can be forgiven for going down, but one which Communists need to avoid at all costs in order to concentrate their energies on what really matters.
Not symbolic honour, not bygone ideas of chivalry, not pleas to the ruling monarch; but instead, material and lasting changes to peoples’ lives and the very world we live in.
Joe Weaver, is the AgitProp Officer of the YCL