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British politics matter

Dolores Diaz | Thursday, March 25, 2004

During a morning run through Hyde Park, I couldn’t help but step in the warm and steaming anti-Blair propaganda commemorating the one-year anniversary of the war with Iraq. As I continued through the paper jungles of various signs displaying, “Bliar” – complete with mock blood strewn about in the shape of bullet wounds – I couldn’t help but wonder if the prime minister deserved this much criticism.I had just survived a hard night and I realized that the decision whether or not to support another Blair election was like one I had just made. Indeed, it was like the decision many of us make at least once.In one way or another, we all know a Tony Blair. And who is he? I’ll tell you. Tony is the friend that proposed that bad night out. For you, it may be the weird kid sitting next to you; here in London it’s my optimistic friend that lives in the flat 22.Now, you trust this friend and you think that everything is going to run smoothly if you just take his advice on where to go for a fabulous night out, but sometimes he just lets you down. Let’s recap the last disappointing night out.The proposal. Your friend declares a state of emergency. He alerts you that apparently the quintessential hang out spot has acquired weapons of mass seduction. You and all your friends recognize the threat and see the need for immediate disarmament.The decision. After painstaking deliberation, your good friend convinces you that the threat is real and delaying action another night could prove detrimental to your future. You feel you have no logical choice but to proceed and enter dangerous territory.The preparation. This requires foresight. Funds must be acquired and budgets adjusted as you prepare to embark on your mission and search for weapons of mass seduction. The proper equipment is needed and the closet must be ransacked for the proper gear; there’s no telling what you may encounter along the way. The arrival. Boom. Boom. Boom. It’s a hopping dance floor and you’re feeling just as electric as those lights swirling overhead. The feeling is disorienting and strange and you can hardly recognize your friends in all the smoke, but you’re prepared – this is what you’ve been training for.The investigation into weapons of mass seduction. Your search is intense and painstaking. Dismissing one area and then the other, until finally you’re sure you’ve found what you’ve been looking for. You have captured a prisoner who you are sure is in possession of weapons of mass seduction. They lead you to a small corridor towards the back of the club or to a remote corner. The tension mounts … The tragedy. What just happened? You recount the previous moments and can’t seem to remember the exact point where everything went wrong. There are no weapons of mass seduction to be found, no matter how hard you look. You realize you’ve been duped.The inquiry. You may approach your friend immediately or the next day. But eventually, there is always an inquiry. So much has been invested and much has been lost; someone must be held accountable. You were assured weapons of mass seduction; their absence is inexcusable. The whitewash. And your weird friend inevitably denies everything. “I swear X told me such and such …” We all know the routine. In the end, you find no one to hang, despite your desire to ensure that this never happens again.The inquiry into weapons of mass destruction and the questioning of the prime minister is serious stuff and I’m not oversimplifying – just livening things up from the mock blood strewn over the anti-Blair signs in Hyde Park. Mistakes happen. The absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a particularly terrible one; however, let us not make matters worse by retracting support from a friend who has proved himself in the past.Ultimately, we must learn to forgive and re-invest our faith in Prime Minister Blair in the same way that we remain friends with “that kid” that screwed up. Just as our friend was acting to the best of his own personal knowledge, so was the prime minister unaware of any “sexing up” of the dossier in question. We may be a little wary the next time our friend suggests a night spot, but then again, that’s nothing more than the caution we should have initially invested in such an ambitious venture.Show your support for Prime Minister Blair. Moreover, let no one tell you what happens over the Atlantic isn’t a matter of personal importance for you. You’re more than emotionally invested in the issue.You live it.

Dolores Diaz is a junior English major and journalism and theology minor. She enjoys thinking. Her column appears every other Thursday. Contact her at ddiaz@nd.edu.The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Observer.