Ever wonder what the future holds for Tony Blair and his Australian counterpart John Howard after they leave office? Chances are that their retirements will parallel that of the former Chinese President Jiāng Zémín.
For 15 years Jiāng ruled China with an iron fist, suppressing religion, defaming, persecuting, imprisoning and murdering Falun Gong practitioners, political dissidents, human rights activists and ethnic minorities. Jiāng ‘retired’ from all his official state and Communist Party posts between 2002 and 2005. In ‘retirement’, Jiāng’s authority and prestige as a party grandee has been severely diminished by his successor Hu Jintao and Hu’s allies.
The career of the ‘Shanghai Snake’ is mirrored by those of the ‘Cheshire Cat’ and ‘Howard The Duck’. Just as Hangman Jiāng did, Blair and Howard are systematically targeting the Muslim minorities of their respective nations for persecution on the pretext of fighting the war against terrorism; treating other minorities such as the Aborigine and Jewish communities with latent contempt while demonising and detaining genuine refugees in what are nothing more than modern-day concentration camps. Blair, as Jiāng did, presides over a socialist-turned-fascist (if you believe there is any real difference between both fascism and socialism) organisation that remains socialist in name only, engages in corrupt practices, cronyism and subverts the rule of law when it suits him. As Tony Benn aptly put it in his memoirs, Blair behaves as if he is a medieval monarch with a divine right to rule.
When Blair and Howard do finally retire, they will eventually be seen as the vile and prejudiced autocrats that they are just as Jiāng is discreetly being exposed as within China itself. Unfortunately, their corrupt and evil legacies will live on for the foreseeable future and like Jiāng, will never be brought to justice for their crimes against humanity.