As might be guessed from the title, Wheatcroft's major target in former Prime Minister Blair. While he does not call
Blair's relationship with George W. Bush an "unholy alliance," it is clear that he was straining very hard to avoid that phrase. (He does, on the other, rather neatly deflate that concept of a "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom as little more than a deceptive myth.)
The summary of Wheatcroft's summary comes with his concluding assessment of Blair:
And yet in the end Tony Blair isn't a messiah or a madman or a monster. He's a complete and utter mediocrity. He might have made an adequate prime minister in ordinary days, but in our strange and testing times he was hopelessly out of his depth. Now we are left with the consequences.Since Wheatcroft is British, he kept his attention focused primarily on Blair. Whether or not that description holds just as well for George W. Bush is our business, not his. Nevertheless, I have to emphasize that the most powerful word in that quotation is the last one.
I have long held that we have become a culture that has tried to banish the word "consequences" from our working vocabulary. The last time I expressed this explicitly was in March of 2015. The idea emerged in my writing through observations that everyone seemed to be eager to jump into new technologies without thinking through the implications that technology might have for "unanticipated use." In other words we think only about the cool things we shall be able to do, assuming that they are also good things, totally overlooking the possibilities that "the next new thing" may serve more nefarious purposes we never bothered to consider. By all rights the aftermath of our adventures in Iraq should have been a wake-up call to us all to think about consequences before taking action, yet in today's immediate present, it would seem that few are bothering to think about how the vote they case in November (or the decision they make not to vote) is likely to have consequences on the same magnitude of those examined by Wheatcroft.