So after a parliamentary vote there will be no public inquiry into the invasion of Iraq while Tony Blair is Prime Minister. It's more or less definitive that he has got away with it. I wonder why the getting away with it is what angers me so much, when I should rather be focusing on what is happening in Iraq? Getting away with something is what upsets children. Not the fact of wrongdoing but the lack of consequence upsets them because it suggests that there might be no natural justice. An elementary part of growing up is acknowledging that and a few other things. No natural justice. No purpose. Contingency is the nature of the world. We die.
It doesn't seem like much to have got into my head after all these years, and you won't find me denying any of them, but I still can't confront any of those facts with equanimity. I can tell you the only way of being human is somehow to manage in that reality . It can be done with good manners and respect for everyone else in the same boat. It can be done by being quietly useful. I can say that, believe it, too, but it does nothing to lessen my fury with the way of the world. I thought there was something terribly wrong with it (socially, politically, intellectually) when I was young and had some notion then (as many of us did, hormones, probably) that it was possible to change it; that things could be made different. This entailed marching, demonstrating, arguing, raging, running alternative schools, teaching in regular schools, paying attention to writing, painting, music and drama, taking drugs and even being mad in response to the way things and people were, how it all worked. I'm wasn't sure that those things would have much effect in the world we didn't like, but if nothing else we were passing time and giving warning while we waited until 'we' were running things and things were therefore improved.
Well, I'm quite moved by such ideas and sorry there aren't more young people now believing that of themselves. But nothing in the way of who controls the world and their motives has altered, nothing has changed and here we all are, just as they ever were. It turned out that for our lot, wanting, taking and keeping power went on being the way to be in the world and superceded anything I thought of to pass the time less harmfully. And even those who understood about the overwhelming attraction of power didn't have the means of subverting it. Political activity might make you feel better but it appears to change none of the structures that keep greed and ambition keep on keeping on. It seems the best manner to be in the world is provide it with palliative care as NGOs attempt to do.
So I am furious that Blair, Bush and the network of self-interested parties who have caused such havoc in Iraq that no one seems to have a solution for it, are going to get away with it. Again and again and again. I am also furious with myself for not having grown up enough to understand that they will always get away with it and for finding no better response than to be furious. It's the anger of the impotent, but impotence is no excuse.