Archbishop Chides Blair on Iraq
Posted on Feb 5, 2010
The archbishop of Canterbury has some choice words for Tony Blair. The public intellectual criticized Blair’s lack of empathy and his defensive posturing regarding recent inquiries into the Iraq war, declaring the former prime minister to be “one of the most un-Dostoevskian characters in Britain.” Ouch.
Characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novels are famous for their soul-searching and empathy, characteristics the archbishop feels Tony Blair lacks. —JCL
The archbishop of Canterbury has renewed his criticism of Tony Blair by urging the former prime minister to recognise his “absurdity” in the wake of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war — and suggesting he read more Dostoevsky.
Repeating a previous quip that Blair is “very strong on God, very weak on irony”, Rowan Williams said the former prime minister had perhaps not done enough soul-searching.
Speaking at a lecture on the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, Williams was asked by an audience member how he viewed Blair’s appearance at the hearing last week in the context of his studies of the Crime and Punishment author.
Flickr / anikarenina
The archbishop of Canterbury made his comments while lecturing on the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, shown here in a stencil image.