New Internationalist

Sleepless in Oxford

Here’s a question, something that has been bothering me for some time now: How does Tony Blair sleep at night?

I mean, how does he do it? I can’t sleep if my daughter’s hamster has a cold, or I’ve forgotten to defrost the fridge. This guy bombs countries, taking out thousands of innocent men, women and children, and sleeps like a baby. I mean, how does he do it?

Perhaps Cherie makes him a cup of hot cocoa each night…
CB: ‘What was your day like, sweetheart?’
TB: ‘Not bad, dear. Very busy. Baghdad blown to smithereens, Afghanistan reduced to rubble… oh, and I’ve just given the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear weapons and… goodness, I’m ready for some shut-eye.’

So, back to the question, how does he do it?

I guess, like so many in a position of supreme power, he believes in what he’s doing. Totally. ‘I am right, everyone else is wrong.’ It’s a stance that has served our rulers well over the years, enabling them to rest easy. ‘I’m at peace with my world, so screw yours.’ I mean, how else can they live with themselves, let alone grab a regular eight hours? And Blair is not alone in all this is he? The list is endless.

Did Haig sneak off for an afternoon kip after sending thousands to their slaughter at the Somme? Was Harry Truman snuggled up in bed as the atom bomb obliterated Hiroshima? Nixon, Kissinger snoring their heads off while B-52s blasted Cambodia back to the Stone Age? Margaret Thatcher catching up on her, er, ‘beauty’ sleep as the Belgrano plunged to the ocean floor?

But is it enough to believe you are right? Of course not. There must be something else. Rhino-hide skin? Fear of losing face? Of failing? The sheer inability to say: ‘Sorry, got that wrong’?

Actually, I’ve no idea how Tony Blair sleeps at night. It’s a mystery to me. But somehow he does. So, I’ll let you figure it out. I’m off to take the hamster to the vet.

Pass me those sleeping pills…!

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