By Jenni Frazer
September 6, 2010
There are people, some in the public eye, some not, who can't do right for doing wrong.
I'm thinking of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was attacked and vilified when he announced that both the advance and proceeds from his memoir, "A Journey", would go towards the Royal British Legion, an extraordinarily generous gift which was — inevitably — denounced as blood money.
Today, he was obliged to cancel his book-signing event in London because of the level of verbal and physical protests against him in Dublin when he held a similar event. Weighing up the level of policing and security involved, Blair decided — probably correctly, but with some regret — that the event should not go ahead.
In my view, this is a shame, but a necessary precaution.
Sometimes the game is not worth the candle, because speaking one's mind too often brings out the creatures from under the rocks. Sadly, the high level of vitriol extended to people with whom one disagrees is now a major consideration when voicing an opinion. Personal, disgusting, vicious abuse has become the norm, frequently directed at those who cannot respond, with no thoughts of the consequences.
It has become the custom before Yom Kippur to apologise to individuals whom one has wronged. I'm ready to do that, but not to apologise for holding beliefs with which others disagree. And those people who have, behind the comfort of pseudonyms, lashed out with personal abuse this year, should, perhaps, consider their position.
If, however, this posting brings out the usual dreary invective, then there is no hope.