I was speechless, but at least it shows Tony Blair has a conscience

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The Independent Online

I was speechless at first. I suppose when you get that sort of news about a man who you dislike so intensely because of what he has done and then suddenly you hear that he is going to donate the money, you wonder what is going on.

But I took a moment to reflect and think rationally about it. And upon reflection it is exactly what he should do. He should not keep a penny of that money and it is quite right it should go to a service charity.

I still hold him to account for Iraq. I was in the Chilcot Inquiry when he was asked whether he had any regrets and it made me very angry, along with the other families, that he just couldn't say sorry.

But at the same time I think that donating the money to the Battle Back Challenge Centre is exactly the sort of thing he should do.

One does think that it is the effect, one hopes, of a guilty conscience at work. But at least that would say he had a conscience and he is thinking about the consequences of what he decided to do and that is why he is donating the money.

I am only sad that he did not think about giving some of the money to the other major service charity, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association), which is helping grieving families. While this donation will help injured servicemen and women it will not do the same for the families, not just the parents and spouses but the grandparents and siblings who have been left with the same trauma. It would have been an enormous help if he could have thought about them as well.

When Tony Blair met my wife, Maureen, he asked what he could do and she said 'you could help the families' but that seems to have fallen on deaf ears."