ONE reads, with a measure of incredulity, that Tony Blair is the first British recipient of an award for leadership in memory of Abraham Lincoln ("Blair first to win Lincoln award", The Herald, March 9). It is verging on the surreal for the name of Blair to be linked with that of the 16th President of the United States of America.

Lincoln fought successfully through a Civil War to preserve the Union, issued the Emancipation Proclamation with regard to slavery, and made appointments regardless of military standing and political party. He was astute, inspirational and honourable. He became such an iconic and revered figure that a white marble temple was erected in his memory in Washington.

Mr Blair, on the other hand, led Britain to join with the United States in the questionably-legal invasion of Iraq. Consider the condition of that country today. Here was a Prime Minister, who promised so much with regard to improving Britain’s welfare, education and health services. Richard Wilson, former Cabinet Secretary, when Mr Blair was Prime Minister, once observed: "There are events during my period as Cabinet Secretary that make me shudder at what I remember because we had high hopes and we were so disappointed. He promised so much , but in the end so little was achieved." Moreover, since extracting himself from politics, Mr Blair has proceeded to make vast sums working for numerous dictators handing out advice.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation may have thought that it was embellishing the reputation of Mr Blair by so acting. If it so believes, it has done so at the cost of damaging its own.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road, Lenzie.