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Reflections of a working writer and reader



He’s gone

Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, left Downing Street yesterday after a farewell world tour and will now, no doubt, join the international lecture circuit where he will be offered bags of gold for his memoirs.

In the Times Online site, Peter Stothard assesses the man’s legacy in as fair a way as possible.

We all know enough about his disastrous foreign policies, slavishly following the lead of the Bush gang in the USA, committing us to violence and needless bloodshed abroad and attracting increasing terrorist activities at home, but his domestic policies and their results are less widely publicised:

His final marks at home?

Anyone with a liberal social agenda, the money to keep their children out of state schools, a modest preparedness for home rule in Scotland and Wales, the need for cheap immigrant labor and the liking to live in a famous country under a famous leader has felt five-ways blessed.

Anyone who hoped for a transformation in schools, a sensibility to the countryside, civil liberty, tradition and a better sense of urban safety feels five-ways robbed.

4 Responses to “He’s gone”

  1. Andrew says:

    He may be gone but perhaps Europe beckons for Truthful Tony, or maybe Rupert Murdoch or some kind corporation might find a place for the lonely prophet. But thankfully happiness in the earthly form of Gordon Brown does now occupy no.10, and a wonderful destiny does await this green & pleasant land of which the mentioned leaders are the holy custodians.

    jb says: Hi Andrew, you jester, you. Was it in Private Eye I saw the cartoon, a picture of Downing Street with a plaque on the wall: Tony Blair Lied Here . . .

  2. Andrew says:

    I can assure you I was fully in earnest, John. Who could not but adore those men like Brown & Blair; these paragons of all the virtues that inhabit the human frame?

    jb says: Don’t worry too much, Andrew, there’s a cupboard full of clones just waiting to be let loose on us.

  3. cfr says:

    Er, on the domestic front, I’m thinking division created in what is called a “United” Kingdom…

    As for the NHS, didn’t he say once (pre-election) that we had 24 hrs to save it? After 10 years of his direction and choice of Health Minister we now have an NHS in financial crisis, even after loads of extra taxpayers’ money injected into the budget; plus a load of docs in the BMA putting forward an effective “vote of no confidence” in Sir Liam Donaldson, England’s Chief Medical Officer. I know of nurses who wouldn’t shake the hand of Virginia Bottomley at one time. But now she looks like a saint, surely?

    So, Gordon finally gets a bite at the cherry. But I suspect that will be all – just a bite. Short term. Short-lived. If he can’t manage to re-brand his party with policies to support in quick time, he’s not going to be in number 10 for long.

    Personally, I’m glad to see the retreating back of Blair and I hope he doesn’t make it as “President” of Europe in the near future. The other aspect he arrived on was “squeaky clean” after a number of sex scandals from the Tories. But they’ve not been squeaky clean. Far from it. Unfortunately, Labour (new or old, whatever…) has also had its far share of scandals, but where the general public can easily relate to a sex scandal, it’s not so easy to relate to a scandal that involves conflict of interest or abuse of power and commerical gain. And then there’s the spinning…

    We get what we elect, I suppose, if we can be bothered to turn up and exercise our votes. We used to be a model of democracy for the rest of the world. And more so because of Iraq, how on earth could we lead the way now?

    OK, rant over. I’m actually looking forward to the red top reporting of what comes next for the Blairs. I reckon it will be a laugh…

  4. Suzan Abrams says:

    When I read that Blair had gone, the first that hit me was of how he had destroyed his own reputation. I wonder what Bush will do now.