Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
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Many thanks for your understanding.
Given the slightly silly way in which Mrs Blair has had to be included in the recent trip by the Prime Minister to the USA, with the two just ‘co-incidentally’ being in the US at the same time on different trips, and Mr Bush just ‘happening’ to invite her along, would it not seem logical to formalise the arrangements and have an official role for the Prime Minister’s spouse, a role on which they could be elected alongside their husband rather than just happening into a job of such power?
Even the Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman agrees with the general idea that Mrs Blair is an important stateswoman: After all, earlier today, when asked why Mrs Blair was introduced to the President by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Washington DC, she responded that this was normal for
any prominent British citizen visiting Washington DC
I might be overanalysing this, but my dictionary defines prominent as ‘conspicuous in position or importance’. As far as I am aware, Mrs Blair has no official elected position, and certainly no formal importance.
I have no ideological problem with the Prime Minister’s spouse taking a bigger official role – I think that a First Lady style position could be very useful in some circumstances – and I think Mrs Blair is given an exceptionally bad press in this country for no good reason. But to take a bigger role means that they will no longer be able to hide behind the ‘privacy of the family’ excuse when things get tough. Mrs Blair simply cannot have it both ways: She cannot be both a stateswoman and also free from accountability. She has to take one with the other. And if she does, then good luck to her.