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Adios, Anthony – It wasn’t all bad

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 11 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 11 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

The Blair Years

Everybody with the ability to communicate appears to be commenting today on Tony Blair’s legacy today, after he announced that he would resign on 27th July.

It’s easy to point out that he’s buried bad news to the end, choosing to use the day of an interest rate rise to announcing his ‘departure timetable’, something perhaps more familiar to a steam train than a politician. Not to mention the burying of the news that the cost of the ID card scheme has increased by £840m.

It’s easy to point out that he’s the King of Soundbites to the end: “The best nation on Earth”.

It’s easy to point out that his departure had the same theme tune as his arrival, Things Can Only Get Better, and wonder when it was most true.

It’s all-to-easy for people like me to knock Blair’s achievement. We can criticise him for his sofa-style of government, his five wars, his failures.

But for all his faults, he is the first Labour Leader to secure three successive election victories. He has introduced policies which have made the country better – the minimum wage being a case in point. He is the first ‘celebrity’ Prime Minister. And he’s a very successful politician.

His legacy will be the war in Iraq – his biggest failure. His defence of his less successful policies – “I did what I thought was right” – reveals, perhaps, his biggest failing: Government should not take decisions based upon the whim of the Prime Minister – however well intentioned – but on the facts, considered opinion from experts in their field, Cabinet discussion and debate, and Parliamentary process.

It’s a legacy, but not, I think, the one he wanted.

This 1,129th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

More posts worth reading

Cortado (published 20th February 2019)

Room with a view (published 18th February 2019)

The Nativity × Gaudí (published 17th February 2019)

Hospitals deny patients facts on death rates (published 16th March 2005)

Medical confidentiality and respect for the not-quite-dead (published 27th October 2005)

Photo-a-day 146: Rock in Exhibition Park (published 25th May 2012)

Carrots as junk food (published 6th April 2012)


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