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The Wife of the Prime Minister

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

Cherie BlairGiven 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.

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

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Comments and responses

Comment from Snipcock the Lawyer

    00.01, 12/06/2005

But she is conspicuous by her lack of judgement.


Or how quickly do you forget the failings of those whom you favor?

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    12.11, 12/06/2005

I well remember Cheriegate, and that forms the basis of my argument: She can’t accept the benefits of an official role and yet shun the responsibilities by annoucning that she is essentially a private person, as she did during Cheriegate:

Mrs Blair simply cannot have it both ways: She cannot be both a stateswoman and also free from accountability.

It is precisely why some serious thinking needs to be done about formalising her role.

Comment from Geoff Duke

    11.34, 06/06/2007

i want to know where is my human rights when i cannot get a single penny
out of the social what gets up my nose is these pakis and muslims and immigrants get everything it as been on month without any money and i am struggling home phone 0161 336 2077 mobile 07922351848 if you are not cherie blair then ask her this question

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    23.22, 06/06/2007

And here’s something I never thought I’d be writing: I am not Cherie Blair.

I also have no facility to ask her a question, so, er, I think you’re a little misguided on this one, Geoff.

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