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The Wife of the Prime Minister


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

This post was published more than 15 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 15 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 write 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 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider 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  • Factual information might be outdated.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...

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 614th 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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