Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blair's legacy

Plenty have speculated about this. Most are fairly predictable - although not necessarily wrong for that.

He will not, at least not by anyone acquainted with the actual record, be remembered as a Prime Minister that made Britain a more equal place.

And if anyone suggests he's made Britain on balance a more liberal place, I'm going to puke up my lunch.

However, there is perhaps something that he'll be remembered for, or should be remembered for, that even for a non-fan like myself is a positive thing: he is a Labour Prime Minister who forced the Conservatives to change. Paul Linford has a remorselessly negative take on the Blair years - and there's much I agree with in his assessment. Point 5, however, isn't quite right:
"Three Labour election victories. The first one a donkey could have won. The third would have been a bigger victory without him."
I doubt a donkey - or a non-donkey like the late John Smith - would have won the crushing landslide Blair did in 1997. And could anyone but Blair pulled off a third election victory under such difficult circumstances?

It is this that has made the Tories change. They have been forced to drop the idea that their backbenchers resemble the electorate: the idea that the latter are as obsessed with Europe as they are; or dislike single-parents and asylum seekers as much as they do; or hate the public sector as much as most of them obviously do.

Actually scrub that: this means the Tories might win next time, so forcing them to change isn't a positive thing at all. Blair - nothing good to say about him. Well, maybe I could but I feel the need to distinguish myself from assessments like this one. Pass the sick bag.

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