Saturday, June 30, 2007

Look at each other and go Blair

It didn't seem particularly fair that the core hypothesis being offered in the endless documentaries on the 'real' Tony Blair this week was 'Tony Blair, how utterly rubbish was he?'

Channel 4 ran a documentary about Blair's Children focussing on a child that'd been shot in a council estate. Honestly, is this representative of 'Blair's Children' (aside from the fact that Blair's Children are Euan, Nicky, Kathryn and Leo).

In the main, Britain under Tony Blair has been a good place; economically stable and reasonably prosperous. We're a nation that gets education, healthcare, a decent prospect of having a job, low inflation, cheap overseas holidays, pretty safe streets and in 2012 we will have the Olympic Games.

OK, some people have more than others, but that's always going to be the case and true equality is a a worthy, but unlikely prospect - which doesn't mean we should stop trying to achieve it, of course. If people living on the streets of Rio or in Baghdad, Dehli, or Kabul had the choice of living there or somewhere as stable and prosperous as Britain, I think they'd choose the latter ... we don't know we're born.

It's not been a perfect premiership; but I'd like to meet the person who hasn't made a mistake at work for ten years. After 10 years in any job there is a point where the world has moved on and you're left floundering. Which is probably what's happened to him in the last couple of years.

Sadly, one of his legacies will be Iraq; but he isn't responsible for the growth of radical Islamic thinking, that's been on the march for 30 years nor was he responsible for the election of George Bush. Our alignment on a global stage with the US goes back generations, and he knows he'd have been slaughtered for aligning with Europe on the issue. Yes, he could have had more conviction and listened to the people; but in reality he was pretty stymied in what he could do about it.

He's been on every TV channel every day for ten years, so over-exposure is an inevitability. He can't be anyone but who he is - have you tried talking or smiling differently, it's very hard, so when he smiles, it's not smarmy, it's him smiling. I think he's done OK, and think he should be respected for what he's done.


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