Is Tony Blair's Legacy Tarnished by His Reluctance to Step Down?

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In summary: There is a religious right in the United States that's very active," she says. "They are very aggressive in promoting their views, and they have been successful in getting their voices heard. I think that they are a hindrance to the kind of sensible bipartisan consensus-building that we need to do in order to solve problems." In summary, Blair has been in trouble with his approval ratings and is now waffling about whether or not he will step down.
  • #1
Astronuc
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Well, Blair had been talking about stepping down, or at least mentioned it to cabinet and party members, but now seems to be waffling or perhaps he getting cold feet.

From London, Stephen Beard from the Economist reports that British Prime Minister Tony Blair is in trouble. His approval ratings have plummeted for many reasons, including one that first got him elected nine years ago.

Blair changes his tune . . . too late?
by STEPHEN BEARD (from the Economist)

STEPHEN BEARD: Once, he was young, charismatic and full of energy. . . . When Blair arrived on the scene it was love at first sight for the British voter. . . . One of Blair's main attractions, when he was first elected prime minister, was his promise to pump more money into Britain's ailing public services.

GIDEON RACKMAN: There was widespread public dissatisfaction with the health and education services which are state-run here in Britain, and a feeling that more money needed to be spent to bring them up to the kind of standards that people expected.

But nine years on, the love affair is well and truly over. After $600 billion-worth of extra public spending, many British voters feel rather differently about Blair and his government, says Gideon Rackman of the Economist magazine.

RACKMAN: Before, they thought the problem was the services were underfunded. Now, I think they're beginning to think: Well, we've poured all this money in but things aren't working well, so maybe the money has been wasted.

The perception is growing that healthcare and education have not markedly improved. That much of the money has gone into larger pay packets and more generous pensions for government workers. Bureaucrats have proliferated, says Andrew Hilton of the CSFI think tank.

ANDREW HILTON: What we've got is lots and lots more managers. And lots and lots more better paid managers who have guaranteed pensions which most people in the UK don't have.

Blair has many other problems, among them rising crime and, of course, Iraq. His popularity is plunging, He is under pressure to quit and hand over the top job to his Finance Chief and rival, Gordon Brown. He had promised he would, but now appears to be backtracking. Brown, however, wants to take control long before the next election. He is talking openly about Blair's departure.

GORDON BROWN: Tony's said that he's going to do it in a stable and orderly way. That means he will be talking not just to me but to senior colleagues about it. You see . . . remember when Mrs Thatcher left, it was unstable, it was disorderly, it was undignified.
http://marketplace.publicradio.org/shows/2006/05/15/PM200605154.html

Maybe GW should consider likewise. :rolleyes: :biggrin:
 
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  • #2
He had a reshuffle, getting all his mates (not Gordon's) in key positions and says he won't go until July 2007.

I'd vote the Tories back in just to wake Labour up - and get them to step back over to the left...

...but Tories until the next election :frown:

Still, they'll never get back in :smile:

At least, I think, Gordon doesn't have the same attitude to loving religion as Blair - tho'they say his ideas are the same or even more conservative than Blair's
 
  • #3
J77 said:
At least, I think, Gordon doesn't have the same attitude to loving religion as Blair - tho'they say his ideas are the same or even more conservative than Blair's
Has anyone seen interviews with Madeline Albright about her new book, "The Might and the Almighty?" The book is not only about the political influence of religion in Arab nations, but even more about the religious-right in the U.S:

...But Albright also looks critically at President Bush, an evangelical Christian who invokes God in the name of fighting "evil." In this ambitious, thoughtful, and wide-ranging treatment, Albright deftly balances the pragmatic need to confront religious-based unrest and the idealistic need to temper one's own personal beliefs in the public realm. While fully acknowledging the threat al- Qaeda poses, Albright rejects the notion that a "clash of civilizations" is in progress and wisely calls for care and nuance in how America approaches international confrontations that are tinged with religion. (May 2)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061119970/?tag=pfamazon01-20

It's not just Bush, but also Blair and Harper in Canada. The pendulum has been swinging too far to the right with Christianity inappropriately mixed in. I'm grateful none of these leaders are able to retain mass support from their citizenry. Otherwise this kind of fervor would surely lead us into WWIII.
 
  • #4
SOS, thanks for that reminder! I listened to a local interview with Albright, and I was impressed. That's a must read book.

Here's a different interview -
Albright Examines Link Between Politics, Religion
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5379480

Fresh Air from WHYY, May 3, 2006 · Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, talks about her book The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs.

In the book, Albright takes a historical view of how religion has had an impact on policy and world events. Previously, Albright wrote the bestselling Madam Secretary: A Memoir. She is the founder of the Albright Group LLC in Washington, D.C.
 
  • #5
In Blair's monthly press conference last week he made it pretty clear without coming straight out and saying so that he and Brown have already agreed a timetable for an orderly transition. He said he wouldn't give a date publically as it would effectively end any chance he has of pushing through his current batch of legislation. An argument which makes sense.

It is unlikely he will be forced out earlier as there are only around 50 or so members of the parliamentary labour party who are passionate about geting rid of him now and these are the same 50 who were passionate about never wanting him as leader in the first place.

The feeling amongst the Brown camp is that it is better to keep Blair in place for now and let him try and fix some of the unpopular issues before the handover so they don't become tainted by them. Anything that is still a mess they can blame on him and so start off with a clean plate with the electorate.

It's a pity his premiership is petering out this way as Blair has done a lot for his country including ending the strife in N. Ire, presided over a very strong economy and provided greatly improved public services whilst all he will be remembered for is his folly in throwing in his lot with Bush and believe me in the UK this is seen as a major folly! It's not even so much about the rights and wrongs of the Iraq war as british pride. The british public does not like to see it's leaders playing lapdog to anyone which is how Blair is universally perceived.

Articles like this in today's Telegraph don't help his image;

Britain shamed as exiles of the Chagos Islands win the right to go home
By Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 12/05/2006)

It was one of the most shameful episodes in British post-war history: the secret expulsion of an entire population of islanders, carried out in clear violation of international law, to make way for a giant American military base.
and although the original action dates back to 1966 it has been perpetuated as recently as 2000 under Blair bowing to pressure from America
The decision has constitutional implications, calling into question the use of the royal prerogative. The orders in council followed a High Court decision in November 2000 which overturned a 1971 immigration ordnance that banned the islanders from their homes. Robin Cook, the then Foreign Secretary, accepted the decision and set up a feasibility study into re-populating the islands. But after intense US pressure, the Government issued the orders in council. In a conciliatory gesture earlier this year, the Foreign Office chartered a ship to take 100 islanders back to their homes to tend the graves of relatives.
Richard Gifford, the solicitor for the islanders, said: "The responsibility of our present Government for victimising its own citizens, and its subservience to the demands of a foreign power, are all too obvious. This is the fourth time in five years that Her Majesty's judges have deplored the treatment inflicted upon this fragile community."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...hag12.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/05/12/ixnews.html
 
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  • #6
Art said:
It's a pity his premiership is petering out this way as Blair has done a lot for his country including ending the strife in N. Ire, presided over a very strong economy and provided greatly improved public services whilst all he will be remembered for is his folly in throwing in his lot with Bush and believe me in the UK this is seen as a major folly! It's not even so much about the rights and wrongs of the Iraq war as british pride. The british public does not like to see it's leaders playing lapdog to anyone which is how Blair is universally perceived.
Since Bush became president, anti-Americanism has increased all around the world, and I agree Blair has been caught in the fall out.
 

Related to Is Tony Blair's Legacy Tarnished by His Reluctance to Step Down?

1. What prompted Tony Blair to step down?

Tony Blair announced his resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 2007 after serving for 10 years. He stated that it was time for a new generation to take over and that he did not want to serve a full third term.

2. How did Tony Blair's departure impact the Labour Party?

Many within the Labour Party saw Tony Blair's departure as an opportunity for the party to rebuild and regain public trust. However, there was also division and criticism within the party regarding Blair's leadership and policies.

3. What were some of Tony Blair's major accomplishments as Prime Minister?

During his tenure, Tony Blair implemented various policies such as the National Minimum Wage, devolution in Scotland and Wales, and the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. He also played a key role in the response to the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq.

4. What were some of the controversies surrounding Tony Blair's time as Prime Minister?

Many controversies surrounded Blair's decisions to join the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, including the legitimacy of the intelligence used to justify the war and the lack of a clear post-war plan. Blair also faced criticism for his handling of the 2005 London bombings and the 2009 expenses scandal.

5. What has Tony Blair been doing since leaving office?

Since leaving office, Tony Blair has remained active in politics and has also taken on various roles in the private sector. He founded the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which focuses on issues such as climate change and global poverty. He has also been involved in various philanthropic efforts and has served as a mediator in international conflicts.

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