With Head Held High and a spring in his step Tony Blair bounded up the steps of the Queen’s transport today headed for Sedgfield to reveal the worst kept secret since Victoria Beckham’s ‘has she or hasn’t she had them done’. As we ALL now know Prime Minister Tony Blair will knock on the Queen’s door on June 27th. He will walk into her presence as Prime Minister – he will walk out of her presence no longer such.
Don’t know about the rest of you but I’m slightly confused as to what I feel. As one who tends to look for the positive in any situation I have been casting my eye over the past ten years to see what good has come out of the Blair Years… ….ok….done that. Now let me cast my eye over the bad………ok……. now done that as well. How does it balance? As he said it’s for us to decide.
Morag unpacked her suitcases on these shores in 1992. Arrived from New York (via Belfast) – after years of holidaying here marriage and circumstances dictated this was going to be home for the foreseeable future. Old Jamaican saying of ‘come see me and come live with me’ proved spot on. Lollygagging in Annabel’s and shopping in Liberty was slightly different than the Northern Line and Safeway’s (Morrison’s to you young folk). A lot of the quirks I had found endearing became instantly annoying. Everything closing at 10, bad service, grumpy people, constant pessimism etc.etc. Then once I settled in, the UK became like that lovely great-aunt that you always loved and then somehow accidentally ended up living with. She wasn’t the same when she removed her hat but she let you play with her hair and you loved her for it.
These were the Major years. For reasons too cumbersome to explain in those days Morag spent a bit of time wandering the halls of Westminster (in a purely social sense). Sitting in the bar with people pointing out John Smith and saying ‘There’s our next Prime Minister’. Sadly that was not to be. Politics were grey. Politicians were even more so. Many of the women wandering the halls of Westminster were in patent stilettos and had security passes that said ‘Guest’.
Fast-forward to 1997 – enter Tony Blair. What did he do? Did he do anything at all? Well yes he did. For all the things that he can be faulted for some things were accomplished over the past decade. There are many more competent than I who can list all the plusses and all the minuses so Morag will do what Morag does – talk about the intangibles. Oh and to note that there are now more women in Westminster wearing sensible shoes carrying attaché cases.
Yes Labor’s expectations were too high. And our temperament as a nation being what it is it is much more fun to bang on about ‘they said they would do this and they didn’t’. Yes one needs to be held accountable. But at least they tried. And that is part of the legacy that Tony Blair left. More of us now seem to care and have something to say. Now we will at least try and if we start putting some action behind our whingeing then we’ll be in business.
As for Iraq. Morag isn’t the best person to comment. I’m one of those who did not for one single minute EVER believe that the Iraq War/Conflict was about WMD. Also never believed that Saddam’s was anyone’s idiot and would have been sitting there patiently waiting for anyone to show up and catch him at it. I have always been informed, and I believe correctly, that we sold him a lot of the stuff to make the WMD so unless he had some intensely peculiar garden ornaments in his many palaces he probably put it to fit purpose. Why did we not find any? You’re home alone perusing the latest copy of NakedFarmGirls and your mummy calls and says she’s on her way home – what do you? Exactly………stash it, wash your hands and look innocent. The Iraq War was always going to be mainly about the Yanks and lining their pockets. The fact that we idealistically went along with that programme of foolishness…..well like I said – I’m not the best person to comment.
What Tony Blair did manage to do was drag politics into the 20th century and as he said leave it ‘comfortable in the 21st century’. Of course that is a huge exaggeration – we aren’t comfortable but at least we’re there. Finally. Yes he changed the way the office was run – but it needed to happen. And proof positive that things needed to happen is that we are now more than likely to be stuck with that entity that is Gordon Brown (but I shall save that for my next rant).
What happens now? Until a year ago I was Labor – but now I am Conservative. I think that is the way to go – with or without Gordon Brown in the driver’s seat (though even more so with him as PM). I think the only way for right-minded folk to proceed forward is to join the Conservatives – cut down on government interference and step up individual social responsibility.
But in the meantime I have to say I did stand up today and give a hand to the Boy Wonder. “I give my thanks to you, the British people, for the times that I have succeeded, and my apologies to you for the times I have fallen short. But good luck”(TB)
…………..he’s right if we don’t tip them out we’ll need it.