What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

July 22, 2006

Never thought it would come to this

It’s 12 years (and now one day) since Tony Blair was elected leader of the Labour Party. I wonder if he ever thought it would turn out like this?

  • His Government regarded as sleazier than John Major’s Tories;
  • Trailing the Tories in the polls;
  • Forced to defend his deputy who has been found guilty of flouting Parliamentary standards;
  • Aligned with a right-wing neo-con President against the United Nations over the latest Middle East crisis; and
  • Poised to be interviewed by the police pursuing a criminal investigation.
Still, plenty of time to secure that legacy...


Tristan said...

Its not that surprising.
Neo-conservatism has its roots in the left and right wing statist ideologies.
Bush is a big spending, statist interventionist just like Blair.
I maintain that socialism is an authoritarian creed, no matter how reaonable its aims sound, its means and ends are authoritarian. Blair was trained as a socialist and still holds onto the core beliefs of state intervention and centralisation.
He has also developed the arrogance which goes with centralist views that you know best and you are always right and know what's best for others. This has led him to the sleaze scandals, and has led much of his party in that direction.

12 years ago we were desperate to get rid of a tired tory government, so we elected what seemed the best option, but looking back, the signs were there even then...

Dan said...

Blair wasn't 'trained as a socialist', past Labour governments much more in the socialist tradition have (for better and worse) been very different. You would probably struggle to argue that the first Wilson government was authoritarian, for example. Blair is far more influenced by meritocracy than socialism, and that's where quite a lot of the sleaze and so on comes from.

As for Steven's question - I imagine Blair would have have expected to be behind the Tories in the polls, though what would have amazed him is how small the Tory lead even after nine years of Labour in power is and how much they have been trying to copy him. Similarly, siding with the Americans against the UN to defend Israel is not something which would have bothered or surprised him much, at least part of his dim view of the UN dates from UN inaction in the mid 90s.

The sleaze would have been more of a surprise, though I wouldn't be surprised to find that he thinks he hasn't done anything wrong and it is all a hostile right-wing media or some such.

Take care

Dan xxx

Martin Hoscik said...

It's not just that Blair's Government is regarded as sleazier than John Major’s Tories; it IS sleazier.

A few isolated instances of personal corruption by Tory ministers doesn't compare with what's been done by PM Blair and his inner-clique.