In defence of politics & some politicians, in loyal support of Labour and in appreciation of decent political journalism.

14 January 2016

Tony Blair’s last fortnight

Filed under: Labour,Labour leadership,Labour politics — Ian McKenzie @ 5:11 pm

On 15 June 2007 the Guardian asked its readers to suggest ways in which Tony Blair should spend his last 14 days as Prime Minister. I’ve just found what I wrote at the time. I stand by it today. The last line is a cracker, even though I do say so myself

Jun 15 07, 10:24pm

How should Tony Blair spend his last fortnight in office?

He should spend his last 14 days looking forward to life without Guardianistas and their delusional rancour.

He deserves to reflect and bask in the certain knowledge that he has left Britain a fairer and more successful country than he found it, that everyone is better off. He should dust off a copy of Keir Hardie’s manifesto and note that he has made a reality of the first Labour Leader’s dream of a National Minimum Wage and Reformed House of Lords. He should be proud that since 1997 there are 80,000 more nurses, 32,000 more doctors, 27,000 more teachers and more police officers than at any time in history; that the spend on the NHS has tripled in 10 years; that there are 80 new hospitals either built or on the way; that every A&E department in the country has been renovated; that crime has fallen (except kids stealing mobile phones off each other). But he should devote at least an hour to condemning in words of one syllable the BMA Tory front campaign and the greedy selfish NHS consultants and GPs who have had their mouths stuffed with gold (like in 1947) and are STILL whinging.

He should be proud that he built on John Major’s intiative and brought peace to Ireland, for now at least. And he should be unapologetic that he was the statesman in a position to say “I feel the hand of history” rather than be a member of the pathetic bunch of pedants in the British press who pointed out that the statement was a tad inconsistent with renouncing sound bites for the occasion.

He should feel proud that there are thousands of teenagers in Sierra Leone today who would have been living without at least one limb for the past 7 years had he not committed British troops to salvage the democratic government there. He should be proud that he managed to cajole Clinton to get off his arse and do something about Serbian genocidal maniacs in Kosovo and save a million muslims while reserving a little grim smile for the irony that he is now a target for Islamofascists the world over; he should be proud that he was the first ever British Prime Minister to call for the creation of a Palestinian state (and by the way also be the only British PM ever, of any party, to send his kids to state schools).

And, yes, he should be proud (unlike the venal and corrupt French and Russians who did not want to lose their arms sales profits nor lose their kick backs from Saddam’s use of the Oil for Palaces, sorry, Food, Programme) that he helped rid Iraq of the worst monster the world has seen (Pol Pot aside) since Stalin and Hitler.

On the other side of the balance sheet if he has a few hours spare he should read Sam Harris’s “End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation” and Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”. If he did so, he might start to understand what evil charlatans Ratzinger, Williams, Murphy-O’Connor and Sacks really are and realise that he screwed up on faith schools, incitement to religious hatred and allowed Islamofascists safe haven for years to build an army against liberal democracy.

If he managed to find time to strangle Simon Hoggart and Quentin Letts with the entrails of Seamus Milne, I’d be very grateful.

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