Friday, May 04, 2007

Tony Blair's legacy

With Tony Blair the Labour Party have never had it so good. T. Blair broke many records as the youngest prime minister in the 20th century, as the first Labour PM to win three successive general elections. As UK lived under the brand of the "New Labour", now it needs a new PM that can correct T. Blair's mistakes and refurbish the actions that put UK among the nations to contend with. Before T. Blair, the Labour Party was in a mess. He rejuvenated it. After him, it needs a new look to keep new before it has the fate of other parties that have never taken power for decades like the Liberal Democrats.

For many outside the UK, Tony Blair will be remembered as the one whose foreign policy towards Iraq made UK look just a like a close follower of the USA. On this he has sailed on the same boat as George Bush. It dominated political debates at home and abroad, triggering his unpopularity among many. Because of his foreign policy on Iraq, he made UK on the blacklist of Islamic terrorists. But his decision to reduce British troops from Iraq for a possible withdrawal can atone for having sent them in the first place.

Tony Blair will be probably be missed by Bush who may have difficult times with the new PM should he decide a 360° turn to distance himself from the legacy of Blair. Blair rejuvenated the Labour Party. Now he is going to step down before becoming too old to lead the country. Politics is like athleticism. You should retire before you're too old. Blair leaves while he's in good form.

Now he has left his footprint in UK and having in power long enough to fight opponents abroad at home, Tony Blair can be an adviser on international policy, especially at the United Nations. Flamboyant politician like him at a relatively young age, will find it difficult to be a spectator to sit behind. He can follow the lead of former politicians and publish his memoirs in Downing Street. Many will be curious to know more about him. He arrived to power in a spectacular way. Now he leaves it with flying colours as his popularity isn’t currently as low as that of his close friend George Bush.

It remains to see how the future Prime Minister will fair. One thing is sure UK is historically a close ally to the US under either Labour or Conservative governments. Tony Blair in his approach to foreign policy, especially Iraq, is just a continuation of what the relations between UK and USA should be. History will tell how Blair influenced George Bush. Now the prevailing view is that Blair has been just at his beck and call.

One of the other things that will be missed about him is his eloquence and sense of humour. He has all the chances to keep in stardom after leaving office. It is unlikely that he will easily fall in oblivion. UK now has three prominent prime ministers dating back from the Second World War: Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and the last but not the least: Tony Blair. Historians will keep talking about them.

2 comments:

Marc said...

I will miss T. Blair when he goes. I somehow feel reassured to know he's PM. You're right the Labour party need a new image now, I'm not sure Gordon Brown is that image.

Jean Purdy said...

Hilary Benn says that life has changed for the better under Blair--doubtless it has for MPs, who have seen their salaries; expensies and pensions soar. Not so for the pensioners; the sick and the low-paid workers, losing their jobs to the untold immigrants, who can afford to work for a pittance, as their housing costs are met by the taxpayers.