Thursday, May 10, 2007

My highlight of the Blair decade

Peter has challenged bloggers to come up with their personal highlight of the Blair era. It seems a very reasonable thing to think about, even if they happen to be announcing the costings for ID cards today and other fun news stories that they'd like to bury.

'97 was the last general election that I voted Labour. Specifically I voted for Rod Green in Colchester, someone who was later expelled from the Labour Party for being active in Defend Council Housing (I kid you not).

The problem is of course that there have been so many "highlights" right from the beginning. The first thing the new government did was give more power to the Bank of England. The bombing of the Balkans was, for me, the moment I realised, in my heart, that Labour wasn't just not as good as it should be but it was actually part of the problem.

Holidaying with the likes of Berlusconi and becoming best of chums with G.W. Bush only confirmed it. Although there were still stings as residual loyalty was stripped away. Like the bizarre self destructive behaviour over Ken Livingstone's bid to become Mayor and the uncritical role he played during Israel's bombing of Gaza and Lebanon last year, but on the whole my illusions were well and truly gone.

WMDs? Well, the war was wrong from start to finish (when that comes), I always assumed the government lied, particularly during war time, so I don't tend to get angry about that - only the piles of corpses and the immiseration and domination of an entire continent get me angry. Continuing privatisation of public services? In fairness he'd said he would and he did. He didn't lie about that, although I had no sympathy when he whined about "scars on his back".

I'm glad to see Blair go and if Labour use Brown's Presidency to blunt the edge of some of the more hard core right wing policies then that will be a good thing - but Brown is just another course in the same rancid meal and, whilst Meacher or McDonnell may be able to generate some public debate about taking the government in a more leftward direction I hold out little hope of that making any real difference.

If you want you can take part in my poll (to the right) on what job you think Blair will apply for next. Personally I think it will be a religious position (either Cantebury or Iran I suppose) but many seem to feel he'll go for an intern role in the Tory Party HQ. Hmmm.


Adrian Windisch said...

Blair may want to be president of Europe. Or become professor or spin at a prestigious University.

Renegade Eye said...

I'll give him the credit as not being Bush's boy. It was his own craziness.

He has hurt labor, for decades to come.