Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Oh Tony. Why now?

For all my criticism of our current Prime Minister, his performance at the TUC conference was vintage Blair and an illustration of what we're going to miss when he finally goes. I had the privilege of seeing him at work during the 2005 election campaign and he's almost of the calibre of Clinton - which is high praise indeed. Whether you agree with everything or not, you have to admire his abilities. I only heard today's speech on the radio - noting that it is a mark of the shifting priorities that the PM's speech was interrupted for live coverage of the announcement of the Ashes squad.

'I'm not saying that everything's been great, because it hasn't. And incidentally, for those of you who think that you'll ever get a government where everything is fine - that doesn't happen. But what does happen is progress, if we have the courage and the determination to remain in government. And the most important thing to remember of all of this - just reflect on it for a moment - is that we did for years and years pass our resolutions, have our debates, but it never made the blindest bit of difference because we could never do anything about it.

I want to see a Labour Party continue in government. And it will only ever continue in government if it focuses on policy for the future but accepts that government is a hard, difficult business. But it is a darn sight better than wasting our time in opposition, passing resolutions no-one ever listens to and can do anything about. That is the brutal truth - and the brutal truth about all politicians and all political leaders is that you have your difficult times and have your better times. And the decisions you take are often very, very hard to take. But actually it's a privilege to take them. And the reason for that is that just occasionally you meet people - and I do in different parts of the country - whose lives we've changed.

I meet people teaching in inner city schools that for the first time have got the equipment they need. I meet people who have been treated by the health service and had their lives saved. I meet people - who for the first time - have been able to afford a holiday abroad because of the changes we've made and the extra money
we've given. And I meet above all else people who recognise that for all the faults, progress there has been in these ten years.

And if we ever forget it, we'll repeat the lessons of the past.'

Comrades - he's right.

I do think that he should resign sooner rather than later - solely in the interests of the party - but I have never wavered in the certainty that if an election were called tomorrow, I'd be out there arguing for Labour to win and for Tony as PM. Little Davey Cameron isn't up to it. People describe him as the Tory Blair, but this is simply wrong. Cameron isn't in the same league as Blair. Tony is Premier, Cameron is still struggling in the Conference.


Welsh Spin said...

It is too late now, but you have finally understood. Blair is the most total politician of our generation and you and your friends have finally got your way and jettisioned him.

You will have many decades to regret it.

PoliticalHack said...

I've always known that.

Blair was the leader who got through to me and brought me into the party and made me an activist.

My reasoning for calling for his resignation is solely because I believe him to be an electoral liability now. He has been our greatest weapon. It gives me no pleasure at all.