From the title, you can tell I’m not very keen on him. I’m writing this not because my thoughts are terribly valuable on him, but because its a convenient place for me to write this where I’ll remember it. Because on previous things – like, say, the invasion of Kosovo – I’ve tended to forget, after, what my thoughts were, before, under pressure of events.
At the moment, Blairs reputation is dominated by the disaster of Iraq. Since this is a real disaster for which he shares a lot of the blame, this is fair (I know it was mostly US troops but our (his) support seems to have been very important: likely it would not have happened had we said no). The Economist says that in 5 years time this will be less important, and his other achievements will come to the fore. I think that will depend on how Iraq plays out. Since I can’t see a happy ending (obvious possibilities are a long slow collapse if we don’t pull out or a quick one if we do; anyone care to propose a plausible happy scenario?) I think that in 5 years he will still be best remembered, badly, for Iraq. What else should we remember him for?
The Economy? Its been doing well, but unequally. More importantly, Broon gets most of the credit for this, which seems reasonable given that he was chancellor, or maybe just the giving interest rates to the Bank was the thing. Anyway, not Blair.
Northern Ireland? Its a peace process that seems to have largely worked. I’m unsure how much credit Blair gets for this (or rather, how much he deserves). Compared to Iraq, it seems like a small thing; more, Iraq makes it look like an accident. I also suspect that the two sides had run out of anything else to do. That said, even if Blair got lucky, he seems to have pushed things along somewhat.
I’ve seen it said, more and more, that he didn’t really know how to govern or what to do. Certainly the stupid target culture he brought in was and is useless (or posivitively harmful). That the only really effective thing he managed to do was reform the Labour party. But a lot of people hate him for that, too. And the H+S sh*t* has got worse under him, but then it just keeps getting worse no matter who is in power.
Overall… begins to look a bit like King Log, apart from Iraq; hence thumbs down overall.
Parklife was good, though.
[Oh, and PFI too - another disaster. But mostly Broons fault]
[Update: a couple of things I forgot, added here where only those who read by RSS will see them: (1) devolution (2) House of Lords reform (only half way, but still a good thing) (3) minimum wage (4) interventions in Sierra Leone and Kosovo (less sure about the last) (5) Increased toleration -W]