And now the end is near…

The Labour NEC is expected to agree the timetable for Blair’s exit as Labour Leader and consequently Prime Minister in the coming week.

  • heck

    about time.

    the war in Iraq is 4 years old tomorrow. This is 4 years too late

  • Dougal

    What short memories some people have. In part, the current Labour came in to power riding on the disillusion of the voting public with an appalling Conservative government.

    David Cameron has copied the Blair approach and gained a few popularity points in the process. In this goal, he was helped by Tony Blair through the appalling handling of Iraq. Now people can come and go (as the Conservatives well know), but ideologies last longer. GB is still better of with a government employing a left of centre economic strategy?

  • Synchronize Your Dogmas

    Like a Conservative government would have done something different in Iraq. Truly it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always wins.

  • heck

    dougal

    “GB is still better of with a government employing a left of centre economic strategy”. It’s a pity it does’nt have one.

    That’s like saying germany was better of with a government that built the autobahn and made the trains run on time. There are some government policies that overshadow everything else. For Honest Tony’s gang it is the war crime that is the iraq war. It is so bad that nothing else the labour government has done matters.

  • Dougal

    heck, I agree. I think your German analogy is right. One fear I have is that UK voters will become like many here, that is to say overly reactionary in their voting patterns.

    Nobody would benefit from an election that is based, almost entirely, on an “anti-Blair” issue and because of Iraq, although I think it’s looking increasingly probable. There is certainly no denying that Iraq is going to be the major defining influence on Blair’s legacy but I don’t agree that ”…nothing else the labour government has done matters. “ . In fact I suspect time and history will be kinder to him than we might at present envisage. Time will, in deed, tell.

    Like here, the next UK general election could become little more than a tribal dance against a person as opposed to a call to vote on principal; where “getting your man home” is all that counts, at any cost. We won’t hear about things like the longest period of sustained low inflation since the 60s, low mortgage rates (remember 15%?), the NMW, 85,000 more nurses, 32,000 more doctors, fathers now getting paternity leave of 2 weeks for the first time etc. It will only be “Iraq” and I don’t think that’s a good thing for us or GB. Given past histories and recent changes in the political landscape here, I have little faith that a Conservative government would be any better for us than Blair has been.

  • Comrade Stalin

    That’s like saying germany was better of with a government that built the autobahn and made the trains run on time. There are some government policies that overshadow everything else. For Honest Tony’s gang it is the war crime that is the iraq war. It is so bad that nothing else the labour government has done matters.

    I agree that the UK was complicit in an illegal war, and should never have sided with the Americans. However I disagree with your perspective of it’s relevance. If it matters, then why did the UK electorate vote them back in ? Face it, the last general election was not conducted over the war, and the next one won’t be either. Provided the economy is doing well and there is a “feelgood factor”, people will not come out in their droves to change the government.

    dougal:

    David Cameron has copied the Blair approach and gained a few popularity points in the process. In this goal, he was helped by Tony Blair through the appalling handling of Iraq.

    I am not sure about this. The Conservatives backed Blair all the way over Iraq. Everyone always knew that they would.

    I am also not sure whether or not people are likely to switch back to the Tories that easily. Frankly, listening to Cameron talking yesterday about being able to save the NHS made me laugh. I think many people still have raw memories of the mess the Tories made when they were in power, and they still would not trust them with the NHS; all that bollocks with the internal market, “competition”, ward closures etc was all their work.

    Given that the economy is motoring along fairly well despite the warnings, and there’s a fairly good level of employment, people are not going to be p’d off enough to vote the government out. I am not a Labour supporter, but rightly or wrongly, the UK has seen the longest period of sustained economic growth (and stability) since WW2. The Conservatives had 17 years in power and during that time there was mass unemployment and the economy was up and down like a yoyo.

    I have a feeling that the Labour vote will be eroded by the Tories but not seriously penetrated, and that the Lib Dems will hold on where they are right now, perhaps improving slightly; and that the result will be a hung parliament. That’s when things will start getting interesting, especially when you throw the SNP’s independence demands into the mix.

    85,000 more nurses, 32,000 more doctors,

    Having slagged off the Tories’ terrible record on the NHS I find myself unable to see much positive in the way that Labour have handled it. I don’t know what the numbers are at a high level, but I do know that family members have recently phoned the doctors surgery and have been told to call back another time to get an appointment; and that prescriptions for antibiotics are now being administered by nurses rather than doctors. I never remember either of those things happening before Labour were in power. Whatever improvements there are in the NHS, I’m not aware of them filtering into my own personal sphere, and I wonder whether or not the same experience is true for others.

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  • Crataegus

    Comrade

    I agree that a hung government seems likely, and in my opinion desirable, but think the Lib-Dems will lose seats to the Conservatives in the South. We need PR in British elections.

    As for the National Health Service, it is not lack of money that is the problem as sloppiness usually costs money. Much of it is bad management the sort that could be sorted out without any more radical initiatives.

    Labour the party of Private Finance Initiatives, the party of war mongers and the party of deceit. A party with a total lack of understanding of, let alone commitment to, accountability and responsibility. This is a party that befriends people who flog fags and media barons. This is a Party that is currently under investigation for suspected payments for peerages. It is a party where members have been found guilty of electoral fraud.

    To think that we once thought they would make a difference when they got in. What a disappointment. What an opportunity lost.

    As for the Conservatives, we don’t need a new and improved Tony Mark 2.

  • Dougal

    CS,

    I think it was a Panorma programme which showed how David Cameron copied almost word for word, a speech by Blair, (like Blair did with a thatcher speech before him!). I think Cameron has copied Blair both literally and in the more general, “sleeves-up”, “let’s get down to business sense”. Given the fairly long succession of failed Tory leaders, I suppose it is only to be expected that it would gain him in the ratings but I’m not sure this can be seen as an indication of any long term popularity, either for him peroanlly or the his party.

    Like all parties, I suppose the Tories have to deal with issues of image and credibility and it is here I feel they should be seen wanting. However, given that to hostilility to Blair is an issue at the moment (no opinion right or wrong is implied here), I feel the electorate may well switch; not out of support for a right wing economic ideology but as a protest against Iraq. IMO, the Tories are going to find it near impossible to convince the electorate that, deep down, they would not just rather see the NHS privtaised and in the hands of the free market. I only posted NHS numbers as evidence of “some” success likely to be forgotten and nothing more was implied here.

    I would hope that people still remember the mess the Tories made when they were in power but a week in politics and all that and I am really fearful that people have become accustomed and complacent to our relative prosperity over the past years.

    I favour a left of center, socialist economic ideology and so, in a UK context, I support Labour. I have noticed that here on the Slug, where some delight in pigeon holing posters, this may be seen as being a blairite at any costs, but this is not the case. Credit and critic in equal measure and all that. Overall I think the Labour vote will be eroded but will remain in tact but I see no room for complacency on the part of Labour Party, far from it in fact. Ideolgy and logic tell me this but then I think IRAQ! WTF was he doing and what damage will it do?