Blair: a social democrat who came to terms with the end of communism…

As Gordon Brown takes a ball passed to him on the run by one T. Blair, Eoghan Harris offers some (presumably unwelcome) advice to an impoverished Irish left.

…unlike most of the British and Irish media I do not believe that his political career largely came to dust. Blinded by Iraq, the media tell us that Blair was poor on policy, adding, as an afterthought, that he was good at winning elections.

As if winning elections were easy. As if it did not matter that Kinnock lost to Thatcher. Look, if winning elections was that easy why was the Labour Party not electable for most of my lifetime, and when elected, why were they so easily evicted?

The truth is that Tony Blair was the first British social democrat to truly come to terms with the collapse of Communism and the consequent sidelining of socialism. He alone came up with the answer which secured state power for social democracy. To adapt Disraeli, he found the Tories bathing and stole their pinstriped suits. Three times. Give him a gold medal.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty