Blair’s squandered the lot

EXCLUSIVE: Brown not to stand! – Hapless band of staff and regulars

I fear that this is wishful thinking, but if I’m wrong Ryan has the scoop of the decade – move over Guido and Iain Dale!

But there is a serious point here – and that point is this: Why is it that no other talented Labour politician (for there are some) wants the job? The truth is that the chalice is well and truly poisoned. In fact not only is it poisoned, it is probably radioactive and highly like to explode in the face of the holder at any time.

Tony Blair has squandered the greatest gift that any politician is likely to receive in my lifetime. He was elected as PM ten short years ago at the head of a reformed, reconstructed, electable Labour Party. They were organised and disciplined. The most red-blooded red socialists were willing to behave and give it a chance. The Tories were in utter, utter disarray. Until the coming of Cameron, they weren’t even an effective opposition party. What’s more, the Nation was behind him. Tony had succeeded in uniting Labour voters, soft Tories – and even many Liberals. People from all backgrounds were hopeful that things could indeed ‘only get better’, and were willing to give New Labour a chance.

No Prime Minister, no government in my lifetime has ever had, or is ever likely to have such political capital. He could have brought momentous change at every level, and the people would have backed him.

Fast forward ten years. The long goodbye continues to drag on and almost everyone can’t wait to see the back of him. Even most Labour people I know can’t wait to see the back of him. To lose so much goodwill, both within and without his party, takes a special talent. Some people are starting to see Cameron as the saviour. This is surely a measure of how bad things have become. Cameron has yet to articulate any vision of what ‘New Tory Britain’ will look like. He has barely made a concrete policy on anything. He is the triumph of style over substance. And yet, next to New Labour, he looks an attractive proposition to many people. It’s a scary thought that one day soon our great nation may be being led by someone who should be an advertising executive – for he doesn’t create any product, but knows plenty about presentation.

A Brown premiership is doomed to failure. He won’t have the public support, and he won’t have the support of large parts of his party. He is inextricably linked to Blair – as Ming has said, he signed all the cheques. But no-one else wants the job because they know that Labour are likely to lose the next general election. The man who take up the reins now will be the John Major figure – unable to control the warring factions in his own party as it sinks all around him.

Things can only get worse.

One thought on “Blair’s squandered the lot”

  1. I actually think that Brown and Blair have more responsibility for these situations than you give them credit for. No-one is standing against Brown because he has spent the last several years, and especially the last several months, running an extremely extensive and effective operation within his party to ensure that no-one does.

    Similarly one of the major reasons that the Conservatives have been such a failure is that Blair has, ever since 1994, set as his highest political objective, identifying what stance will split the Conservatives and prevent them from opposing him, and then adopting it. An example was on ID cards during Michael Howard’s leadership – almost every Conservative MP opposed ID cards, except Michael Howard – so Blair really went to town on it at that time. Of course that isn’t the whole story, but it’s quite a large part of it.

    But I think you’re quite right about Blair having squandered so many of his opportunities – for example on Europe.

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