I’ve been reading the posts listed in the Pajamas Media round-up.
Siggy’s position is that, in a sense, Blair is leaving in a high note, because the economy is booming, the integration into the EU was well handled, and Blair kept the pound as currency. The Blair economy influenced the boom in Ireland which in turn influenced the peace process in Northern Ireland as Northern Ireland saw how their neighbors were flourishing – and Blair is credited by both sides, for instance,
“the Prime Minister’s concerted efforts helped in ultimately securing devolution in Northern Ireland.”
Siggy feels that Blair became a great prime minister because he blurred party lines, and,
“Blair understood that there needed to be changes, and that techonology was going to change the way information moved within England… within Europe, and not just within Europe but across the globe. That was a very very important shift.
“Blair redefined British politics, and by doing so, redifined European politics.”
Blair is a man of conviction,
“You can disagree with the war, you can disagree with the politics, but no one can say that Tony Blair is not a decent guy”
which even the BBC notices
He said he had “a deep respect for the British people and it’s been an honour and privilege to lead them”. But he said he had “changed” over the past 10 years. He was a “different sort of person” now, who was less concerned about being “liked”.
Blair had been hardened by a decade in office.
He had become a conviction politician – a very different character to the one that had first walked into Downing Street in 1997, guitar case in hand.
On the matter of Blair’s successor, Rick Moran speculates on the future,
The US and Great Britain have steadfastly supported each other through some of the most turbulent times in world history. The alliance has benefited each country enormously both economically and strategically. We’ve had each other’s backs for more than 100 years – World Wars, the Cold War, Viet Nam, the Falklands, and now Iraq. We’ve assisted in peace efforts in Northern Ireland as well as using Britain’s good offices on more than one occasion when our diplomacy has been stuck in a rut. There is a symbiosis, a melding of interests between the two countries that would not be easily pried apart. And any effort to do so would not only affect our two countries, but also Europe and points beyond as well.
For these reasons, I feel confident Mr. Brown will resist calls to redefine our relationship and instead, try and establish that special bond with the American President – whoever it ends up being – that has been the hallmark of this, the most remarkable partnership the modern world knows. It has benefited both nations in the past. And I see no reason why it can’t be a plus in the future.
Siggy basically concurs, but you’ll have to listen to him.
Red State asserts that Blair has taken the Jihad lightly.
Siggy and I didn’t discuss Blair and the Jihad; we’ll just have to do another podcast to discuss that.
For the time being, however, go and listen to this morning’s podcast.
Cross-posted at Heading Right