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Blair's long goodbye « Previous | |Next »
May 11, 2007

Steve Bell on drawing Tony Blair.

Blair promised a new start of progressive politics after the 18 horror years of Thatcher's hard-edged authoritarianism. New Labour, which came in to power on 179-seat landslide, stood for a new dawn. In the beginning Britain was about to enter a new, better age, and it looked as if it might come true: a decade of economic stability and prosperity, public institutions - schools, hospitals, local libraries; new democratic institutions.

Steve Bell

It was the love affair with war that bought it all unstuck. Blair walked along with the American neo-conservatives, in step with them. I remember Blair for the allegations of exaggerating the intelligence or taking Britain to war on a lie. The outcome was starvation, refugees' movements, burning oilfields, torture, ethnic cleansing, civil war. Iraq became the millstone around Blair's neck. Blair was devoured by Iraq. Iraq is a mockery of liberal interventionism.

Blair ended up no longer being trusted by the British electorate and he ended up painfully alone.

What happened? Why the error in judgement? Why the full on embrace of the US neo-conservative project? Why did he continue to stay close to Bush when the closeness was destroying him--the absence of any WMD, the human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib? Why allow himself to be seen as a poodle of a reviled American president?

That's the puzzle isn't it. How did a good man go so wrong but still believe he did right?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:40 PM |