Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bye Bye Blair

As the world says goodbye today to Tony Blair -- who after ten years is stepping down as British Prime Minister -- there will be much talk of his legacy.

So let me add my two cents.

In my view, Blair's most lasting legacy will be that he dragged the Labour Party, kicking and screaming, out of its nineteenth century class warfare, pseudo-Marxist funk.

Blair scrapped much of Labour's hard-core socialist agenda; he helped defang the militant union bosses; and he even adopted some of Margaret Thatcher's economic reforms.

And of course, Blair was a loyal ally to the United States in its war against terrorism.

So despite the fact that Blair is a left-winger, with an aggravating penchant for nanny-statism, he helped move the political debate in the right direction.

Canada's left wing politicians could learn a thing or two from him.

5 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

I agree that his economic policies moved Britain in the right direction, but I believe his close alliance with the United States was a fundamental mistake.

One should have mature and professional relations with the United States, but blindly following them on foreign policy is incredibly stupid, especially under the current administration. I am glad Canada has chosen a different path.

Ace said...

Q: How do you spell Paul Martin?
A: Gordon Brown. ;)

Labour had to win after the long Tory tenure and I'm glad Blair was in charge rather than George Galloway or some other crazy.

Blair - a man who admitted that Thatcher's policies had saved Britain. A decent chap and a good honest fellow in my book.

Ace said...

Miles,

Again with the anti-Americanism. How sad and immature. As Tony said, he truly believed, hand on heart in this war and he still does.

And if Saddam were still in power, do you Liebranos really believe that would have been the moral decision? Or worse yet be lectured by an organization like the UN which had Libya on its Human rights Commission or Zimbabwe dealing w/ sustainable development.

Miles, face the facts. a bold statesman like Blair who also spearheaded the Kosovo mission is a little more mature than you whiny small-minded, morally and economically corrupt Liebranos any day. Thank God and God Bless...

Miles Lunn said...

Ace - I am not anti-American, I am anti-US foreign policy, which many Americans are too. The problem with you conservatives is you see things in simple black and white. Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator, but you cannot invade a country with no history in democracy and expect it to become democratic. More importantly, what you fail to understand is most people don't want foreign occupiers on their territory regardless of their reason. The Iraqis want to be able to decide their own future free of any foreign influence.

Ace said...

"You cannot invade a country with no history in democracy and expect it to become democratic."

Miles, quick question...What is Serbia and the states of the former Yugoslavia for $2000?

Yes, that was the use of air power rather than ground troops. Sometimes a little force is necessary.

The Iraqis have had several modestly free and fair elections - and you're right, it'll take a heck of a lot of work - but nobody expected Germany, Japan, India or even S. Korea to turn out OK given their lack of schooling in democracy.

"The problem with you conservatives is you see things in simple black and white."

Iraq cannot be expected to turn into a democracy, but history shows we also shouldn't rule it out like you black and white Liebranos do.

"The Iraqis want to be able to decide their own future free of any foreign influence."

Exactly, no Saddam, no Al Qaeda, no Iran, and eventually no Americans.
Working on the first 2, and we'll get to next 2 in due course.

Face it, the American presence in the region is far more benign than that of regional rivals like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Egypt.

The US military presence is pretty much all that stops these countries from slitting each other's throats over oil like most of sub-Saharan Africa (think Gulf War I).