Conservative Diary

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Do the Conservatives have a "Blair complex"?

BLAIR AND EU STAR This is the thesis of James Forsyth in tomorrow's Spectator:

"The Conservatives still have something of a Blair complex. Gordon Brown is fairly easy to despise, as opinion polls indicate. But even now the Conservatives live in awe of Blair, knowing that he —  like Thatcher —  was never defeated at the ballot box. There is a near-obsession with persuading a Blairite —  whether it be James Purnell or Andrew Adonis —  to defect. The leadership does not think the party will be safe until it has absorbed Blairism into its DNA. To understand this, it is important to realise that many of those working in Cameron and Osborne’s office actually voted for Blair in general elections.

"This explains the energy behind the Tory push to scupper Blair. It is a mark of admiration, not contempt. If the EU president, who will have no democratic mandate, were to be an unremarkable Belgian then the EU would struggle to assert itself on the world stage — and be held in low regard by the defiantly Eurosceptic British public. But Blair, an incurable thespian with a hunger for air miles, would transform the role by sheer force of personality."

Jonathan Isaby

> Over on CentreRight Melanchthon urges a vote for Blair.

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