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I agree with Iain Dale's comments! Very sentimental indeed and very unBritish. So sacchariney it made me feel ill. All it needed was a burst of Frank Sinatra singing "I Did it My Way" at the end!

Did anyone see Ming on BBC News 24 when he criticised Blair for calling Britain "the greatest country in the world" as "chauvinist"? We should be proud of this country and unashamed of saying it - how can this poor excuse for a leader hope to lead the country yet be so unpatriotic!

"People say it is a tough job. Not really. A tough life is the life led by young severely disabled children and their parents."

Was this passage from Blair's speech tastelessly aimed at Cameron or am I being paranoid?!

"People say it is a tough job. Not really. A tough life is the life led by young severely disabled children and their parents."

It's the old adage about rescuing a lame act with a blind child

Blair's farewell address sounds like yet another outbreak of his acute narcissistic personality disorder. He is one of the most amoral men to have disfigured British politics....worse than MacMillan and that is saying something.

Iain Dale's summary of Blair's speech is on the money, I also felt that way 10 years ago when we had his acceptance speech!

I have a short (very short) poem about the Blair years on my blog. Please feel free to add your own.

The BBC coverage was almost hero-worship.

So bad I had to switch over to ITV. Has anyone else noticed how much more neutral ITV is these days?

An interesting footnote is that while he was giving his speech the home office announced that the ID card cost forcasts have taken another half-billion pound step towards the supposedly 'ridiculous' LSE estimate of the true likley costs.

These details were released a month later than they were obliged to do so, seemingly awaiting a good day to bury bad news. How appropriate that right at the very end we get another example of the way this government operates.

Edward, it could equally apply to Gordon Brown and I suspect it was sincerely meant.

The brainwashing is in full flow- being asked to believe that Blair is going at his own choosing places this art on to new heights

Editor, any chance of getting a list of the bad news that Labour slipped out today while Blair was giving the performance of his life and hoping not to leave a dry eye in the country, well in the Beeb studio's anyway?

Speech was the admission of failure we have all known of for so long.

Yes, Anthoninus - I noticed Ming's comment as well!

So are the Lib Dems suggesting it is wrong to love and be proud of one's Country?

Didn’t Blair once tell a newspaper editor shortly after his third election victory:

“What the Tories don’t understand is that the substance is unimportant, it’s the message that matters.”

I’m convinced that when he is delivering his ‘message’ and in full flow with the audience in rapture before him, at the back of his mind is the thought ‘suckers’. I actually think he is very talented, but it’s the way he applies it that I dislike about the man. He is certainly not partisan, and probably not very interested in politics. He’s in it for the fun of the ride, and that’s all. Now he will seek out a new audience and new thrills. Having a good time is his primary ambition.

Ming's comments about Blair will seem ungracious when Blair is resigning. A better approach would be to highlight how typical it is of Blair/Brown to use today to announce another increase in their ID cards project.

One thing no one seems to be asking is what will happen if the Labour leadership election goes to a second round - does Tony Blair then make a second announcement that he is staying on until it is concluded in late August or is there an interim PM such as Jack Straw for example because in such an unlikely event there would be an interval of several weeks between Tony Blair standing down and a new Labour leader being elected?

Typical Ming Campbell comment. Hope he keeps them coming in the run up to the next election.

I really hope that Cameron is not tempted to be in the slightest bit generous to Blair in the coming weeks.
It would strike entirely the wrong note not only with core Conservatives like me who loathe him but also the thousands upon thousands who voted Labour in 1997 and had their high hopes betrayed.
He should be treated as a vain, venal and deeply (in every sense of the word) corrupt man deserves.

Whilst I dislike 95% of what he has done, he is a real phenomenon like Thatcher was. His lasting legacy is his true political heir, David Cameron and a centre-left Conservative party.

There will be plenty of time to discuss/criticise Tony Blair and his legacy, I think the announcement today is an opportunity to remember Blair as a performer. Who else could tell the world that he was going so many times and still stage this? It was pure showbiz. Hardly a dry eye in the house".....regrets, i've had a few but then again too few too mention.....but more much more than this, I did it my way."
No wonder he told us years ago he grew up with Frank Sinatra. Whatever else we think of him, he really is a phenomenal communicator, even down to the choked off ending, quite magnificent and everything you need to know about New Labour. I wonder how many Of the Labour Party are missing him already. As a political performance it should remind everyone just how formidable a politician he has been, for too long underestimated by the Conservative Party.

Has anyone else noticed how much more neutral ITV is these days?

I always found Michael Brunson to be so in the past

Malcolm is spot on. He was bad for Britain when he was PM and the fact that he is leaving changes nothing.

John McDonnell and Michael Meacher have apparently delayed the decision as to which should run for leader saying that "levels of support for each is too close to call" - I suppose as the Leadership race seems a foregone conclusion there almost might as well be a race for those to be runners up.

Gosh I really miss him! These interest rates are a nightmare under Brown, aren't they?

Gosh I really miss him! These interest rates are a nightmare under Brown, aren't they?

I don’t care what people say it is an end of an era, but Blair standing down in favour of Brown is less of a clean break that I hope for and more of a kind of handing the baton to the wheezy fat kid who you just know is going to completely screw everything up in the not too distant future.

It was a vintage performance from Blair and yet again he showed why he has been a phenomenal opponent. His charisma and expertise in stage craft were on display once again.

I would suggest that anyone who was unaware of all the spin, cash for honours, dodgy dossier, passport scandals, etc could be mistaken for thinking that here was a great leader leaving us on a high - A sort of much loved father of the nation. This meant that there were several moments when my stomach was churning at the display, but nonetheless it was compulsive viewing.

What was appalling was the undignified sight on the BBC of that complete non entity of a political leader Ming “How many council seats did you lose” Campbell, who then decided to attack Blair for his patriotic statement about our country being the best in the World.

Personally I think that Ming’s statement is disgraceful and whilst it might just appeal to all the bearded sandal wearing Lib Dems who voted for him, I found it quite offensive. The only inference one can draw is that Ming thinks that France or somewhere else is much better, to which I can only suggest that we all would be much better if he departs good old ‘Blighty’ and retires there. I would suggest that he goes sooner rather than later as after that dismal electoral performance I am told that you can hear the sound of sharpening knives from Cowley Street already.

I digress, no doubt we will have a nauseating farewell tour which will get massive coverage in the press, whilst the spin doctors take this opportunity to bury huge amounts of bad news like the increase in the cost of ID cards. I hope over this time we take the opportunity as Conservatives to press for a general election as anything that can be done speed up the removal of this discredited and tired Labour Government from office would in my humble opinion be fantastic.

The BBC are doing even better than usual today. Their 'reaction to Tony Blairs resignation' on the website is crammed with comments from people of the left with token responses from Theresa May and Hague. Nice balance eh?

Malcolm, what the hell did you expect?

Hear, hear Ali T.

I've just heard Ming Campbell's response on the radio - how can the leader of a party in the House of Commons stand there when the PMs has resigned and sneer at a show of patriotism?

At least Blair makes the effort to pretend, even if only the brain dead (most of which appear to live in Trimdon from the coverage) would believe him after these 10 years.

I get to enjoy his departure from No 10 from the safe seclusion of an oil rig.

Josh, my local bar here in Gibraltar is giving away tapas and glasses of cava in celebration. I, unfortunately, have to work this evening.

Matt's cartoon ib the DT said it all. As the engineer looks at the knackered washing machine he says " When it stops spinning we are sending it on a US lecture tour"

Blair has devalued everything he has touched and Brown has been an accessory.

Things can only get better

Dale was right - this was a speech by a ham who has perfected his art, but utterly failed to match reality to expression. The 'blessed nation' bit was good, but Shakespeare did it better. As for fawning media coverage, nothing can beat Jon Snow's appalling sign-off with Blair's co-conspirator in dishonesty, Alastair Campbell, on Channel 4 News, as he virtually begged the spinmeister general for a future audience.

Has anone seen the the libdem voice website someone has tried to post and it has been deleted apprently it was a tory member trying to wind up the lib dems firstly i have to say "well done" and secondly i am so pleased to see that freedom of speech is alive and well in the Liberal party.

Jon Gale 17.40 - doubt there were many from Trimdon except "Maureen and uh, hum uh", as Blair put it, and his agent. The majority were probably bussed in, with a good sprinkling of Labour HQ/Downing Street SpAds. After all he bussed in the crowd for his opening in Downing St so likely he did the same for his closing (part 1).

I luckily missed the coverage but it sounds toecurling and beyond satire. How the BBC can possibly have live coverage of a journey to make an announcement which was not news or in anyway unexpected (the only news was 27th June as opposed to 28th,29th 30th or 1st, 2nd July).

Perhaps Cameron can let it be known he intends to make an announcement about his future, most probably that he intends to try to become Prime Minister at the next election, and that he will give this speech at his constituency next week. Can he expect wall to wall coverage of such an equally expected non-event.

The man is PM for another 7 weeks - he goes on 27th July. Thats the time for his political obituaries.

Malcolm, May 10, 2007 at 16:46

The BBC are doing even better than usual today. Their 'reaction to Tony Blairs resignation' on the website is crammed with comments from people of the left with token responses from Theresa May and Hague. Nice balance eh?

Maybe, but if you go to their Have Your Say on the subject, the ratio is completely reversed! Almost all comments from the (former) UK are negative.

They didn't publish my comment as usual John. What a suprise.
I recognised the BBC as an anti Conservative institution many years ago but their bias was covert, subtle and couched in terms that were not always obvious. To fight that we had to be clever and often we weren't. When we were in government I always felt that the sympathy of the public was more with the BBC than with us.
More recently however the BBC has become more overt and obvious. Witness their coverage of the local election results and their coverage today. This is both a threat to us and an opportunity I think.
Cameron should make it clear very firmly and in public how unhappy he is with their bias and then we should seek to undermine the BBCs reputation relentlessly.
If this is done honestly and with care then perhaps by the time of the next election the electorate will not accept the word of the BBC as truth as the vast majority do now.

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