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What a pity it didn't happen ten years ago.

The phrase 'milking it' comes to mind. It's like a slow death.

In the name of God - go!


This has been flagged for several weeks now.

Why does anyone care - unless he is going to apologise for a decade wasted and billions squandered on nothing?

His administration has eroded the Royal Family; destroyed the House of Lords;trashed pension provision;undermmined the armed forces through overstretch and under-funding; put millions on benefits;made one in four new jobs beholden to state patronage; overseen the break up of the United Kingdom through the Trojan Horse of Devolution; failed to push through EU regional assemblies while still seeking to sign up to an EU Constitution; engorged the tax burden on business; pumped the tax burden on the individual; undermined personal freedom, hidden behind security issues; put millions on the state nipple through the failed tax credit scheme; wasted billions on IT solutions to the Blairite State that failed and driven sleaze and preferment to new heights;overseen ever wider separation between rich and poor while destroying the educational system that might have lifted people out of poverty.

Nice job Tony.

Enjoy you Clintonesque departure and please go and save another economy - we can't afford you any longer.

Are we sure that the last line of the Press Association's note did not read "There will be nothing sad in Downing Street"?

At PMQs today Blair actually looked fresher than Brown. Labour are replacing one discredited man with another man who looks exhausted.

I think I'll have a glass of champagne when the news is official, a bad PM and a truly dreadful man.
Looking at the earlier thread from September last year brought back a few memories. Several posters on CH from that time appear to have given up which is a shame.Though I was glad to see that most of the rants from the person calling himself 'Monday Clubber' turned out to be completely wrong. What a suprise!

For all of his faults - Labour will miss Blair.

Well my source was right about May 10th as I said at the start of the month - but what am I going to do with the 20 VOTE BLAIR OUT wristbands I have left???

I tell you what, I'm glad he's going. NuLab will sorely miss him when he goes though, Brown's completely unsuitable a personality for PM, it'll be a slaughter. :o)

The really funny thing is that Labour have never appreciated Blair. Their appeal across England WAS all to do with him. Brown does not have his electability. They are losing their greatest electoral asset and they still don't get it.

I think I'll save my rejoicing for when the Labour Party leaves the stage - not just Mr Blair!

Retrieved from wikipedia:

The Frogs Who Desired a King is a fable ascribed to Aesop.

According to the story, a group of frogs lived happily and peacefully in a pond. Over time, however, they became discontented with their way of life, and thought they should have a mighty king to rule over them. They called out to the great god Zeus to send them a king.

Zeus was amused by the frogs' request, and cast a large log down into their pond, saying "Behold, your king!" At first, the frogs were terrified of the huge log, but after seeing that it did not move, they began to climb upon it. Once they realized the log would not move, they called out again to Zeus to send them a real king, one that moved.

Annoyed by the frogs, Zeus said, "Very well, here is your new king," and sent a large stork to the pond. The stork began devouring frogs. In terror, frogs called out to Zeus to save them. Zeus refused, saying the frogs now had what they'd wanted, and had to face the consequences.

Ha - forgot to add at the front of my last message that I was adding to Jennifer Wells' posting.

Oh, but reportedly he can't go straight away, because he's planning to tie
Gordon Brown's hands at the EU summit on June 22nd.


"The Prime Minister will represent Britain at a vital EU summit at the end of June, days before he is due to hand over responsibility for relations with Brussels to Mr Brown. The meeting will see a German-led attempt to revive the draft constitution that was roundly rejected by voters in France and Holland in 2005."

You might think that Blair would take Brown along with him, as Churchill took
Atlee along to Potsdam, but apparently not.

For flips sake GET ON WITH IT....he's announcing that he will be announcing that he will (at some point in the future) resign as party leader and (at some point in the future) he will announce he will resign as PM.
Does anyone care anymore?
Is he trying to bore us into submission?
Did anyone vote Labour in 2005 expecting this shambles of a non-government?
It's like watching the TV series Lost, just when you thought you had come to the end, they announce another series.
Is it possible to milk this transition any further....?

Does anyone think Blair will resign as an MP tomorrow? Last week's London Evening standard said he might...

Alan S: if Blair does resign as an MP,
at least we've got our candidate in place.

I'm sure a few bottles of champagne will be uncorked across the land tomorrow (although given the almost certain 2 or 3 years of unadulterated misery we're all about to endure, perhaps not) - so who will join me in the Tony Blair Resignation Drinking Game?

Weeping Labour activist shown on screen - one sip

Blair thanks Cherie for support - one sip

Blair thanks Labour Party for support - one sip

Blair thanks British public for support - one sip

Blair thanks Gordon Brown for support - drain glass

Blair thanks Lord Levy for support - drain bottle

Blair mentions any of the following words: legacy, succession, future, renewal - one sip

Blair uses a version of the phrase 'look to the future' (or similar) - two sips

Blair uses above phrase, followed by attack on previous Conservative government - drain glass

Blair declares support for Gordon Brown as successor - drain glass

Blair apologises for lying to the country about Iraq, governing through a culture of spin and sneer-and-smear and reducing public engagement and faith in politics and politicians to an unprecedented low - stop drinking and call an ambulance, such hallucinations indicate dangerously excessive overindulgence.

Better order a case Daniel!

I have tears in my eyes.

REALLY I do...because look at the plonker we're getting instead.

With threads like this, we all risk sounding as stupid as those diehard Labour partisans who couldn't find a good word to say after 10 years of Mrs T. There's a reason why the British public voted for Blair 3 times in a row, and massively so; he wasn't by any means a bad Prime Minister, and to the end has sounded calm, tolerant, good humoured and all too persuasive; if the more frenzied Conservative denunciations of him were to hold water, it would be more than interesting to hear from members of the front bench what exactly it is that he's done that *we're* going to reverse come the day; Britain's absolute and relative position in the world has of course improved during his leadership - we're not only richer than others who used to be richer than us, we've grown still richer faster than they have (this point will be dismissed by some Tories as too old skool, being materialist and just not with it - and that's an easy, profoundly wrong headed criticism those born to invulnerable privilege are all too quick to make when they dismiss - now and then - the titanic, popular achievements of Thatcherism); and as a matter of of simple professional respect, anyone with any appreciation for own history (no Labour government ever having achieved 2 full terms before, only 2 actual majority Labour governments during the entirity of the last century) should recognise the extraordinary scale of Blair's achievement within his own party. An upright Christian gentleman, a shade too glib, and a better man by far than Dave.

"I have tears in my eyes."

"I wept, for I had longed to see him hang."

Daniel VA, I presume you'll be playing the game with an ambulance on standby? I wouldn't be suprised if we are treated to a lengthy speech outlining all of Labours magnificent achievements over the last 10 years. I'd also suggest adding "Blair sheds a single solitary tear" to the list..

The Labour Party just does these things so boringly doesn't it? We made changing a long-serving PM so much more emotional and exciting. There's no catharthis about this at all, only ennui (here I am following Oliver L's example of using difficult words, only, unlike him, I have probably misspelt them). And in its wake there's the battle of the titans between Hazel Blairs and Peter Hain!

It would be apt to say "Rejoice, Rejoice" but instead it will be "yawn, yawn". Will people in ten years' time still ask "were you up for the Sedgefield announcement?" or "do you remember when you heard he had resigned?"? Will anyone in the Labour Party, as many of us middle aged types regard the 1980s, look back on the Blair era as the golden age in their lifetime of the country's political and economic development?

It began with a bang, and ends with a whimper. And if few still love him, can many find it in their hearts to hate him? I have tried, I really really have.

Blair is a generous, forgiving man to his Party. He knows (like the rest of us) that interest rates go up yet again tomorrow. He could have delayed it to undermine Brown (the coup plotter)but chose to bury the bad news of further evidence that the economy is falling apart because of Brown.

Yes- he does have some Christain qualities.

Yawn, yawn, yawn.

I'll be popping some corks down here in Exeter along with a number of friends. The only tears I'll be shedding will be the tears of joy to see Blair's demise and with Brown certain to be the next PM, the Labour Party's continued meltdown. Once again though, Blair is too cowardly to leave properly and instead will drag it out for the next seven weeks.

In between the cavernous pauses and vacant gazing, there will be the usual dithyrambic nonsense about the finest public services and the strongest economy; yet he leaves No. 10 with swathes of public money being wasted and interest rates and inflation on the rise; not to mention the Iraq fiasco.

In the closing moments of BBC Parliament's re-run of the 1997 election, I watched Blair's debut at the dispatch box in the Queen's Speech Debate.

'On education, on health, on jobs, on crime and on the economy, the people's priorities are our priorities and the people's concerns are our concerns;...'

Today, nothing could be further from the truth. New Labour relies upon election victories to prolong its vacuous existence, and, as a political force it cannot change or evolve, because it is not ideologically credible. New Labour could never have been a long-term project; it relied on a particular moment in history when the Conservative Party happened to have very low popular support. What has Blair actually done with such unprecedented electoral success? Domestic policy has been implemented by way of a cold and unprincipled series of media releases and shambolic knee-jerk reactions. Foreign policy has, by and large, had disastrous consequences.

This incompetent administration will be thrown out of government by a Conservative Party which has always been able to adapt to modern needs, and has always been able to come back from defeats, because its sound basis for government has never changed. New Labour is not a political thesis, it is a an uncompromising exercise in expediency.

Down with Blair and his ludicrous government!

As Labour PMs go....it could have been a lot worse. No renationalisation, trade unions even more neutered under Blair than they were under Thatcher (after 1985), no wimpy defence policies, economic prosperity is still here by and large (not saying the economy is perfect, but better than the last time they ran it!). Tony is far more of an appealing proposition than Gordon (if harder to beat).

I agree with Andrew James @ 19:23 with regards to the façade of New Labour which has now been well and truly found out.

Furthermore, Labour seem to have been very clever with the timings of the departure of Blair and Brown's coronation which will most likely coincide quite nicely with the beginning of the summer recess and will mean that he won't even get a proper test in the Commons before the summer!

No wonder Cate Blanchett lost weight - she's playing Cherie in the movie

I've just published a Platform article on Tony Blair from former Tory Head of Media, Nick Wood. Read it here.

Great post DVA. I'd love to join you in that drinking game but my liver couldn't stand it.
Sadly your post was followed by that from ACT which was one of the more ludicrous I've seen on Conhome. ACT Blair was never 'an upstanding Christian gentleman'.

Lots of people missing the point here - much as we might to see the back of
Blair as soon as posssible, he won't go until after the June 22nd EU summit.


"Pace quickens in debate over new EU treaty"

ACT says : There's a reason why the British public voted for Blair 3 times in a row.

They did NOT. The 3-party systemand voter apathy mean that Blair's share of total electorate has been very low (as low as 20something % ?), the system parlayed that into massive majorities.

Alan Douglas

Alan Douglas, you are quite right. Of course one little known fact is that John Major commanded a greater mandate in 1992 than Blair in 1997 - his party received an extra 574,840 votes overall. In 2005 our present glorious government was brought to power at the whim of a mere 21% of the electorate!

At PMQs today Blair actually looked fresher than Brown.
Departing leaders frequently do - they have a temporary feeling of relief as responsibilities fall off them, later though they frequently start to feel that their lives have become empty - what kind of life outside politics someone has probably affects this to a great extent and length of time in office.

Labour seem to have been very clever with the timings of the departure of Blair and Brown's coronation which will most likely coincide quite nicely with the beginning of the summer recess
Provisional date for the Summer Recess is 26 July, if there are no other candidates getting the minimum number of required nominations or in a first round Gordon Brown wins outright then he will become Labour leader before the end of June 2007, and after the summit of EU leaders it is even possible that if Gordon Brown is the only candidate that Tony Blair would resign as PM immediately after which could mean that techically Gordon Brown became PM before he became Labour leader if he was still attending hustings. Probability though is that Gordon Brown will face David Cameron at 3 PMQ's before the Summer Recess, if the Labour leadership went to a second round then it could be heading for late August before Tony Blair finally resigned as PM as a new Labour leader was picked, however at the moment the only question seems to be if anyone else can even get nominations to make it to the Ballot Paper and a 2nd round seems highly improbable.

no Labour government ever having achieved 2 full terms before, only 2 actual majority Labour governments during the entirity of the last century
Didn't intend to post a third comment in a row, but noticed this remark and felt I had to point out that Labour won majorities in 1945 (149) & 1950 (8); 1964 (4) & 1966 (98) and also in October 1974 (5) and of course 1997 was in the last century and they got a majority of 179 so technically 4 different Labour governments either all the time or part of the time had overall majorities in terms of seats in the 20th century. The Highest Labour vote was in 1951 at 13.98 Million (48.8%) which was the highest percentage vote in proportion of those eligible to vote any party has had since before Universal Suffrage; their highest percentage of the popular vote was in 1945 (49.9%) - it was much more difficult to win majorities in General Elections in the 1940's and 1950's, parties could lose an election with a very high percentage vote, since 1959 the trend though has been towards a decline in the 2 party vote which in 2005 went to a new low as Labour won a majority on 35.2% of the Popular vote - only in 3 General Elections has a political party won a majority in the UK with less than 40% of the popular vote - 1924 when the Conservatives won a landslide with 38% of the vote, October 1974 when Labour scraped a majority of 5 on 39.3% of the popular vote and of course 2005.

I rather think the trend will be for an increase in the 2 party vote from this election and that the 2005 General Election will be seen as a fluke, turnout generally in the recent elections is up - I think Labour will win majorities at another 3 General Elections, but with a vote having recovered since the War in Iraq and with turnout up as it is clear that the Conservative Party is revived. When the Conservatives get back into power in 17 or so years it could easily be on 45% of the vote and even 15 million votes.

I've always thought that we wouldnt see the back of him until the recess, which means poor old Gordon, tail-end Charlie, makes his debut at the Nulab wake. Sept 23rd is it? I wonder if they will get their passes through Dorset police any faster than we did!

At PMQs today Blair actually looked fresher than Brown - Umbrella Man

Not overly surprising, as 'Yet Another Anon' points out. Iain Duncan Smith's final appearance at PMQs as Leader of the Opposition is widely regarded as one of his best.

Just as I feared - unbalanced by Blair the way socialists were unbalanced by Thatcher's successes, there are some of us who are saying some fairly silly things. Blair won three thumping majorities under first past the post - just as Mrs T did. We weren't unhappy with those, and equally rightly (as FPTP is, pace Holyrood, continental Europe's chronic corruption and instability etc etc, by far the best system for electing a parliament), Labour haven't been unhappy with theirs. And I'm not sure why one poster is trying to dispute my entirely accurate point that before Blair, Labour never managed to win two full, majority terms - they plainly didn't. His has been an extraordinary achievement by any measure.

But I return to what I suppose is my central point - I can see why hard left Labour supporters dilike him, but what's there for "Cameron's Conservatives" to dislike about Blair and his record? Which aspects of Blair's legacy is Cameron actually opposed to? What's he going to pledge himself to reverse or undo? Answers come there none but the heir to Blair is Dave.

What's there for Cameron Conservatives to dislike about Blair and his record? - ACT.The politicization of the civil service, an inept devolution settlement, the wreck of final salary pension schemes, lying to take us into war, his role in the death of David Kelly, the foot and mouth fiasco,the failure to meaningfully reform the public services, the appointment of numerous inept and sleazy ministers, the Dome, the end of the European rebate in return for nothing. How many examples do you want ACT?

- ID Cards
- Detention without trial
- 100 higher taxes
- Destruction of the UK's constitution
- Selling off of the House of Lords

There are also numerous pieces of legislation which were great when first announced, however by theird reading they had been watered down so much to appease Labour rebels that they either became worthless or left wing in nature.

If you want a right wing government vote for a right wing party, not a left wing party who's leader joined the wrong party!

* The politicization of the civil service - really? Do you honestly think that the civil service is any less politically impartial than it ever was? name names, cite facts if you do.

* an inept devolution settlement
- uh, supported by the Tory Party, both locally in Scotland and Wales, and nationally at Westminster. We have NO plans to reverse or even 'reform' devolution: this is exactly the point I'm making about how Cameron is entirely honest - he's NOT going to try to reverse the Blairite ratchet effect, as he of course agrees with the vast bulk of its achievements. Dave's "relaxed" about modern Britain.

* lying to take us into war - a war we urged him to go into (not that I accept for one minute that the Prime Minister actually lied - as opposed to argued argumentatively, which is ahrdly a failing in a democratic politician - and absolutely no one has ever proven that he did lie.)

* his role in the death of David Kelly - this is risible conspiracy theory nonsense. The only person involved in the death of Dr Kelly was Dr Kelly. That he was under severe external pressure I hardly dispute, but that pressure was put on him by the press, both by the baying pack after him, and by the hack who betrayed him.

* the foot and mouth fiasco - blame the EU for the "crisis", not British officials or farmers: don't see Dave getting us out of the EU any time soon.

* the failure to meaningfully reform the public services - I'll be waiting a long time before you show me the Osborne/Letwin wonderplan to do the same.

* the appointment of numerous inept and sleazy ministers - numerous? Let's look at the facts: Blair's cabinet, zero thus far imprisoned; Major's Cabinet, one (Aitken). British politics are overwhelmingly clean and honest, and astooundingly so compared to other countries, not least our EU partners and the US. Let's not let partisanship take us into fantasyland.

* the Dome - for pity's sake, a TORY idea: blame Heseltine!

* the end of the European rebate in return for nothing - couldn't agree more. As far as Europe goes, though neither as much nor as quickly as the Tory government that preceded him, Blair has done nothing to enhance British sovereignty vis-a-vis Brussels. Mind you, willingly or not, between him and Brown, they did keep us out of Euro. I have no confidence that if Major, Clarke, Heseltine & co had somehow retained office after 1997 that they'd have saved the pound.

* ID Cards - consistently supported by Michael Howard.

* Detention without trial - Come on, let's not sound like trots (exactly the thing I was sanctimoniously warning against above I admit): we're NOT a police state. Such limited internment as there is is surely quite reasonable given the nature of the terrorist threat?

* 100 higher taxes - couldn't agree more (with the disagreeability of them). Please name 1 through 100 that Osborne and Cameron are pledged to removing.

* Destruction of the UK's constitution - see above passim. What were we opposed to at the time of Blair doing it? What are we commited to reversing? NOTHING.

* Selling off of the House of Lords - if you seriously think our track record is cleaner than Labour's, you're welcome to that happy belief.

Riddle me this supporters of Cameron: if Blair's so to be disliked, why is Cameron so fully commited to preserving his wretched legacy?

English Vote on English laws solves all of the problems with the current devolution settlement, and guess what we've already pledged that... Meanwhile Labour say that it would make things "unfair" :-s

Iraq War
There is no cut and dry answer as to whether Blair lied to the public, but at the very least you must agree he manipulated the facts to paint a picture of a situation which didn't exist. It's one thing to use clever media trickery when the public can go and look up the original information, but as we didn't have access to the information briefings regarding the Iraq war you have to conclude that Blair abused his role in an unnacceptable manner.

Meaningful Reform
We have consistently critiscised Blair for giving in to the left wing of his party over policies such as trust schools. We haven't published full details of how we are going to beef up these policies yet, because we don't want to run the risk of Brown stealing them.

The Dome
Was a small project before Labour came to power and ratcheted up the size, the costs and the public expectations surrounding the project.

ID Cards
...and Cameron made a concrete pledge to scrap them. How can you accuse him of not having a solid policy in this area?

Detention without Trial
The current settlement is fine because it is justified, however the outrageous 90 day limit proposed had no justification whatsoever. Liberty is a precious thing, and yet people seem wiling to trade it away. Let's also not forget the blatant abusing of anti-terrorism laws ie. Walter Wolfgang

100 Higher Taxes
We've said we want to split the proceeds of growth, you can't ask much more. We can't make pledges until we know what we have to work with. If we make a pledge today on reducing a tax and it is no longer feasible in 2 years times after a general election then we wil be accused of lieing.

House of Lords
The system wasn't perfect but at least we never kicked out loads of opposition peers and stuffed the chamber full of yes men.

Well that's got to be the most inept attempt at a fisk that I've seen here or anywhere else. I can't really be bothered to argue every point as I've got to work but to question Blairs appointment of inept and sleazy ministers is beyond belief. Byers, Vaz,Blunkett,Mandelson all pass the sleaze mark with flying colours and more importantly were known by Blair to do so whilst they were in government. On the inept front where do you start? Prescott,Morris, Hoon, Primarolo, Dobson etc,etc,etc.
Even a Labour troll like you ACT should be able to better than this. Being reasonably honest also helps I find.

Rejoice, Rejoice! Actually, i'm waiting with interest for Bliar's last PMQ's. Anybody willing to bet he'll try to go out like Mrs T?

Blair won three thumping majorities under first past the post - just as Mrs T did.
Not quite, Labour rather won by default in 2001 and 2005 because there simply was no other party strong enough to govern because the parliamentary opposition parties had fallen to such a low ebb. In 1987 the Conservatives won quite a hard fought election in which Labour support was much stronger than Conservative support has been at any of the last 3 General Elections, and in 1992 Labour actually got about the same percentage of those eligible to vote and actually slightly more votes overall than they did in both 1974 General Elections and 1979 - if the Conservative Party had collapsed in 1979, 1983 or 1992 then Labour would have been the government; but in the case of 2001 it is not clear if Labour had collapsed if the Conservative Party would have won in it's place and in 2005 the Labour vote did collapse and the Conservatives only edged forward.

if the Conservative Party had collapsed in 1979, 1983 or 1992
Oops, I mean't 1979, 1987 or 1992!

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