Comment at end
Update comment 4th August, 2010: You see, even I said in September 2006 that the war in Iraq seemed “to have been a dreadful mistake.” Even as I was starting to write this blog. I was wrong. It wasn’t. So there you go. If I can admit I was wrong, so can you.
15th September, 2006 – First posting
Welcome to the Keep Tony Blair For PM blog.
I know it won’t stop the “anti” posts, nor will it make the slightest difference to the suspicious minds who think I’m an outpost for No. 10 spin, but I’d like to say this:
I am making this stand for two reasons.
Firstly, to help flag up the system whereby the governing party has the ability to expunge from office the country’s Prime Minister without recourse to the electorate.
Secondly, to point out that even if that power is theirs in principle, in any measure of fairness, duty or simple courtesy the Prime Minister should be allowed to continue in post, to see through the major changes for which he and his government were elected. He should leave only when HE sees fit within this his third term.
It is unbelievably insulting of them that he is treated like this.
In common with others, although at present their voices can’t always be heard, I DO think Tony Blair has been a very good Prime Minister and should be allowed to continue for as long as he likes in this historic third term. Apart from Iraq, which seems to have been a dreadful mistake, (but it’s not over yet, so I may be pre-judging) this PM’s policies have been popular and beneficial to the country.
The idea that a cabal of colleagues can force him out for spurious reasons while there is still unfinished business is outrageous.
I didn’t vote for Tony Blair, his party or his policies. However, I would have to be narrow-minded, bigoted or visually challenged not to notice his successes. By no means an unmitigated disaster.
I wish I could say the same for his fratricidal party.
End of my pre-ambling
This blog has been set up on 15 September 2006, for any British voter who shares my view that the Prime Minister should continue in office until he is ready to go, or until we the electorate, are ready to let him go. In my opinion the Labour Party and its MPs and cabinet, are behaving like an “elective dictatorship”. A familiar phrase, and usually reserved for the leader himself if he is seen to push through unpopular policy in cabinet.
Now, I know that before the last election he said he would be going some time before the next election; that was a BIG mistake. He also said he would serve “a full third term”. The idea, rehearsed elsewhere, that the British electorate only voted for him and his party because of the “vote Blair, get Brown” idea is nonsense. They did not want, and still do not seem to want Gordon Brown as PM. This idea of getting Brown when you vote for Blair was no more than a slogan thought up by the opposition because they thought people quite liked Blair, but didn’t feel the same about Brown. It was not something that Blair himself suggested by word or by deed.
So now, the ambitious, unscrupulous and ungrateful have been focusing only on their personal goals and aims since then and not on the country’s concerns. They’ve also been looking for a reason or time – either will do – to get the PM out.
It is CRAZY! MPs should not be allowed to dismiss our PM before he has served his term. After all, despite an unpopular foreign policy he has NOT actually been rejected by the voters. Not even in the last election when Iraq was well underway.
Yes, I DO understand the system.
Do We Vote For A Party Or For A Leader?
Those defending the removal of the PM within the Labour party – and be in no doubt it is NOT Tony Blair’s choice to leave within a year – those defending say that people vote for a party, not a leader. Well, that’s the theory, but hardly ever the practice. Whether we like it or not, they vote for a leader. In earlier elections they wanted Labour but didn’t like Kinnock, so he didn’t win. And Thatcher was seen as a breath of fresh air after the previous “what crisis” Labour government. And can you imagine what would have happened after the landslides of Thatcher and Blair, if the next day their respective parties had decided to replace them? So what makes them think they have the right to replace Blair now, at will? It’s not even 18 months since his, and their third victory.
The Party Leader Does Not Matter
If leaders don’t matter why the struggle over the leadership in ALL the parties? Why the constant changes at the top of the Conservatives when this one and then that one didn’t quite cut the mustard? Why the hand-wringing when Charles Kennedy fell from grace and no-one could think of a more attractive and telegenic replacement? No, whether it’s written in the rules or not, voters vote for a leader at least as much as for a party, if not, in my humble opinion, more so.
Mr Blair’s colleagues seem to have been conspiring to have it both ways. They were happy to work with him, supporting his leadership and voting for his suggested foreign policies while he was their blue-eyed boy. They went along with his policy directions with a few notable exceptions who disagreed and did the decent thing and resigned; I haven’t noticed any recent resignations from the cabinet over Iraq. If they participated in cabinet debates, and supported the Prime Minister, then they are just as culpable as he is, if the policy is not proving to be as successful as they had expected.
There has been a whiff of waiting to see which way the wind blows about their approach. Then, finding the wind’s in the wrong direction, they are ditching the man who leads them with a “… well, it’s your policy now, Prime Minister”. This is not acceptable.
Their reasoning – that he will lose them next spring’s elections – holds no credibility. By their actions they are losing themselves the local elections and probably the next general election too, and they don’t even seem to realise it. Once Blair has gone the voters will remember his shoddy treatment at their hands. And the present problems in the country will still remain. Or is it all going to be instantly fixed in the glow of white light which will bathe Downing Street as Mr Blair moves out?
If it wasn’t so desperately sad and self-serving, it would be amusing.
Is Blair Fatally Flawed?
If his present colleagues really think this is the answer, then they need to inform the voting public NOW with some clear ideas as to how it’s all going to change with the next PM. They must know, surely, why they’re getting rid of Tony Blair; he must be fatally flawed in some policy area or other. So which one? Iraq? Then we must assume that the new leader and cabinet will get the country out of there as soon as Tony Blair departs. Logical.
Or Does He Have A Weak Cabinet?
If the cabinet itself has been too weak to stand up to Mr Blair’s policy ideas, then it says more about them than him. There could and probably should have been more resignations than just the late Robin Cooke’s on the matter of principle of Iraq. But the rest of the doubters wouldn’t throw their careers away so carelessly, would they? And in any case, they might have reasoned, perhaps the PM was right about Iraq! His cabinet were either weak, or they agreed with his assessment on Iraq, or they were acquiescent because they knew that in the end they could get him to take the flak. And so it has turned out.
Or is it another policy or a combination of policies? Which? They can’t be sure? Weren’t they all in government with him, voting on these policies? Please let the electorate know what you mean to change in the policies which the PM was implementing.
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