Dear British Voter

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  • Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here. A recent comment “Thank you Tony Blair for all you have done to make this World, your country and mine safer. Thank you for having the courage to make the hard decisions when it would have been more expediant and less derisive not to. Thank you for being more like Mr Churchill than Mr Chamberlain. Most importantly thank you for serving your country when most of us just stand by and complain.”
  • 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.

    PREAMBLE

    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.

    Loyalty?

    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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    28 Responses to “Dear British Voter”

    1. Liz Says:

      I agree with you. It is an affront to democracy when MPs call for the resignation of a superb PM when we the voters were told that the PM would stand for a full term. It seems to me that those who sent letters support Gordon Brown and are looking to their own future job prospects regardless of the electorate and the business of running the country. Rather than unite with the PM behind agreed policies to tackle a resurgent conservative party, they are stupidly tearing the party apart. We can see all the positioning now as Ministers look to their futures – it is pathetic. All fair minded people abhor disloyalty and inward looking political parties – the conservative party were punished severely for this. They do not live in the real world if they think replacing the PM is going to revive a party that has been in government for so many years. The PM has been the one person who has ensured three election successes – he appeals to middle England voters. No other declared candidate for leadership stands a chance as they do not have the PMs qualities as well as being tarnished by recent events. The PM was elected to serve a full term (allowing for a reasonable election period) he should do this and be permitted to retire from the leadership with dignity.

    2. Cllr Graham Smith Says:

      “Prime Minister should continue in office until… we the electorate, are ready to let him go”

      Yep. Agree with this. Why not ask the electorate by calling a General Election right now?

    3. William Norton Says:

      Hang in there, Tone! You’re playing a blinder.

      Stay until the next Election? Certainly! And why stop there? In the highly unlikely chance that Labour are not re-elected with another Blairite landslide who better than Mr Landslide himself to oversee the reconstruction of Labour in opposition? After all, he’s done it before and he can do it again. Probably not roses, they’ve been done to death, so how about the honest Scotch thistle?

      All history tells us that whenever the Labour Party is run by socialists, it all goes horribly wrong. Only Tony has the moral stature and the experienced wisdom to save the day!

    4. Paul Says:

      Can I just correct you on one point? Your statement that “MPs should not be allowed to dismiss our PM before his time. After all, despite an unpopular foreign policy he has NOT actually been rejected by the voters.” is entirely inaccurrate. The electorate voted for the Labour Party and NOT Tony Blair, (who was by the way considered a liability on the doorstep of canvassing Labour MPs at the last election). His constituents in Sedgefield may have voted for him, and Labour voters may have known he would be PM, but it is up to a democratic process within the party to elect a new leader and call for them to go, and should not be left to the discretion of the ‘monarch’ that currently rules our country. If he were to die (god forbid!) then a general election would not be called and the country would not be up in arms demanding one as that is not how our democracy functions. The only reason MPs haven’t be able to topple him to date is the traditional loyality to the leader within the party, and the fact that the PM has dismantled the internal democratic processes within the party. This has lead to Labour being Tony (but not Tony being Labour), and no way out of the mess he’s dragged the party into. If he doesn’t declare when he’s leaving at conference, then he’ll drag and rip the party to shreds behind him as he marches on, for potentially a devistating whole year!

    5. keeptonyblairforpm Says:

      Yes, Paul, I get the constitutional bit, but the point I was making is that people DO vote for a party largely because of its leader, which means that the setup doesn’t actually suit today’s world. If leaders didn’t matter, the Tories wouldn’t have chosen Cameron, clone of Blair, as their prospective PM. In the distant past, when the populace never saw a PM, and never expected to, it was all about party loyalty. Today, whether we like it or not, it’s all about personality, presentation skills, “vision” to an extent, and how others outside their party and in the wider world see them. I think it’s hard to argue that in these areas the PM scores highly. As to what occasions a general election, well, yes if a PM dies, then we wouldn’t be expecting an election. But, that’s not the case here (well, not yet!) and since this PM is only just into his third term, it seems to me to go against natural justice for the rest of them to boot him out. And if it’s loyalty which has stopped them acting until now, strange how the loyalty disappears after he’s managed to secure their seats for them.

    6. Jill Says:

      I am totally fed up with what appears to be a national campaign to get rid of Tony Blair. I think he’s done a great job leading the country and I for one would like to see him reach his 10th anniversary next year.

    7. Man in a Shed Says:

      You say “…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.” – however I’ve got a third option ( hat tip to this weeks Economist here).

      Blair may leave office in the back of a police car.

      As a paid up Conservative I think Blair is certainly better than Brown and those of the ex-Socialist list who put personal career and wealth before their old beliefs. But that really isn’t saying much is it ?

    8. f0ul Says:

      I hope he stays in power all the way to the end – I have a bet on it. It will also mean that there would be a greater chance that Labour will lose the next election. However, there is a posibility that ol’ Tony might have already realised this might happen and will see to it that elections are cancelled due to the security threat they offer.
      We can only hope! He might get a 1000 years – Hitler only managed 12, and he never really did elections!

    9. Buster George Says:

      Tony Bair has lost the respect of a large number of people who had hoped that he would be different from all the other politicians.

      Those hopes have been dashed by the continued sleaze in his cabinet and in hte party as a whole, Britain has slipped down the world listings for education, Labour are inviting private tenders to run the health service, the rail network still hasn’t been privatised, British troops are still dying in a war that has supposedly been won, Civil liberties are being eroded on a daily basis and taxes are continuing to rise.

      Mr Blair is so far removed from the reality of life for most people in this country and only seems to listen to those people that tell him what he wants to hear.

      Despite numerous attemptsto contact him via Email (I know he is a busy man but when a person tells you that you should listen over and over again it could be that they might just have a point) neither he or one of his aides tht supposedly read his mail has had the good grace to reply.

      The policy of not listening is endemic throughout the Labour party and will cost them the next election regardless of who is in charge.

    10. Beelzebub Says:

      Tone has had to confront weeks of disloyalty, explicit or implicit, from individuals whose careers would never have existed without the existence of the Dear Leader. Britain, from afar, is seen as one of the most successful economies and harmonious societies in the world. If TB ever gets disheartened by the slings and arrows of malcontents on the backbenches, he should come and visit my area.
      Yep, TB would certainly get a warm welcome in my constituency!

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