“Be Proud, Tony” – It Was The Sun Wot Said It
1st May, 2007
Ten Years on, The Sun says – Be Proud Tony
TEN years ago today, Britain overwhelmingly put its faith in a young politician to guide our nation into a new era.
And despite all the moaning, Tony Blair is entitled to feel pride today at his historic decade as Labour PM.
Three times the Tories have tried to beat him. Three times they failed.
After ten years at No10, Blair is one of the world’s senior statesmen.
At home, however much has gone wrong, he has kept his pledge to provide massive extra funding for the NHS and schools.
His government has delivered 58 quarters of unbroken economic growth, low inflation, the minimum wage and millions of new jobs.
In Northern Ireland, which for so long defeated politicians of every party, the PM is about to seal what looks like permanent peace.
And, despite Iraq, he can claim moral victories abroad in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.
No leader expects total success.
Blair has admitted that some things have gone wrong — things he knows should have gone better.
But despite looming defeats in Thursday’s elections, he should raise a glass in quiet celebration.
As Gordon Brown writes of today in a remarkable personal tribute to Blair, their own inevitable personal ups and downs should never be allowed to disguise their comradeship and pride in Labour.
Sometimes it’s too easy to knock politicians without sufficiently appreciating that a man like Blair has dedicated his life to serving his country — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for ten gruelling years.
If the boyish grin of May 1 1997 has been replaced by greying hair, is it any surprise?
When you look at the burdens a PM has to carry, it seems a miracle that anyone wants to take it on.
Now it looks like Gordon’s turn to take the strain.
His first duty should be to buy Blair a drink. He has earned it.