I know it’s fashionable to regard Gordon as the worst prime minister ever – possibly also a mass murderer of widows and orphans – and I can understand such a reasonable point of view.
However for The Knife, Tony will always win that prize. The usual tripe from his fans in the media (which to his shame occasionally includes Guido), doesn’t obscure the fact that he was his predictably insincere self today, with even more exaggerated odd hand movements, funny eyebrows, and a back-of -an-envelope speech. The usual.
A couple of interesting comments appeared today on the back of it.
Firstly Iain Martin:
“This might lead one to expect leaders from Blair’s era to be a little more circumspect when it comes to making speeches and lecturing others about getting a coherent case together. The man who headed the U.K. government for ten years barely acknowledges that there are such basic economic lessons to be learned. Instead, he’s still out there making speeches built on the idea that he was always brave and took hard decisions. The truth is that on the economy, Blair took the easiest route possible. He didn’t ask any hard questions.”
Not sacking Gordon when he should have was Tony’s biggest crime. That’s two countries he’s wrecked.
The other point was a comment on Fraser Nelson’s post at the Coffee House, by reader David Lindsay:
“Tony Blair has influenced one General Election result, ever. That was in 2005, when he lost Labour a hundred seats. Neither the 2001 nor the 1997 result was anything to do with him in the least. And before that, no one had ever heard of him.”
Good point. 1997 was a foregone conclusion, even Michael Foot would have won it, alive or dead. 2001 was based on an economy set up by Ken Clarke, before Gordon finally lost his remaining marbles, and the majority was far too big for anyone to chuck away.
But by 2005 the mood music had changed, and a fairly hopeless Tory party actually won the popular vote in England. They even got 16% of the votes cast in Scotland, barely less than the SNP, but only 1 seat. The shamefully biased constituencies make up protected Blair then, as they do now for Gordon.
Gordon will not have won any of those voters back. Tony’s guest appearance won’t do it either.