Thursday, May 10, 2007

So farewell then, Tony Blair

Those in the Labour Party baying for Tony Blair to quit over the last year will have seen what a statesman he was today with an honest account of a decade as prime minister, and a stark message about Iraq.

He leaves office with his head held high - not following a shock resignation or a palace coup. But I think he leaves with a heavy heart because he knows he wasn't able to really tackle those parts of the welfare state that needed even harder reform than just chucking money at the staff.

If he has a particular failing it is that he was sometimes too tolerant of weak and incompetant government departments. DEFRA and the DTI are a joke. The Home Office and the Civil Justice departments have swung from crisis to crisis. Don't get me started on the NHS. He has also allowed Gordon Brown too much power to increase the tax burden.

We have had a real leader for the last 10 years that has made the country stronger and more confident. It is also more tolerant. I think the country would have been even more successful had he really been able to govern as he wanted to, not within the limits of an ideologically shackled party and a nanny state machinery.

We'll all miss him when he's gone.

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