Monday, May 17, 2004

The backbenchers are getting increasingly restless. From today's Independent (sub. only):
The ground of Tony Blair's being was never in the Labour Party (Gordon Brown's is). The marriage between Mr Blair and Labour had little to do with passion; it was much more leg-up than leg-over. He needed a political party; the Labourites were desperate for a winner. But Tony Blair never trusted the party he led. He felt that he could rely on very few of his colleagues; hence the regime of constant monitoring and chivvying from No 10. But this was always a strained, unreal method of running a party and a government. Even without Iraq, it would have disintegrated at some stage, though Iraq has been a double catalyst. It has not only dramatised Mr Blair's lack of rapport with his party. It was the PM's distrust of his parliamentary colleagues which led him to deceive the public about his reasons for going to war. . . .

a lot of Labour MPs now want what they regard as a proper Labour government. They did not go into politics to stand shoulder to shoulder with an American president whom many of them regard as evil incarnate. As their discontent grows, it communicates itself to the voters, who never respect divided parties.

Tony Blair has told friends that Iraq could bring him down. His prospects depend on the benevolence of events - a hazardous business. But there is one particular malevolent event which he may now be less able to cope with. If - when - there is a major terrorist outrage in the UK, will Mr Blair succeed in rallying the country, or will a lot of people say: "Now the 45 minutes has come true, and it is all your fault"?

I believe that the latter reaction will be much more widespread than it would have been even a few weeks ago. This is a Prime Minister whose moral standing is crumbling beyond repair.
The most interesting thing to my mind in this article is how the Iraq war has simply been a "catalyst" toward the breakup between Blair and Labour; this was never more than a marriage of convenience, and Iraq simply drove what everyone's already knew boldly out into the open.

The ballyhooed 'Third Way' is proving a dead end in Britain; oh, when in the US??


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