Friday, December 22, 2006


Blair no Colossus but Labour still Well Placed

Political philosopher David Marquand today ridicules Anthony Seldon's characterization of Blair as a 'political colossus' in Wednesday's Guardian.

'Blair will leave Downing St with the Labour Party in ruins, a vast swathe of progressive opinion in near despair, public servants demoralized, minority communities disaffected, sleaze rampant, and civil liberties in greater danger than since the repressive legislation of the late nineteenth century.

Yes, not quite a colossus from that point of view but in the same paper Polly Toynbee points to a conundrum: if Blair has been so useless why isn't Cameron more popular than he is and Labour less popular than it is? After a year as leader Blair's ratings were 30% compared to Dave's surely under-performing -5% And, while Conservatives have edged ahead surprisingly on health, they lead otherwise only on tax, crime and asylum. Toynbee is astonished at the size of this 'indignation deficit' after the serial disasters of the third term and concludes:

'... as this bad year ends, Labour still has remarkably solid foundations to build on.

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