Monday, June 25, 2007

Blairs last days

A correspondent from The Times Magazine has been spending time with Blair on his farewell tour. What comes across again and again is that Tony Blair is a conviction politician, more interested in policies that than he is in ideology.

On accusations that he is "right-wing":
“I think it is a radical-left proposition to say someone should have choice within the NHS in the same way as if they had the money they could buy private healthcare,” he says. “The reason why Labour was out of power for so long,” he warns, “and will go back out of power if it doesn’t understand this, is if you end up regarding greater choice as right-wing, even though you have that choice irrespective of wealth, then you are on the wrong side of history.”
On George Bush:
“...I’m not going to apologise for having a relationship with someone I’ve found to be straight and true to his word.” Isn’t Bush fantastically right-wing? “Look,” says Blair, “I wouldn’t agree with most American politicians on the death penalty. I think gay rights are a big deal. I introduced a law banning handguns. But I can’t understand how removing the Taleban and Saddam Hussein, who stood for the most repressive reactionary values imaginable, I can’t see how that’s right-wing. And when people say to me, ‘Bush is a bog-standard ultra-right-wing Republican’, I say, ‘Well, who’s got a black woman as Secretary of State?’...”
Tony Blair has never been wedded to the Labour party. For him, it has been a vehicle for delivering the policies he believes in, nothing more. It's clear why so many in his party hate him.