‘Famed as favourite attack dog in the imperial kennel’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, May 11, 2007
Blair’s first loyalty was to the White House. The result has been a legacy of hatred that ultimately ended his premiership
The departure, too, was spun in classic New Labour, Dear Leader fashion. A carefully selected audience, a self-serving speech, the quivering lip and soon the dramaturgy was over. He had arrived at No 10 with a carefully orchestrated display of union flags. Patriotic fervour was also on show yesterday, with references to “this blessed country … the greatest country in the world” – no mention of the McDonald’s, Starbucks, Benetton that adorn every high street – nor of how Britain under his watch came to be seen in the rest of the world: a favourite attack dog in the imperial kennel.
Tony Blair’s principal success was in winning three general elections in a row. A second-rate actor, he turned out to be a crafty and avaricious politician. Bereft of ideas, he eagerly grasped and tried to improve on Margaret Thatcher’s legacy. But though in many ways Blair’s programme has been a euphemistic, if bloodier, version of Thatcher’s, the style of their departures is very different. read more