‘Famed as a favourite attack dog in the imperial kennel’

‘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

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