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Tony Blair - a stalwart Briton


Blackleaf

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I will be voting for Tony Blair in today's election. He will win with another landslide, and it will be the first time ever that a Labour government has been in power for three consecutive terms.

This is from yesterday's Wall Street Journal -

Tomorrow can't come soon enough for Tony Blair. On the eve of Britain's Election Day, the opinion polls tell the same story they have told throughout the campaign -- that Mr. Blair will win a third straight term, the first Labour prime minister to do so.

Yet the final week of the campaign has been one long, nasty assault on Mr. Blair's integrity thanks to leaked documents portrayed as "proof" that he took Britain into war in Iraq despite differences among his advisers about its legality. If the leaks haven't worked, the likeliest explanation is that, in foreign policy above all, Mr. Blair has consistently risen above a reputation for opportunism and acted instead out of purpose and conviction. Therein lies a political lesson.

We can already hear the groans from those fond of transposing the vowels in Mr. Blair's name to call him a "liar." This is the same crowd that has argued for three years that Mr. Blair's political future is doomed because of his support for the "cowboy" in the White House. But for Mr. Blair, it started in Kosovo in the 1990s, when he stood up to Slobodan Milosevic and stiffened Bill Clinton's resolve when the 1999 air campaign failed to bring immediate results. Mr. Blair insisted that a ground campaign might be needed, and it was that threat that brought Milosevic to heel and hastened his ouster.

Even more resolve was required on Iraq, where military action was far less popular in Britain and certainly wouldn't have passed Mr. Clinton's poll-driven method of setting policy. But Mr. Blair made his case and most Britons supported him.

As for the past week's "revelations" about decision-making at 10 Downing Street, all that really has been confirmed is that Mr. Blair believed early on that the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein running Iraq (which it is). They also reinforce his view that Saddam's flouting of U.N. Security Council resolutions on weapons inspections provided all the public and legal justification needed to achieve this highly desirable result (which it did).

And finally, they confirm Mr. Blair's belief at the time that international consensus would be more likely if the Coalition members pressed the case for war at the U.N. Mr. Blair's insistence on that last point proved fruitless in the end, but it is to his credit that he and President Bush saw the matter through anyway.

Less impressive has been Mr. Blair's steadfastness on domestic issues. He claims to be a Thatcherite but has presided over a policy of regulatory creep and steadily rising taxes and spending. Nevertheless, he has managed to keep his country's economy much more market-oriented -- and thus more vibrant -- than Europe's other giant economies, France and Germany. And while those countries' leaders are teetering on the edge of political disaster because their constant maneuvering has led them into corners they might not escape, Mr. Blair goes into tomorrow's election on more solid footing.

That is due in no small part to his willingness to stand on principle when world events have demanded it. As much as Mr. Blair's critics would like to persuade the public that he deserves to go down to defeat tomorrow for taking Britain to war in Iraq, voters seem ready to give Mr. Blair a third term and his place in the history books.

The Wall Street Journal

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  • warden

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The quicker he moves over and lets Brown fill his shoes the better,Blairs looks like a man who has more than the world on his shoulders and it is begining to tell,he has got used to having a wee bit of power behind him he doesnt want to let go

Enough is enough we dont want a liar to run our country,or another man to go commit suicide on blairs leeky cabinet,another lie

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