By reading Samizdata for several years, I am one of the Americans that has received a major enlightenment regarding Tony Blair. I recently received this link from regular commenter RAB and decided to post it for the benefit of other Americans on the site.
Tony Blair, who was swept into office in 1997 amid higher hopes and greater goodwill than any incoming British Prime Minister in modern times, will leave it a few weeks hence with his reputation in ruins.
An opinion poll earlier this month showed that only 11 per cent of voters still like him; 51per cent think that “he manages to convince himself that whatever he has decided to do must be morally right”.
Some 57 per cent say he has stayed in Downing Street too long, and only five per cent agree that he is “in touch with ordinary people”.
Just 27 per cent think Britain is a more successful society than it was in 1997, and 61 per cent believe that it is a much less pleasant one.
Tony Blair has shown himself the most accomplished political actor ever to occupy the premiership.
He is an orator of near-genius, a performer who has for years dominated party conference platforms, TV studios, Parliament, White House press conferences, even the U.S. Congress.
Put him before an audience in his heyday, whether of three people or 3,000, and he could weave a spell worthy of Gandalf.
But now let us step over the camera and lighting cables, walk past the brilliantly painted frontage of whichever modern temple of glitz he is patronising – the Millennium Dome would be appropriate – and venture backstage.
Examine the real Britain after ten years of Blair.