Tony Blair:Worst Prime Minister in British History?....

Tony Blair, Worst British Prime Minister?


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Tony Blair has been criticised for his alliance with U.S. President George W. Bush and his policies in the Middle East, including the Iraq War, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[55] Blair is also criticised for an alleged tendency to spin important information in a way that can be misleading.[56] Blair is the first ever Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to have been formally questioned by police officers whilst in office, although he was not under caution when interviewed.[57]

Critics also regard Tony Blair as having eroded civil liberties and increased social authoritarianism, by increasing police powers, in the form of more arrestable offences, DNA recording, and the issuing of dispersal orders.[58]

Presidentialism

Blair was sometimes perceived as paying insufficient attention both to the views of his own Cabinet colleagues and to those of the House of Commons.[59] His style was sometimes criticised as not that of a prime minister and head of government, which he was, but of a president and head of state, which he was not.[60]

Relationship with the United States
Tony Blair and George W. Bush shake hands after their press conference in the East Room of the White House on 12 November 2004.
Tony Blair and George W. Bush shake hands after their press conference in the East Room of the White House on 12 November 2004.

Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton during the latter's time in office, Blair has formed a strong political alliance with George W. Bush, particularly in the area of foreign policy. At one point, Nelson Mandela described Blair as "the U.S. foreign minister".[61] Blair has also often openly been referred to as "Bush's poodle."[62] Kendall Myers, a senior analyst at the State Department, reportedly said that he felt "a little ashamed" of Bush's treatment of the Prime Minister and that his attempts to influence US government policy were typically ignored—"It was a done deal from the beginning, it was a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyes... There was nothing, no payback, no sense of reciprocity".[63]

For his part, Bush has lauded Blair and the UK. In his post-September 11 speech, for example, he stated that "America has no truer friend than Great Britain".[64]

The alliance between Bush and Blair has seriously damaged Blair's standing in the eyes of many Britons.[65] Blair has argued it is in Britain's interest to "protect and strengthen the bond" with the United States regardless of who is in the White House.[66]

Relationship with other European nations

Blair played a key role in extending the membership of the European Union from 15 to 27 states, and worked to ensure that free-market values were adopted.[67]

Blair forged allegiances with several conservative European leaders, including Silvio Berlusconi of Italy,[68] Angela Merkel of Germany[69] and more recently Nicolas Sarkozy of France.[70]

Relationship with Rupert Murdoch

Tony Blair's close relationship with Rupert Murdoch and the unprecedented support which he received from Murdoch's global media empire has also been the subject of much criticism.[71][72]

Middle East policy and links with Israel

One of Blair's first actions in joining the Labour Party was to join Labour Friends of Israel. In 1994, a friend and former colleague of Blair at 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers, Eldred Tabachnik, Q.C. (one time president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews) introduced Blair to Michael Levy, later Lord Levy, a pop music mogul and major fundraiser for Jewish and Israeli causes, at a dinner party hosted by the Israeli diplomat Gideon Meir.[73] Blair and Levy soon became close friends and tennis partners. Levy ran the Labour Leader's Office Fund to finance Blair's campaign before the 1997 General Election and received substantial contributions from such figures as Alex Bernstein and Robert Gavron, both of whom were ennobled by Blair after he came to power. Levy was created a life peer by Blair in 1997, and in 2002, just prior to the Iraq War, Blair appointed Levy as his personal envoy to the Middle East. Levy has praised Blair for his "solid and committed support of the State of Israel"[74] and has been described himself as "a leading international Zionist".[75] In 2004, Blair was heavily criticised by 50 former diplomats, including ambassadors to Baghdad and Tel Aviv for his policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iraq War. They stated they had "watched with deepening concern" at Britain following the U.S. into war in Iraq in 2003 also stating, "We feel the time has come to make our anxieties public, in the hope that they will be addressed in parliament and will lead to a fundamental reassessment," and asked Blair to exert "real influence as a loyal ally". The ambassadors also accused the allies of having "no effective plan" for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq and the apparent disregard for the lives of Iraqi civilians. The diplomats also criticised Blair for his support for the road map which included the retaining of settlements on the West Bank stating, "Our dismay at this backward step is heightened by the fact that you yourself seem to have endorsed it, abandoning the principles which for nearly four decades have guided international efforts to restore peace in the Holy Land".[76]

In 2006, Blair was heavily criticised for his failure to call for a ceasefire in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, with members of his cabinet openly criticising Israel. Jack Straw, the Leader of the House of Commons and former Foreign Secretary stated that Israel's actions risked destabilising all of Lebanon. Kim Howells, a minister in the Foreign Office, stated that it was "very difficult to understand the kind of military tactics used by Israel", "These are not surgical strikes but have instead caused death and misery amongst innocent civilians.". The Observer newspaper claimed that at a cabinet meeting before Blair left for a summit with President George Bush on 28 July 2006, a significant number of ministers pressured Blair to publicly criticise Israel over the scale of deaths and destruction in Lebanon.[77]

Relationship with Labour Party

Blair's apparent refusal to set a date for his departure was criticised by the British press and Members of Parliament. It has been reported that a number of cabinet ministers believed that Blair's timely departure from office would be required to be able to win a fourth election.[78] Some ministers viewed Blair's announcement of policy initiatives in September 2006 as an attempt to draw attention away from these issues.[78] Upon his return from his holiday in the West Indies he announced that all the speculation about his leaving must stop. This stirred not only his traditional critics but also traditional party loyalists.

While the Blair government has introduced social policies supported by the left of the Labour Party, such as the minimum wage and measures to reduce child poverty, Blair is seen on economic and management issues as being to the right of much of the party. A possible comparison may be made with American Democrats such as Joe Lieberman, who have been accused by their party's "base" of adopting their opponents' political stances. Some critics describe Blair as a reconstructed neoconservative or Thatcherite. He is occasionally described as "Son of Thatcher", though Lady Thatcher herself rejected this identification in an interview with ITV1 on the night of the 2005 election, saying that in her opinion the resemblances were superficial. Blair himself has often expressed admiration for Thatcher.[79]

Approval rating

In May 2006, The Daily Telegraph reported that Blair's personal approval rating had dipped to 26%, lower than Harold Wilson's rating after devaluation of the pound and James Callaghan's during the Winter of Discontent, meaning that Blair had become the most unpopular post-war Labour Prime Minister. Of all post-war British Prime Ministers of both parties, only Margaret Thatcher and John Major have recorded lower approval (the former in the aftermath of the Poll Tax Riots). [80] Previously Blair had achieved the highest approval ratings of any British Prime Minister or party leader of either party in the months following his election in 1997.[81] Two months later, in July 2006, Blair's approval rating hit a further low of 23%, the lowest rating he has received to date. Blair is not however the most unpopular post-war Labour Party leader, with Michael Foot recording 13% approval in August 1982, although Foot was merely Leader of the Opposition at the time, rather than Prime Minister. No other Labour leader other than Foot, whether in office or opposition, has recorded lower approval than Blair. Blair's approval rating during the final month of his premiership was 35%. Hence, he left office having experienced the extremes of being both the most popular and least popular Labour Prime Minister since the Second World War.[82
 

SNS22

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lost the mines, fecked many businesses. huge unemployment, section 28, I cant be arsed writing more but yea she sucked.

Britain Military "Victory" in The Falklands Under Maggie's Tyranny...

258 killed[1]
777 wounded
115 taken prisoner
10 (Sea) Harriers
24 helicopters
2 destroyers
2 frigates
1 LSL landing ship
1 LCU amphibious craft
1 containership

All For What? An Island nobody wants to vacation to?
 

vicarinatutugal

can't reMember
Britain Military "Victory" in The Falklands Under Maggie's Tyranny...

258 killed[1]
777 wounded
115 taken prisoner
10 (Sea) Harriers
24 helicopters
2 destroyers
2 frigates
1 LSL landing ship
1 LCU amphibious craft
1 containership

All For What? An Island nobody wants to vacation to?

quite. But you know there is a MUCH more pointless war going on now.
 

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robbo12345

Mediocre Member
Falklands was more pointless than Iraq, just Iraq has come at much bigger cost and the cost outweighta the benefit of getting rid of a Sadam etc...

Blair did reasonably well if you take Iraq out the picture, but that is one huge hairy bollock he dropped (as well as a few smaller ones). I think we had many worse prime ministers and to consider Blair in the same league as Thatcher would be harsh! There's no doubt Blair was one of the best politicians in the country, much better than anyone I've seen the Conservatives offer in a very long time!
 

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What's all the fuss about...

It's a simple yes or no question....
 

Bassist-In-A-Tutu

New Member
The war in the Falklands was a legal attempt by a country to regain control over a Crown Colony, a bit of British soil which another nation had invaided.

Now we find ourselves as the invaiders....

Ho Hum, I still think Magie was much worse.
 

SNS22

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The war in the Falklands was a legal attempt by a country to regain control over a Crown Colony, a bit of British soil which another nation had invaided.

Now we find ourselves as the invaiders....

Ho Hum, I still think Magie was much worse.

Since I know "nothing" about British Politics...I'll refrain from commenting further on the Falklands....
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
Tony Blair is by no means the worst. he was actually very good until Bush got his hands on him

It's all about opinions of course, which I freely admitted that I'm not British and therefore don't have a real opinion about Mr. Blair....but of course this is why I got my own thread today.... :rolleyes:
 
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