Justin at Chicken Yoghurt says farewell to Blair in unsurprising terms, finishing up with a list of 151 awful things that he’s done in the last ten years.
Not wishing to pick through the whole list to decide which I concur with and which are just paranoid warblings, I’ll just look at the preamble to see where this comes from:
‘But think of all the good he did,’ say his vestigial supporters. The first ‘good’ to fall from their lips is his three general election victories. The thing is, the Labour Party isn’t like the Brazilian World Cup team – an election victory isn’t a trophy to put in the glass case until the next tournament. To hear most of Blair’s hagiographers speak, winning has been the end in itself.
I agree with this part – to a certain extent. Of course, that Blair won three elections is a measure of some success, and has the advantage that Hague and Howard didn’t win any elections.
Once you get past the three golden ‘historic’ election victories, the rest of the trophies accrued over the last ten years look small and brassy. What about economic growth during every quarter of his premiership, cry the faithful. Or the minimum wage? And tax credits?
The thing is, who really cares about such things?
Me for one. Am I alone here? Isn’t it part of the Labour movement, if not the vast majority of what we call the ‘progressive’ wing of politics to at least care about things like the low paid and unemployment? I tell you what, if the minimum wage was revoked today (unthinkable now, but not in 1997) or the economy slowed up, people would start to care an awful lot about it.
Especially when they’re administered in such cack-handed, inhumane ways.
Inhumane? The minimum wage is inhumane? Economic growth has been brought about in a cack-handed manner? I don’t get the point – unless Justin has already moved on from the things he doesn’t care about…
I think I’ll pass on the 151 things that Justin does care about (I suspect that a great many aren’t solely down to Blair, and that some are suggestions or quotes rather than actual policies).