Some of you thought I was being a bit flippant, or even peevish, in my rather light-hearted run-through of Tony Blair's "achievements" the other day. Well, a rather more considered asssessment appears in my column in today's Newcastle Journal and I reproduce it in full here.
And so, the deed is finally done. Tony Blair has announced his resignation as Labour leader and on June 27, when he ceases to be Prime Minister, an era in British politics will draw to a close.
As I wrote last week, it's come about four years too late, but let's not quibble about the minor details - the important thing for the Labour Party and the country is that he's going.
"I've been prime minister of this country for just over 10 years. I think that's long enough for me, but more especially for the country," he told his constituents at Trimdon Labour Club in County Durham.
And in what might have been a moment of self-knowledge he added: "Sometimes, the only way you conquer the pull of power is to set it down."
Earlier this year, Mr Blair told the BBC that he would not "beg for his character in front of anyone." Well, it sounded very much to me like he was begging for it on Thursday.
The gist of his farewell message to the nation seemed to be that, even though he might have got some things wrong, he wanted us to believe that he always acted out of the best of motives.
It wasn't one of his greatest efforts, to tell the truth. But it did, however, have the merit of humility, of acknowledging that his premiership had fallen short of expectations.
"The visions are painted in the colours of the rainbow and the reality is sketched in the duller tones of black and white and grey," he said. It's as good a comment on the Blair years as any.
The sense of disappointment, of lost hopes and unfulfilled promise that has accompanied the Blair era is felt by different people in different ways.
For many, it will be the extent to which he allowed his mission to reform the public services to become diverted by the "war on terror," culminating in the terrible morass of Iraq.
For others, it will be his failure to grasp the historic opportunity of his 1997 landslide to fashion a political realignment on the centre-left, or a new relationship with Europe.
For me, it will always be his failure, as the first Labour Prime Minister in 18 years, to heal the social and economic divisions of Thatcherism, and to have presided instead over an increase in inequality.
So what will be Mr Blair's lasting legacy? Well, the case against him is well known, and has been articulated in a fair amount of detail in this column down the years.
In a nutshell, it can be summed up in two words, Iraq and spin - two words that, taken together, have deepened the loss of public trust in politics that has occurred over the past decade.
But what of the case for him? Well, this rests primarily in my view on the extent to which he succeeded in bringing about what has been termed "social justice by stealth."
Mr Blair's admirers argue that, in spite of appearances to the contrary, he was actually responsible for a huge redistribution of wealth to the less well-off that has made a significant and lasting impact on society.
Now admittedly, there is something in this. Much higher benefits allied to new tax credits to the low paid mean around 600,000 fewer children are now below what the EU defines as the "poverty line."
But the very fact that Mr Blair felt unable to boast about this considerable achievement for fear of alienating Middle England demonstrates that he did not, in the end, alter the political consensus.
In any case, the argument that the Blair government was responsible for making a major dent in poverty also depends on whether you define poverty in absolute or relative terms.
Under the former definition, it is undeniably true that most people are much better off under New Labour. But at the same time, it is also undeniably the case that the gap between rich and poor was widened.
Nowhere, of course, is this dichotomy more pronounced than in the North-East. It would be churlish to deny that the region has experienced a major growth in prosperity over recent years.
But with other regions forging ahead at an even faster rate, the economic divide between North and South has widened on most measures during the Blair decade.
His government has been, at best, disinclined to address the North-South gap and, at worst it has actively pursued policies that have exacerbated it, such as the huge transport infrastructure investment in London and the South-East.
And his attempts at institutional reform in the region were a disaster, with the North-East Assembly referendum going down as one of the great debacles of his premiership.
So what next? Well, a curiosity of the week's political events was that Mr Blair did not even manage to stage the most sensational resignation. That distinction belonged to John Reid.
Was the Home Secretary's decision not to challenge Gordon Brown for the leadership simply an acknowledgement that he is unbeatable? Well, probably.
Mr Blair's generous endorsement of the Chancellor's bid to succeed him yesterday masks the fact that, for months, the Blairites have tried in vain to find an alternative contender.
Ultimately they were defeated by two things - the arithmetic of Labour's electoral college, and South Shields MP David Miliband's reluctance to be their standard-bearer.
So in the end, Mr Blair was telling the truth in his conference speech last autumn when he said he wanted to "heal" the party's wounds to build a platform for election victory.
He deserves credit for that, and for saving Labour, at the last, from a civil war that would certainly have lost it that election.
As the Prime Minister told us on Thursday: "Believe one thing, if nothing else. I did what I thought was right for our country."
For once, in staging the orderly transition that has been so long awaited, he has.