Thursday, May 10, 2007

An underwhelming exit

Like most people of my age, I clearly remember where I was when Margaret Thatcher went. Actually the answer was on a train between Derby and London on my way to a job interview. A woman got on at Leicester shortly after 9.30am and told the carriage "she's gone." I could hardly conceal my glee and managed to get into a row with someone on the seat opposite who clearly thought it was the worst disaster to hit the country since Dunkirk.

Will I remember in 17 years' time where I was when Tony Blair announced his resignation today? I doubt it.

Like Iain Dale I don't think this was one of Tony's best efforts. It seemed to me as if the Great Communicator had said all he really needed to say in his party conference valedictory address last autumn and was flailing around vainly in search of a new line.

In the end, the best he could come up with was "I did what I thought was right for our country." Which, I suppose, has the merit of humility if not that of startling originality.

In common with some other bloggers, I do eventually plan to have a celebratory beer to mark Blair's departure, and to drink a toast to the memory of Dr David Kelly who was driven to take his life by the activities of this wretched regime and for whom today's events represent some sort of delayed justice.

However since Blair is still in No 10, I suppose this small commemoration should wait until 27 June - the day the Blair era will finally come to an end.

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VFTN said...

Alright, so it was a bit nauseating and, apologies wise, a bit late. But if he had made some huge barnstorming defence of Labour's record people would just have said he was in chronic denial. He couldn't win today.

Anonymous said...

the jokes seemed a little out of place given how many have died in Iraq,I'm sure reg keys saw the funny side too.

hardly the time and place...

Anonymous said...

you do seem a little on the bitter side lately paul.

Anonymous said...

"Hand on mah heart, ah did what I thought was right".

What a truly soppy, Lady Di performance. Sadly, this sort of bollocks appeals to an awful lot of people. Perhaps this is why in a trashy, Hello magazine sort of way, Tony is a “great” politician, and why the Tories are relieved he is quitting today.

Anonymous said...

Sir - an entertaining article, and how i loved your farewell tribute! I don't suppose we could invite you to our Tony Blair farewell celebration could we, to be held in central London on that fateful June day!

If you do fancy attending, send us an email and we will mail you an invite... Should be rather fun!



Unknown said...

Your observations on TB's achievements are spot on.

But you are too harsh on his presentation. His speeches are not meant for political enthusiasts like you. They were, and still are, geared exclusively for the floating voter. And TB's magic is still there for them.

Anonymous said...

I am so sad when I remember Dr Kelly, he looked so haunted. Blair et al definitely have blood on their hands.

MorrisOx said...


Paul, you do sound just a teensy bit peevish on this one.

James Higham said...

Was Dunkirk a disaster, Paul? I seem to recall they got them out fairly well in the end.

Anonymous said...

Dunkirk connection??? Naaa. More aptly, this day in 1940
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned. Only this time the long suffering British punters get Hitler,instead of Churchill.

Anonymous said...

talin? shurely