Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The BlairDitch Project

I thought the day that Blair was to resign would have fan fare and much waving of flags, but it seemed, such as the life of a lame duck president, that it came and went, like any other day, disposable like a takeaway Chicken Treat Hawaiian Pack - a sweet and short lived sensation that left a greasy after taste.

Did Tony's New Labour experiment over promise and under deliver, and will Gordon Brown ditch the project or continue it against the will of the Labour die-hards and the nonchalance of the nouveau rich?

I believe his legacy will be the quagmire in Iraq, spin and mistrust, instead of a social legacy of a minimum wage and union rights, the reinvigoration of the NHS (although the opposite is the perception) and the public service, better maternity leave and frankly speaking, good looks and charm. His mantra of "Politics may be the art of the possible; but, at least in life, give the impossible a go" may have robbed him of the legacy as a People's Prime Minister or as a Prime Minister of Hearts. For the very nature of what he was trying to do, by being heroic and tackling the impossible - fix the NHS - in effect, became his downfall.

Curing the NHS is an impossible task. It is a giant leaky bucket that can never be sealed and there will always be a story the opposition will find about an 80 year old grannie who stayed in the corridor for 4 hours in emergency, or an outbreak of a super bug that claims the life of a healthy man in his prime.

So many Brits had faith in Tony, and were stripped bare, along with Labour's membership and activist base.

The people can't pin all their hopes on one man - it will take more than one generation to fix the broken country that the Tories left - yet the general malaise that has enveloped Britain has a country drunk on consumerism and yearning for a spot on reality TV. The reality is, that the people who pinned their hopes on New Labour will be the same people that are needed to lift New Labour into the next decade of the 21st century. Those people have been left scarred and cynical by sound bites and lies, and can't see beyond the 80 inch wall mounted telly at the positive things ten years of Labour has done.

I will remain forever angry at Blair's decision to go to war. But I mustn't become cynical. He said in his closing remarks: "Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong - that's your call. But I did what I thought was right for our country".

So, dear reader, I will leave you with this quote from Glasgwegian artist and architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, for whom I have much admiration:

There is hope in honest error. None in the icy perfections of the mere stylist.

No comments: