Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kaletsky delivers a zinger

Anatole Kaletsky in the Times today, delivers a pungent message to Blair:

TONY BLAIR is finished — no ifs, buts or maybes. The Prime Minister no longer has any chance of recapturing his popularity, regaining his credibility or restoring his authority. The only question is whether Mr Blair will use his speech at the Labour conference as a last chance to announce a dignified departure date, around next May’s local elections, or whether he will have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of Downing Street before Christmas à la Margaret Thatcher, with men in grey suits doing the dirty work, and men in white coats standing a figurative step behind them. As in many other respects, Mr Blair seems eager to follow Mrs Thatcher’s example.

...........................So widespread is the loathing of Mr Blair that a putsch against him would no longer need to be spearheaded by the Labour Left. This means that Mr Brown is in a position to accelerate the Prime Minister’s departure without making any promises to Labour activists and unions that he might later regret. In fact, by distancing himself from President Bush’s foreign policy as soon as he become Prime Minister, Mr Brown could immediately help to restore the Government’s popularity and simultaneously win himself all the gratitude he needs from the Labour Left.

He seems to think it will be all over by Christmas, and to be endorsing Gordon Brown. I do hope Blair has the sense and self-preservation to announce his departure rather than wait to be pushed.

1 comment:

Political Umpire said...

I agree, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Blair has already long gone back on his word about when he'll retire. Perhaps he's mindful of Shane Warne says in today's Times, that you can only retire once so be careful about when you do it. Perhaps he's waiting for Iraq to be in better shape (some hope). Or perhaps he's waiting for better earning opportunities (hence the memo about a media tour) given the size of the mortgage he and his wife have on their retirement pad in Connaught Sq