Monday, September 11, 2006

Blair makes the cover of Newsweek

The European edition of Newsweek features Blair and his problems on the cover. The main story is titled The Fall of Tony Blair with the somewhat misleading by-line "Old labour has finally got it's revenge on it's three term Prime Minister". The article itself is more balanced though it features such gems as "In the end, Blair was a defeated man. Last Thursday he interrupted a visit to a London school to speak to reporters. Where once he would have slapped down his opponents, he was now contrite. This, he said, "has not been our finest hour." Having said he wouldn't lay down a timetable, he did." There is a glimpse into the origins of the "mendacity" quote: "Brown left with less than he had asked for, but Blair could barely contain his fury. When he took a call from an old friend that night, he exploded, "Where did [Brown] get this mendacity from?'' " Who is this old friend? They don't say.

There are a couple of more articles in the special. One entitled A Man to Watch about David Milliband which begins "He's the only member of the British cabinet with enough 21st-century savvy to post a blog. His good humor and optimism attract almost as much praise as his brainpower. And in the snake pit of Labour Party politics, he's a rarity—a loyal protégé of Tony Blair who's somehow stayed on good terms with his impatient successor-in-waiting, Gordon Brown."

There is an article authored by Gordon Brown titled, We Need To Be More Fair where he talks about how to make globalisation work, in particular how to deal with the negative aspects. "One such problem: an emerging global surplus of unskilled workers. ..... More and more tradable unskilled work will be done overseas. In Britain, this suggests that by 2020 the number of unskilled jobs will have fallen by 85 percent. So we must find work for those who would have done those jobs. And as demand for unskilled labor falls, we must retrain our work force in new skills. We must ensure that people performing important but low-skilled jobs do not see their after-tax incomes sink so low that they become a new generation of working poor."

Finally there is a piece entitled No More Poodles? which begins "It wasn't just jobs or taxes or even the occasional whiff of scandal that ultimately did him in. It was poodle-ism. In the end, Tony Blair became too closely identified with the foreign policy of George W. Bush. Neither the voters nor Blair's own Labour Party would stand for it" but which hopefully concludes that the anti-Americanism won't last long and will evaporate when Bush leaves office.

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