Did Tony Blair do anything right?

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mercalia
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Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby mercalia » 27 Mar 2018, 1:50pm

1) The Gulf war and weapons of mass destruction - no
2) Opening the doors prematurely to the eastern europeans when we didnt have to so instead of 16,000 160,000 came in the first year - no
3) "Blair's accession in 1997 marked the moment when Labour embraced the principles of the free market. His first act was the symbolic surrender of control of interest rates to the Bank of England. His record on social issues may look mild compared with the carnage we are now experiencing, but in fact he helped normalise the equation of the word "reform" with "deregulation". He introduced tuition fees for students, he pursued private finance initiatives across public services, and generally set about "freeing up business" by any means necessary"

Yet he expects us to trust him in his views on Brexit - what a plonker?

some of the good things?

https://www.quora.com/Was-Tony-Blair-a-good-Prime-Minister

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fossala
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby fossala » 27 Mar 2018, 2:13pm

I hate Blair and "New Labour" but they did get implement the national minimum wage. The downside is that people still strive for bandages for capitalism and don't try to rectify the problem at it's source. Overall he's a centrist pile of S***.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Mar 2018, 2:23pm

Control of interest rates being ceded to a central bank is very common around the world I believe. Generally a better thing to have it solely in the hands of economic experts without fear of being subservient to public / voter whims I'd have thought. So you want a cabinet to b decide on interest rates or a committee if some of the best economists available to the Central Bank?

Of course once Blair's reputation was a lot better but it's being rewritten with a kind of opposite view to rose tinted glasses I reckon. At the time he was very popular. I wonder how many of you lot criticising him now once voted him into number ten? Change of heart now you've got Corbyn the new messiah?

Seriously though he's got his good and bad points of himself and his record. Personally I never voted for him. I voted against him and decided to not vote once. Might have spoiled one ballot paper too I think.

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NUKe
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby NUKe » 27 Mar 2018, 2:24pm

Made the NHS work, brought down waiting times, unfortunately he did introduce PFI contracts which unravelled a bit.
'Education Education Education' and he did a great job in that respect
reduced poverty with family tax credits
free Nursery care.
Good Friday agreement although John major needs credit here as well.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Mar 2018, 2:35pm

Good Friday agreement? John Major needs credit too? If Blair and Major did so much for it why were they not included in the Nobel peace prize with the two Irish (northern and Republic) politicians? Wasn't that for the work leading to the GFA?

NHS and education. Didn't they spend, spend, spend leaving us without as much capability to cope with the GFC at the end of their reign?

As I said, good and bad in all PMs. I also think no PM is as good as they're made out to be at their height. Their wins are never quite the wins they make out.

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Pastychomper
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby Pastychomper » 27 Mar 2018, 4:20pm

My initial thought was, "He resigned as PM didn't he?" but tbh that's probably a little harsh, even for someone who used to think "B. Liar" was a better spelling.

I agree there's good and bad in all, and considering what PMs have to go through I'm very happy to pay someone else to do it. I'll even admit that Blair was not as bad as I thought at the time. My brother (who had kids at school under New Labour) was impressed with at least some of his educational policies. I was an undergraduate back then and would have been significantly less poor if I'd started slightly earlier under the blue Tories, so I thought "Education, education, education" was what Tony chanted whenever he was asked where they could save money.

As for the NHS, better not get me started, but I don't think he was the worst in that regard.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Mar 2018, 4:31pm

Blair was Prime Minister, not the president. His misconception about the role was not his alone, but I think he took it further than others. (As noted on a recent thread, a Treasury consideration of scrapping copper coins was vetoed by "Downing Street.")

If anybody wonders what on Earth I'm on about, who was credited with founding the NHS? Or the introduction of the breathalyser? Neither Clement Attlee nor Harold Wilson.

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NUKe
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby NUKe » 27 Mar 2018, 4:49pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Good Friday agreement? John Major needs credit too? If Blair and Major did so much for it why were they not included in the Nobel peace prize with the two Irish (northern and Republic) politicians? Wasn't that for the work leading to the GFA?

Your referring to John Hume a labour politician from Derry and David Trimble of the UDP

they were two people on the ground that helped, The prize would have been better given to McGuiness, Adams and Paisley as these were the men who stuck there necks out and helped get rid of the paramilitaries weapons
NHS and education. Didn't they spend, spend, spend leaving us without as much capability to cope with the GFC at the end of their reign?

As I said, good and bad in all PMs. I also think no PM is as good as they're made out to be at their height. Their wins are never quite the wins they make out.


Money was spent on both education and NHS in the Blaire years. His Big mistake was to let roulette banking continue from the Thatcher years. Education was something that had been seriously underfunded through the Thatcher years.

I believe if we had continued with Darling fiscal policy when the Crash happened the country would be in a lot better state than it is now and we wouldn't have the situation where working folks have to rely on food banks just to survive.


PFI were Blairs biggest mistake in terms of health, but it was only the financial crash which highlighted this. waiting times for operations were down we didn't get bed blocking, which always seems to re ar its head under a tory government
Last edited by NUKe on 27 Mar 2018, 7:53pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bovlomov
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby bovlomov » 27 Mar 2018, 5:15pm

Employing David Blunkett was one of Blair's greatest errors. He was a terrible education secretary (judged even by the low standards of that position) and he was a worse Home Secretary (ditto). In both roles he was dogmatic and authoritarian - and prone to ignoring any evidence that didn't suit him.

Blair is fortunate. Brexit's shadow is likely to distract historians from his failings.

thirdcrank
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Mar 2018, 6:41pm

Re financial policy of every sort, my memory is that this is one broad area where he wasn't presidential. On the contrary, he let Son of the Manse Gordo "Prudence" Brown run that show with his moral compass and there were some eleven years between 1997 and 2008. I'm proud to say that I reverse carpet bagged several building society sell-offs such as Bradford and Bingley. ie, I opened deposit accounts with the sole purpose of voting against demutualisation.

Fred the Shred was a star of the Brown era: knighted in 2004.

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bovlomov
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby bovlomov » 27 Mar 2018, 6:52pm

thirdcrank wrote:I reverse carpet bagged several building society sell-offs such as Bradford and Bingley. ie, I opened deposit accounts with the sole purpose of voting against demutualisation.

There weren't enough like you. The lure of an easy grand or two proved overwhelming, and essentially paved the way for the 2008 banking crisis. At least you can say you weren't complicit.

I was with your local (The Leeds) before it got swallowed by the Halifax. It's good, because I get 0.00002% interest on my savings.

thirdcrank
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Mar 2018, 7:23pm

bovlomov wrote: ... I was with your local (The Leeds) before it got swallowed by the Halifax. It's good, because I get 0.00002% interest on my savings.


You should have spotted the clues. The Leeds Permanent Building Society, as was, ran several ad campaigns starring George Cole, reprising his Arthur Daley dodgy car dealer persona. :wink: I never had any money there, but Mike Blackburn's demutalisation of the Halifax Building Society was one of the shabbiest manouevres in our history. Getting further even further away from Blair, one of my neighbours used to be a senior man at the Leeds Permanent and he blames the regulators for everything that happened to building societies. It may all have begun under Thatcher, with the Shabby National, but nobody afterwards tried to stop it.

My original TESSA was with the Leeds and Holbeck, which has now adopted "The Leeds" as its trading name.

Our only building society membership now is with the Yorkshire. Last week they sent us a flyer for a funeral plan. A once-proud movement reduced to slithering along on its belly. :evil:

Stevek76
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby Stevek76 » 27 Mar 2018, 7:48pm

mercalia wrote:Yet he expects us to trust him in his views on Brexit - what a plonker?


Because the ones supporting brexit are incredibly trustworthy? Boris, gove, farage, Patterson, fox, redwood.... :roll:

As for Blair, never could get past his fuax emotional shtick myself, even before he had his warmongering idiocy but compared to most of the current crop in either party he doesn't look quite so bad these days!

Tangled Metal wrote:Good Friday agreement? John Major needs credit too? If Blair and Major did so much for it why were they not included in the Nobel peace prize with the two Irish (northern and Republic) politicians? Wasn't that for the work leading to the GFA?


I'm in no way an expert on the mess that is NI but I'm not sure I'd put much faith in the Nobel peace prize as an indicator.

NHS and education. Didn't they spend, spend, spend leaving us without as much capability to cope with the GFC at the end of their reign?


A little but not anywhere near as much as some elements of the press have successfully managed to rewrite history in the minds of most. Debt was fairly low before the banking omnishambles and deficit was also fairly good. They were too lax to the banking sector though and let the housing market overheat which increased the UK's exposure to the crash. Though it should be noted that Osborne was calling for even less regulation, calls in the house and further afield that things had gone too far were few and far between.

The nihilist in me wasn't keen on the way the banks were saved as much as they were as the adopted approach seems largely to have left the wealthy speculators more wealthy which seems it should have been an anathema to most as it is neither socialist nor capitalist (where you're supposed to lose money if you get it wrong!). However Osborne's approach has just made everything worse. He massively talked down the economy in both words and actions on gaining power and many of the cuts have been counter productive (eg local authority budgets putting more social care pressure on the NHS which isn't the most efficient place to deal with it).

Public services were working far better though and transport policy was better than it currently is (though not far enough, the Blair/brown government did make some moves towards less pointless road building and more investment in non car modes).

Blair's two biggest failings in my view were the obvious one of Iraq and the rather more forgotten one of the burying of the report from the Jenkins commission on changing the UK's voting system to something rather more democratic, Blair became to attached to his landslide majority and ignored the recommendations.

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bovlomov
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby bovlomov » 27 Mar 2018, 10:31pm

thirdcrank wrote:
bovlomov wrote: ... I was with your local (The Leeds) before it got swallowed by the Halifax. It's good, because I get 0.00002% interest on my savings.

You should have spotted the clues. The Leeds Permanent Building Society, as was, ran several ad campaigns starring George Cole, reprising his Arthur Daley dodgy car dealer persona.
I have forgotten why I chose them, but I can't think of a better reason than that George Cole told me to. As it happens, the ghost of the Leeds still haunts me. My account is called 'Liquid Gold', which I believe was the Leeds account name I brought with me to the Halifax. It's liquid something, but not gold. They keep offering me a higher yield account, but as it will only give me another tuppence a year, I've never thought it was worth the trouble.

I knew a quite well off person who put a couple of grand into every building society in the hopes of getting a demutualisation bribe. At the time, I thought it was rather grubby, and a bit desperate. But years later the picture was complete when he complained to me about the banking crash.

one of my neighbours used to be a senior man at the Leeds Permanent and he blames the regulators for everything that happened to building societies.
What does he mean? In the years before the demutualisation gold rush or during it?

If the latter, the general public should surely take some of the blame, for being greedy, short-sighted, and for thinking they could defy gravity. And the politicians should take some blame for their bad leadership.

...which brings us back to TB.

pete75
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Re: Did Tony Blair do anything right?

Postby pete75 » 27 Mar 2018, 11:29pm

NUKe wrote:Made the NHS work, brought down waiting times, unfortunately he did introduce PFI contracts which unravelled a bit.
'Education Education Education' and he did a great job in that respect
reduced poverty with family tax credits
free Nursery care.
Good Friday agreement although John major needs credit here as well.


No - PFI was introduced by the Major government in 1992.