Monday, April 27, 2009

Could Tony Blair endorse David Cameron?

Tony Blair was always a multi-directional ‘weather-vane’ rather than a ‘sign-post’ conviction politician. He tended to bend with the capricious winds of public opinion rather than expound ideology or rigorously apply doctrine. But he has always managed to walk on water, no matter what gnashing teeth from beneath were intent on drowning him, and he had the luck of the Devil in the timing of his departure. His political career has been a triumph (and, with the his imminent coronation as President of Europe, it is not yet over). He is possessed of more political lives than a cat, and has manifest more religio-political incarnations than Krishna.

For a politician, there is perhaps nothing worse than being tarnished with corruption, sleaze or political failure. Although John Major was personally the epitome of decency and propriety, his name has become synonymous with such terms of detraction. Not so Tony Blair. He swam like a fish through policy failures, EU tensions, civil war with Gordon Brown, clashes with ministers, party funding scandals, ‘cash for peerages’, Iraq, dodgy dossiers, etc., etc. If New Labour failed to live up to his promise that they would be ‘whiter than white’ in government, the perception of Mr Blair remains that he is a decent, honourable and sincere man. It is difficult to forget that, when Mr Blair stood down as prime minister, David Cameron led the House of Commons in rapturous applause of admiration.

While President George W Bush was on the ascendancy, Mr Blair was his political soul-mate. When President Obama descended from the clouds in a fiery chariot, Mr Blair was on the Mount of Olives to wave his palm branches. Rather like The Sun, Tony Blair likes to be on the winning side, not only in order that he might bask in a little reflected glory, but also that he might take a little credit for the victory, and remain on self-serving good terms with the victor: ‘It was Tony Blair what won it’.

David Cameron rightly eschews the ‘heir to Blair’ epithet. But the Leader of the Opposition has pledged to scrap the new 50 pence income tax band; he wants schools and academies liberated from local authority control; and he supports foundation hospitals free of Whitehall interference. On these key issues Mr Cameron is quite literally the heir to Blair in ways that Gordon Brown manifestly is not.

While he was Chancellor, Gordon Brown limited the powers of foundation hospitals to borrow money, thereby preventing real reform. He has always been sceptical of academies, and shunted Lord Adonis off to the thankless wastelands of Transport with unseemly haste; and with the introduction of a 50 pence income tax band, he has rejected his predecessor’s ‘Third Way’ ideology and reneged on a key manifesto pledge, effectively euthanising the New Labour project.

David Cameron has been ‘wooing’ Tony Blair’s inner circle for quite some time, assuring them of a warm embrace in his Conservative Party. Indeed, he has publicly said that Lord Adonis ‘has been a force for good in education policy’. And now David Cameron is planning to extend Mr Blair’s academy programme to the primary sector. The Leader of the Opposition has also praised Alan Milburn for making some ‘very sensible’ comments on reforming public services, and has expressed admiration for the intellectual arguments of Stephen Byers in favour of introducing more choice and private sector involvement in public services.

It has been clear for more than a decade that Tony Blair despises Gordon Brown. He views him as a tantrum-throwing child in need of constant monitoring and careful psychological handling. The former prime minister is reported to have expressed his ‘despair’ and total opposition to the new 50 pence tax rate for people earning over £150,000. An unnamed friend of Mr Blair said: “He believes taking 50 per cent is not acceptable. It would not have happened if he was still there. He thinks it's a terrible mistake.” And apparently, Mr Blair said he would ‘not be surprised’ if MPs were planning to move against Mr Brown, observing that Labour’s chances of electoral victory ‘could still be improved if Gordon were replaced’.

But what if Gordon Brown were not replaced? How could he be without an immediate general election? The country would hardly accept two unelected prime ministers in quick succession. If Labour reverts to type and rediscovers its dogma of the Left and begins once again to chant its Socialist mantras, might Tony Blair’s infallible weather-vane and his acute political antennae incline him to support the man who shall indeed be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Major + Edwina Currie = "epitome of decency and propriety"? I think not....

27 April 2009 at 07:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace was waiting for that one. But since it is contributed by one of the irritating anonymice, His Grace shall not respond.

27 April 2009 at 07:52  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

Would one altogether welome "friends like these"?

27 April 2009 at 08:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just goes to show how slimy Cameron is. And he did not lead the house in applause for Blair. Watch the film again. Gordon Brown stood up to clap Blair and everyone else copied him.
All British MPs are disgusting. Dump Westminster in the Channel and start again with a Federal UK. All those currently feeding in the Westminster trough need not apply.

27 April 2009 at 08:37  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

"The country would hardly accept two unelected prime ministers in quick succession."As has been proven by the current emperor, the country could do nothing at all about it.

27 April 2009 at 09:52  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Blair may be admired amongst politicians but not by the people -who dread the prosepct of 'Red Toryism'.

We must not be seen to sully our purity by seeing seen to consort with our enemies.

27 April 2009 at 10:30  
Anonymous Major Plonquer said...

How come all these blogs are written by people who were burned at the stake - Cranmer, Guido, etc. I have never been burned at the stake (although I came close one night in Glasgow). I guess that's why my insightful blog will newver be taken seriously.

You couldn't make this up.

27 April 2009 at 12:24  
Anonymous Nelson said...

Sorry Major Plonquer, Guido was not burned at the stake, (reserved for so called heretics) He was hanged drawn and quartered,
The only reason that I can think of for Blair to back Cameron is to pursue his own EU adenda & gain his support as new PM when Labour sink with a gurgle at the next election. For all his faults the slippery one is not stupid.

27 April 2009 at 12:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An anonymous blogger discouraging anonymous posts?

I'm glad Cranmer is anonymous. We are forced to take comment and reasoned argument at face value. A prophet is not received in his own country, so it adds weight to his writing that we know little about him!

But doesn't that logic also apply to those who post?

27 April 2009 at 12:56  
Anonymous Maturecheese said...

If Cameron is like Blair, God help us. What we don't need is another king of spin. We are crying out for a politician(leader) that has a sense of duty, honesty and integrity and the ability to put the people of this country's best interests first. Perhaps Vince Cable needs to lead the Conservative party as he's wasted with the Liberals.

27 April 2009 at 12:59  
Anonymous penlan said...

Blair likes to be liked.If he sided against Labour,he would be despised by them forevermore despite all he has done for them.

Ramsey Macdonald is still reviled by them even though he took them to power.Blair will stay silent.

27 April 2009 at 13:25  
Blogger Gareth Thomas said...

Oh dear, your grace, I am most disappointed. Just when I thought this was blog I could rely on, I followed a link from this page to an earlier comment of yours and see the following: "Cranmer is left thinking".

Who would have thought it?

27 April 2009 at 13:34  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Cameron and Blair, an interesting bit of idle speculation, But we do have a potential Home Secretary, a Tory front bencher who is in favour of murdering American beauty queens for their Christian beliefs, all in good jest of course, The oily, tanned MP is cleaning up at the expense of the tax payer owning three houses, fro one he is getting tax free 2nd home expenses one and another is rented out. This is the man who Cameron has promoted to the front bench.

Queen to Murder Queen By Anglican Priest Father David Heron

Gay Tory MP Alan Duncan has been reported to the Police by the evangelical Christian Party simply for threatening to kill Miss California. Carrie Prejean believes men should marry only women, whereas Mr Duncan's husband is a man. Mr Duncan described blonde Ms Prejean as a "silly bitch". He says: 'If you read that Miss California has been murdered, you will know it was me won't you?' It is typical of fundamentalist groups like the so-called Christian Party that they are against the murder of beauty queens. Mr Duncan hopes to be Home Secretary one day, responsible for law and order. His tough stance against this anti-gay Queen is likely to win him votes. By making the murder of homophobes legal, he could solve the problems of the Church of England by allowing us to bump off evangelicals.

27 April 2009 at 13:36  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Major Plonquer, Sir!

I am glad to see that in your blog you have exposed that pseud-in-excelsis, John Lennon.

However you'd better not show your face in Liverpool where he has a following to match St Elvis.

So much so, that I would not be surprised to learn that there were moves afoot to rename that great city Lennongrad.

27 April 2009 at 14:00  
Blogger Oldrightie said...

Heaven forbid this slippery,self obsessed, egotistical war monger comes anywhere near us. Brown is just the dirty underwear of this dreadful man. President of Europe, pah!

27 April 2009 at 15:19  
Anonymous Dr Doggnot said...

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the ever-adaptable Blair were to endorse David Cameron, just as I shall not be unduly astonished if, when Mrs Thatcher passes on, Blair delivers a tearful eulogy to her.

27 April 2009 at 16:11  
Blogger Demetrius said...

It would be rather like Sir Thomas More endorsing William Tyndale, if only to save his neck.

27 April 2009 at 16:12  
Blogger Microcosm said...

multi-directional weather 'vain' would be the better term, the man who changes direction with the wind, embraces the windswept director of change.

Change EU can believe in!

'Faaaaarp and two boiled eggs' as Frank Carson would say.

27 April 2009 at 16:54  
Anonymous not a machine said...

the pussy footing about is gradually reaching its end , I think.

rather a shame its took 12% of GDP and the biggest debt ever to get there.

is a blair endorsement worth anything?? being as he let all this grow under his watch ??

27 April 2009 at 17:23  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

'Although John Major was personally the epitome of decency and propriety' - okay let's try again...

Wasn't he the fellow who was porking the Currie woman while engaged in a lot of sanctimonious guff about 'back to basics' - and therefor cannot dismiss this improper - as well as incomprehensible - behaviour as a private matter.

27 April 2009 at 17:23  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Good heavens, I had no Idea the One Party Regime was that afraid of the Rise of the BNP that they have to openly coalesce into one, surely that will give the Game away to the electorare wont it.

27 April 2009 at 17:32  
Anonymous len said...

Any second rate actor could become a politician ,all they need is someone to hand them the right lines.

27 April 2009 at 18:05  
Anonymous Swine Flu Info Pages said...

Good Post!

27 April 2009 at 18:21  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 April 2009 at 18:56  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Anonymous (2). You are being deliberately obtuse. You are anonymous because you have no name: you presumably have not sent in all the previous comments that were signed "anonymous". Cranmer has a name; he is always called Cranmer. We know him, even if we do not know who he is.

27 April 2009 at 19:54  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Continuing from Penlan at 13.25:

I agree Blair likes to be liked. At the last Labour party conference Michael Crick had lots of delegates putting the Labour Prime Ministers in order of their favourites. Blair was universally second after Bevan because he delived three victories. He wouldn't want to lose that. Also, although he may well despise Brown and has leaked against him a little, he has never come out with a killer blow. He has refused to publish his memoirs while Brown is in power for fear of being disloyal (or at least appearing disloyal) and the comments we see in the papers are along the lines of "Blair didn't like the 50p tax" - they are hardly damning.

In my long-winded way, Blair may privately prefer Cameron, he may even vote for him, but I'd be astonished if he gave Cameron the endorsement

27 April 2009 at 21:34  
Blogger Daniel1979 said...

I really can't see Tony Blair endorsing David Cameron. I could see him being vague and slow in his support for Gordon Brown but he will not endorse a Tory.

27 April 2009 at 23:47  
Anonymous The Great Satan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

28 April 2009 at 00:02  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Teflon Tony has never been whiter than white. The political skid marks began to show with the Ecclestone scandal and everything he did to stain our national honour after that failed to come out in the (white)wash.

He is a corrupt, lying, warmongering b'stad! The cretin he left warming the seat at the head of the table is even worse.

To paraphrase the common sense bloggers over at EUReferendum: And the reason for not rising up and slaughtering them is?

28 April 2009 at 14:57  
Blogger Odin's Raven said...

Nightmare scenario. The Master returns, and the Novice makes way for him. Blair leads the Tories to a crushing election victory, annihilating Brown in his fourth successive win.

28 April 2009 at 15:38  
OpenID jamestheless said...

Your Grace,

I am currently re-reading the Brothers Karamazov. Last night I read a sentence that seemed to hit the nail on the head:

"She considered Rakitin a most devout and religious young man - so skilful was he in manipulating everyone and presenting himself to everyone according to the wishes of each, whenever he saw the least advantage for himself".

28 April 2009 at 19:43  
Blogger kiki said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

29 April 2009 at 15:11  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older