What has Tony Blair done for us?

During the election campaign, Tony Blair made one fleeting visit to Wales. Even that was enough for the Beeb's Betsan Powys, who struggled to pin him down for an interview.

By contrast, Blair made four visits to Scotland. Also by contrast, Labour lost Scotland and hung on in Wales.

It's probably fair to say that by 2007, Blair isn't quite the same electoral asset he was. "Give him the send off he deserves," cried Plaid Cymru's election advert - evidently believing Tony Blair deserved an ambivalent election result followed by continual flitting between various different coalition permutations.

So, in ten years, what has TB done for us?

Devolution. Yes, that's a big one.

Alun Michael. Not such a big one.

Introduced top-up fees so the assembly could scrap them. Bit of a messy one.

We've been called the 'F*cking Welsh' for daring not to vote Labour in droves and he's been called Lionel for not being someone more famous at Rhodri Morgan's mum's breakfast table.

But otherwise?

Answers on a Best of Luck in your New Job card please...

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 10:26 am,

34 Comments:

At 10:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice hatchet job blamer!

 
At 11:00 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

The idea is that I feign ignorance and you all come pouring in with heartfelt testimonials...

 
At 11:08 am, Blogger Penddu said...

You forgot to mention that he introduced the world to Cherie's singing skills......

Move over Simon Cowell

 
At 11:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

+ve

*Devolution
*minimum wage
*family tax credit
*securing objective One
*miners compensation(only after
losing court battle and then
nicking it from their own
pension funds)

-ve

*dead soldiers from illegal war
increased racial tension
(see above)
*even poorer relative to rest of UK
*no matched funding for objective
one
*progressive funding reduction
from barnett formula
*no consultation legislation to
protect manufacturing
*collapse in manufacturing base
(see above)
*huge rises in student debt
*pfi
*housing crisis
*apparent hatred of all things
rural

 
At 11:16 am, Anonymous unapologeticaboutoursuccess said...

Devolution

Low inflation and low mortgage rates

National Minimum Wage

Objective One funding for the poorest areas.
New Deal - over 35,000 young people into jobs in wales
cut longterm youth unemployment by 85% in wales.
Give all workers right to 4 weeks paid holiday.
increased child benefit.
Sure Start.
Free TV licence for over 75s.
free bus passes(ok that was rhodri but i'm adding it anyway)
Equalised age of consent.
Repealed Section 28.
Freedom of information act.
cleanest rivers, beaches, drinking water & air since ind. Revolution

 
At 11:19 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

That's more like it:)

 
At 11:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

*apparent hatred of all things
rural *


also apparent hatred of the sick, disabled and elderly

 
At 11:32 am, Anonymous Reg the Ledge said...

Three Terms of no Tory Ministers!

Think about that on Plaid!

 
At 11:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

high taxation of low wage earners.

It's better to be on benefit.

 
At 11:41 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blunkett, Darling - no Tory Ministers?

Come on!!

 
At 12:29 pm, Blogger Seneddwr said...

"Anonymous said...
anonymous said:

*apparent hatred of all things
rural *


also apparent hatred of the sick, disabled and elderly"

Far be it from me to ask you to back this up, but ... er... could you back this up please? Did TB beat the oldies with their pension credits, winter fuel allowances, free bus passes and free TV licenses? Did he tip the disables out of their collective wheelchair with the most sweeping and all-encompassing disability rights legislation this country has ever seen? Did the record investment in the NHS really attack the sick?

As for the posts about farmers and though, you are unquestionably right. They have been continually shafted by a Government that couldn't give even half a monkey for the countryside, save allowing middle-class types from the cities to walk through their crops on a sunny afternoon.

And Iraq? I'd suggest giving it a little more time before passing a final judgement. Though if I were a Basra market trader, I might feel differently.

 
At 12:33 pm, Blogger Clear Red Water said...

I think the biggest testament to Blair is how the debate has shifted. The fact we are having a debate regarding a referendum in Wales is thanks to his government delivering devolution. Although Plaid have been banging the devolution drum for many a year, had Major and the tories won in 1997 and 2001 we simply would not have devolution. Plaid should really think about that.

The fact that no one disputes high investment in public services and thus not explicitly lowering taxes is because of Blair.

Now there are things that have gone wrong, and i believe he was too timid with regard social democracy. All those who bash Blair from the left are sometimes naive to the fact that Blair couldnt have been more left wing and still won three elections. England is a conservative country and simply would not have tolerated it.

The centre has shifted leftwards thanks to Blair. He is also a fantastic communicator and political operator- political beliefs aside.

Too many people knock his achievements by saying things like- 'well the minimum wage is too low anyway' etc...But to use that oft used New Labour mantra it is about 'delivery'. Plaid MP's didnt turn up to vote for the minimum wage because they apparently wanted it higher than was put forward by new Labour- but what good is that to the people they represent?

I think other posts have summed up his policies, good and bad pretty well.

 
At 12:37 pm, Blogger Clear Red Water said...

Also

University Fees- i was never against them because if we are to increase the number of graduates they should be willing to contribute to their own educational development which will improve their job prospects.

Iraq- made me seriously consider leaving the party.

Housing- i think this has crept up on Blair. In truth the real problem was right to buy not being accompanied by house building. I wonder who brought in right to buy?

 
At 12:50 pm, Blogger Normal Mouth said...

He didn't say "Fucking Welsh". That was a comment disputed by Blair's people and which never featured in the published version of the book in question.

And as for Blair's legacy, it is immense and complex.

It was great at times:

- interposing Welsh and UK troops between Milosevic's murdering thugs and Bosnian Muslim women and children in the face of Tory indifference and American and European procrastination;
- sparing the lives of Welsh troops on the streets of Northern Ireland;
- putting the policies in place that enabled literally tens of thousands of workless Welsh households to find work again;
- Doing what no Tory administration would have ever done and reinvested in public services
- Devolution
- At the micro level, Surestart and Educational Maintenance Allowances

Correct but controversial in other areas:

- Renewing Trident
- New generation of nuclear power
- Not going down the French path of economic protectionism
- Upheld a true Labour tradition, apparently forgotten by much of the left, of contesting fascism and totalitarianism

Completely wrong at others:

- Pledged to hold a referendum on the European constitution
- Readmitted Ken Livingstone to the Party
- 75p on the pension
- Got carried along by an indistinct and poorly thought through Britishness agenda.
- The Dome

And simply too early to say on a heck of a lot else.

 
At 1:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Plaid supporter (who did the +ve & -ve list), it is important to recognise that Blair hasn't been all bad and I welcome this debate.

I also welcome from Labour supporters recognition that Blair had to move Labour to the right in order to win over former Tory voters and boot them out in 97.

Yet, if they recognise this political necessity, why doesn't Welsh Labour support a Welsh Parliament that can set a true, progessive agenda without the need for London's approval (budget restrictions accepted). You are still clearly the largest party and unless Plaid can become the majority party there is no threat from our long term goal of self government.

Are your MPs really so influential?

 
At 1:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seneddwr said...
"Far be it from me to ask you to back this up, but ... er... could you back this up please? Did TB beat the oldies with their pension credits, winter fuel allowances, free bus passes and free TV licenses? Did he tip the disables out of their collective wheelchair with the most sweeping and all-encompassing disability rights legislation this country has ever seen? Did the record investment in the NHS really attack the sick?"



You are having a laugh I hope?

Certainly those who were the very poorest go get a lot of help. There is extra money for those who never paid into any pension fund and that leaves those who do get a small pension taxed to be on the same level as those on Pension credits. even the pension agency says it's not fair.
Winter fuel allowances is paid to all, some over 60 and the rest 61. By all, even millionaires get it. It's £200 a year which the fuel providers try to catch by adding to annual insurances and extra payment costs.

Nasty comment about the collective wheelchair, not surprising as that is the sort of disgusted response that NuLabour uses for the vulnerable. The DDA helps only those in Work, very little for the disabled in the community. Apart from access and local government is doing its best to drag its feet on that.

The NHS. Who suffers most? The most sick, the long term disabled and the very old. The new system works against them, they do not get the quality of care that was provided in the past. We're talking of medical care here, not the amount of dosh invested into the NHS. Every street has its own NHS manager now and they have a 'lifestyle'. And GPs work part time, there is inconsistent care leading to a huge number of sometimes fatal mistakes.

It was a pleasure to take your rose tinted glasses off sir.

 
At 1:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"I also welcome from Labour supporters recognition that Blair had to move Labour to the right in order to win over former Tory voters and boot them out in 97."

He also had to continue with middle ground policies to keep them voting him in. Now he ditches the leadership when he realises it has caused a massive gulf between the rich and poor. The Welfare state does not help the new poor, it would be bankrupted if it had to raise it's qualifying levels to catch those who no matter how hard they work they will not be able to catch up with the cost of living.

Fuel costs, mortgages, council tax, they are increasing all the time. And those on fixed or low incomes or pensioners do not have the means to keep up. So where does any future government go from here?

Not what you expect to be the legacy of a Labour government.

 
At 2:01 pm, Blogger Seneddwr said...

Anon 1:19pm

Firstly, congratulations on your apparently successful sense of humour by-pass. Trust you are recuperating well.

I was not intending any offence to the disabled community with my comments. Perhaps unnecessarily flippant, but certainly in no way as offensive as your casual "TB hates everyone and smells of wee" contribution earlier.

My glasses are not rose-tinted (how long did it take you to come up with that gem, by the way?). As with normal mouth's eloquent contribution, I would merely point out that there have been many, many improvements to the lives of people from across the social spectrum in the UK over the past ten years. To deny this is both a little silly and entirely inaccurate.

 
At 2:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's an illegal war? If it's illegal how come no-one's called the police?

For me the fact that Blair has stood up against fascism in Iraq and Afghanistan is a big plus point in his favour.

I know that will put me in a very small minority but there you go.

 
At 2:24 pm, Anonymous CRW said...

"Yet, if they recognise this political necessity, why doesn't Welsh Labour support a Welsh Parliament that can set a true, progessive agenda without the need for London's approval (budget restrictions accepted). You are still clearly the largest party and unless Plaid can become the majority party there is no threat from our long term goal of self government."

Well, i am a devolutionist in the sense that i think primary powers should come to the assembly. Although i think it is vital we use the powers we have now to the fullest before we can move forward.

I accept your view in this respect, but i would contend that the debate in Wales is not as far to the left as we like to make out sometimes. A strong economy underpins all the achievements of New Labour- and being part of the UK will help achieve that.

I would remind you that many of our Welsh MP's have very big mandates and therefore have a right to have a view and say.

 
At 2:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

seneddwr said:

" I would merely point out that there have been many, many improvements to the lives of people from across the social spectrum in the UK over the past ten years. To deny this is both a little silly and entirely inaccurate. "


Glad to see that even if not enlightened you did get your knickers in a twist...:-p

You really do need to get out more and speak to the agencies and organisations who deal with the most vulnerable. From low paid families to the elderly, from long term sick to the disabled, they are much worse off. The Pension Agency are dealing with people in terrible straits when they never expected to spend their final years with such worries. A legacy of Nulabour. Pensioners under 65 with a small occupational pension are being taxed at 40%, it's called unearned income even if you still have the same bills to pay as pre retirement.

I suggest you do serious research on the facts of NuLabour government before spouting more of their propaganda.


No wonder Blair is doing a runner.

 
At 2:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
/what's an illegal war? If it's illegal how come no-one's called the police?/



Did Adam Price try that one?

 
At 3:35 pm, Blogger View from the Glen said...

Trident!

The new class of submarines should be called after him. The 'Tony' Class, three new submaines will be called;

HMS Education,
HMS Education,
HMS Education.

 
At 3:49 pm, Blogger View from the Glen said...

crw.

There is no such party called "The Welsh Labour Party".

There is "The Labour Party" who Gordon Brown is Leader of. Rhodri is leader of the Labour Party in the assembly.

I hope that clears that up.

 
At 4:07 pm, Blogger Der said...

"A strong economy underpins all the achievements of New Labour- and being part of the UK will help achieve that."

I thought the UK economy was built on debt and inflated prices. Have you recently checked the UK trade balance?

 
At 4:08 pm, Blogger Der said...

I meant inflated house prices above

 
At 4:29 pm, Blogger Alwyn ap Huw said...

Seneddwr Did he tip the disables out of their collective wheelchair with the most sweeping and all-encompassing disability rights legislation this country has ever seen?

The Disability Discrimination Act was passed by John Major's Conservative Government.

 
At 9:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normal Mouth

"- sparing the lives of Welsh troops on the streets of Northern Ireland;"

ROLF

Classic spin for caving in to murdering cun*s


Name change to Spin Mouth needed

 
At 10:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"crw.

There is no such party called "The Welsh Labour Party".

There is "The Labour Party" who Gordon Brown is Leader of. Rhodri is leader of the Labour Party in the assembly.

I hope that clears that up."

No one is disputing that!

 
At 12:55 pm, Anonymous Watching you Watching Them said...

Devolution -
Half a package
Low inflation and low mortgage rates-
And rising but more stealth tax than any other EU Country
National Minimum Wage -
Still needs upping
Objective One funding for the poorest areas. -
Which has been hijacked by the Statutory Sector and Obji one has been no benefit to those in most need Double Whammy we are so bad we have had it again
New Deal over 35,000 young people into jobs in wales -
Young people in pseudo jobs and schemes
cut long-term youth unemployment by 85% in wales. -
See above
Give all workers right to 4 weeks paid holiday. -
That’s if you have a job and can afford a holiday
increased child benefit. -
But taken back in tax
Sure Start. -
Slow start
Free TV licence for over 75s.
If they can see and hear and afford a TV
Equalised age of consent. And ?
Repealed Section 28. And?
Freedom of information act. When and what they choose you to see.
cleanest rivers, beaches, drinking water & air since ind. Revolution -

Thought that was down to Dwr Cymru policy or reinvestment and no fat cats

 
At 1:45 pm, Anonymous der said...

OK....aeveral people mention low inflation and low mortage rates....it's b-all to do with Nu Labour....it's pretty much a global thing.

 
At 2:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone mentioned NICE?

The next thing to legalised euthanasia in modern times.

 
At 3:12 pm, Anonymous Stephen Patrick Morrissey said...

"OK....aeveral people mention low inflation and low mortage rates....it's b-all to do with Nu Labour....it's pretty much a global thing."

Of course there is an element of truth in that, although macro economic policy is a facet also. The argument you make can equally be made regarding Brown and pensions. World economic events was far more important than Brown's decsion in 1997 on pensions. I wonder if you applied that same argument to Brown on that decision?

 
At 6:21 pm, Anonymous der said...

Stephen Patrick Morrissey said...
"OK....aeveral people mention low inflation and low mortage rates....it's b-all to do with Nu Labour....it's pretty much a global thing."

"Of course there is an element of truth in that, although macro economic policy is a facet also."

It's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What have the interest rates in Europe amd the USA been in recent years up to this day? It's to do with cheap goods flooding in from China etc keeping interest rates low. What has that got to do with Brown and pensions?

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home