Tony Blair: should he carry on or quit now?

 
 
Laura raised some of the issues surrounding Blair’s future in yesterday’s blog. Here are some of your responses so far.
 


 
Last updated: 5.15pm
  
Tony Blair should finish his term in office. He was elected as leader of the Labour party and so to govern the country. Brown should not step into the shoes of Tony Blair without a contested fight.
– Colin
 
Blair should stay but call an early general election – like tomorrow! The Labour Party should then call a leadership election so that their leader can be properly elected and not allow Gordon Brown to walk in.
– Sid
 
Tony Blair has more important things to worry about than Gordon Brown. He has given the party plenty of notice that he intends to retire, which enables the party to consider their choice when the time is right to hold a leadership poll amongst themselves. The way some MPs are behaving is disgraceful. They are not acting professionally at all. Blackmail by handing in their notice is a beneath the belt action. Blair has urgent work to finish and he should be allowed to see his time out without this continuing harassment. We all must be aware that he will go next year and politicians should be businesslike and worldly enough to draw their own conclusions as to who the next leader may be. The opposing few to Tony Blair should back off, they have done enough damage to their own party both here and abroad.   
– Jean
 
Tony Blair should definitely STAY!!! I personally feel that he has been an excellent prime minister and has really acted in the best interests of the British people. This man should be commended on what he has done. Furthermore I know 100% what the alternative is, and after the last 17 years of Tory misrule, I never want to see that kind of devastation again. The hyper-inflation, the dreadful job market without the minimum wage, the homes that were repossessed, to name just a few factors. Remember, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but you have to mow it!!
– Don 
 
Tony Blair has been Britain’s worst Prime Minister since he’s been in office. Blair did what he thought would do HIM the most good, not what would be good for Britain.
– Harold
 
What you forget is that ANY Prime Minister will do the same things that Blair has done – make similar good and bad decisions. The fact is that Blair has done many good things in his terms that shame other PMs.
– Mark
 
I am disgusted that Tony Blair has been pressured into making a decision about when to resign as PM. It appears that people have very short memories about the dark days of Conservatism. I am of the opinion that the government made a  big mistake over the Iraq issue, in fact I would go as far as to say that it is almost indefensible. However, I do believe that a government & the leader should also be viewed on what they have achieved at home and not just regarding its foreign policy. How many of us eat well, have good lifestyles and nice cars, and have enjoyed a sustained period of relatively stable & consistent employment? Quite a few I would say. Maybe that should be considered in more detail before those ‘belly-aching lower cabinet members’ spend any more of our parliament time embroiled in a power struggle?
– Lee  

I want you to know that Tony Blair is the one who put all of you in power. Remember the Thatcher years, when the Labour party had no hope. You should all be grateful to the great man and shut up. Who can be sure of the future?
– Elizabeth

Tony Blair should stay and finish his mandate. He is the elected one. Let Gordon Brown fight his on election if he wants the job that badly.
– John
 
I don’t think the power struggle between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is doing either the Labour Party or the British political system any good in both the eyes of the world or the politically disenfranchised here in the UK. The talk of an uncomplicated handover or smooth transition of power from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown makes the UK sound more like a second or third world junta than one of the forefathers of Western democracy. But even with Gordon Brown in power things would probably not change that much for the better and with the issue of Scottish MPs voting on legislation that applies in England only, wouldn’t this and other constitutional issues be less likely to be addressed under Gordon Brown? The Labour Party has become a party of right wing reactionaries; war in Iraq, ID cards, university tuition fees, peerages for loans etc., the list goes on. The party is unrecognisable now to what it once was. Harold Wilson stood up to Lyndon Johnson which is why every Armistice Day on November 11th we are fortunate not to be commemorating thousands of British Vietnam war dead. Sadly the same cannot be said of Blair and Bush. John Smith got the party about right and that is what it now needs to take a step back from the edge and to be fronted by a charismatic leader with the minimum of spin, someone in the mould of John Smith or Harold Wilson.
– Anthony
 
The problem is that armchair politicians have little clue about the real world in which actual politicians operate. The next point is that most politicians haven’t much clue either because most have never held down a proper job let alone tried to run the country. The truth is that things tend to be run by the Humphrey Applebeys of this world. So it not about Tony Blair really. As a member of the right wing of any party, I grudgingly think Blair has pointed the country in roughly the right direction for the civil servants to respond to. He has done well from the foundation that Mr Major left him and in spite of that Buffoon Brown. I will be delighted if the latter takes over since his real incompetence will quickly emerge and he will lose the next election. That will be a result for us all.
– John
 
Regardless of the difficulties Blair faces, the parties of all factions espouse interest in the electorate and forget them immediately. We, the great unwashed are stiffed from all directions. Ultimately, power corrupts, either at the top, or those faceless minions "working" within the country’s administration. Country/party/department heads are continually fearful for their job. What’s the general result of this way of thinking? Low morale and following weak protocols, just in case one is asked to take responsibility. It’s a dirty world and there are many dirty players. It would be nice to think the government were addressing home issues instead of foreign ones. Time and money saved could perhaps be used to start to look after today’s issues, which might go a long way in looking after tomorrow’s issues. What’s worse is there is paralysis to action in this country; we rarely hold the power holders to account. Look at the millions spent on Thatcher’s poll tax. When the dust settles, a fall guy/scapegoat gets moved sideways. It’s all a load of rubbish. The great British spirit is crushed. Get over it, sit quiet and pay your bills, or do something about it.
– Phillip
 
I feel that whoever takes over will just continue to punish the working class by taxing them multiple times over. Maybe the new leader could pay himself and all MPs the minimum wage. After all, in the government’s words, "It is enough to live off!" Maybe the new leader will introduce more fair policies. Let’s say if you own a property you pay council tax. Ok if you own ten properties, you pay ten lots of council tax. Fair yes. After all, if you own three cars you pay three lots of road tax.  Whoever takes over will not make a blind bit of difference. They all make sure they have enough money and con people into voting for them with false promises. Are we the USA in disguise?!!
– Andy
 
As with many leaders in the past, there comes a time where no matter what they do be it good or bad, they become damaged beyond repair. It is time Mr Blair stands aside because if he does not then this affair will gather pace and consume all. Many of his recent initiatives are too late in the day and will be seen as spin. Do they have to prise his fingers off one by one or will he realise that there is another life outside politics? It must be hard to give up all the control, perks and privileges as Mrs Thatcher had to before him. Everything comes to an end, Tony; do the right thing and go out with some dignity. If you don’t you will damage your image internationally and earnings from the lecture tours might not keep Cherie in the manner she has been accustomed to!
– Dave
 
He should be left to get on with his work both at home and abroad. His party should get behind him and support him. When there is a General Election the people will decide.
– Ann
 
The fact that Tony Blair’s own party no longer fully support him should be proof enough that he is no longer fit to lead this country. His decisions have repeatedly gone against the wishes of the people he is supposed to represent. Over the course of his leadership it has become more and more obvious that he is an incredibly arrogant man more concerned with how he will look in the history books than with what’s best for this country and its position in the world. To save himself further embarrassment he should just go.
– Barbara
 
Where does Anne get ‘the worst PM ever’ from?  Obviously a very short memory. Can she not remember double-figure interest rates, stock market crashes and crumbling public services? Let’s give the guy a chance and admit he hasn’t done such a bad job. In future he may well be regarded as one of our greatest ever leaders. Mrs Thatcher is only heralded as a great leader by certain groups depending on which side of the great divide they are on! Yes, he mislead us over Iraq and pitifully followed the US. Would the Tories have handled Iraq in any other way? Labour weren’t the only party to support the war against Iraq. I doubt Mr Brown is capable of filling Mr Blair’s shoes, but watch this space, the next PM is certainly not a foregone conclusion.
– John
 
Some of you Brits writing on this blog seem to forget that you as a matter of fact have a prime minister that has served you well for almost a decade, and not only him, but the couple of Blair and Brown has given you the best starting point for further prosperity and a more equal society than you ever had before. You have a big luxury problem, Brits, and those who howl for his departure should actually be ashamed – but I do not think those folks possess the ability for reflection that that takes. And please – may those folks stay out of politics.
– Ewan
 
I think that TB and GB should both go and allow A NEW start for labour to have enough time to prove themselves. I am in favour of the Conservatives but think that Cameron is modelling himself on TB which will cause him a problem later.
– Terry
 
The sooner this warmongering duo go the better. The PM and his wife have shown themselves to be greedy lying opportunists who seem to have no shame. GB is showing himself to be either devious or spineless by remaining silent whilst the Labour party that he says is all important pulls itself  apart. I look back at the early days of this government and remember the happiness so many people felt that we had got rid of the Tories and this was about to become a new more decent era. How wrong can you be.
– Valerie
 
What has just happened, and has been happening before our eyes over the last months, amounts to blackmail at the very least or (from an extreme viewpoint) a political coup. Frankly it is outrageous that the Labour Party should be behaving in this way: it is disloyal, short-sighted and smacks of self-gain. As a life-long supporter, and one time member, of the Labour Party I am disgusted by what I am witnessing. We have lowered ourselves to the level of the 1990s Conservatives and I am greatly saddened by each day as it unfolds. It is true that Tony Blair has made mistakes – none more than suggesting his own imminent departure so soon after winning an election – but he will leave behind a legacy that defines him as one of the greatest Prime Ministers of our time, and without doubt the most charismatic and effective Labour Leader of a generation. For this alone, he should be allowed the grace of choosing his own departure date in the privacy and secrecy of his cabinet office – it should not be forced upon him by tabloid or political rebel. Can we really afford to waste political agenda time on a Westminster soap opera directed by those who clearly do not have the long-term benefit of the country at heart? He WILL go, and history will recognise that a mistake has been made by those with a self generated agenda to follow.
– Martin
 
Never has a Prime Minister been so far out of touch with the country. He needs to go now!!!!!!
– John
 
Let’s not all forget that when the Conservatives were in office we had Black Wednesday and 15% morgages. I could not have afforded a house until Labour got voted in, and the world needed shot of the tyrant Saddam Hussein. Some people seem to think we should not take any interest in other countries. At least Blair had the guts to stand up to the bleeding hearts who, in my opinion, have destroyed England – not Tony Blair.
– Paul
 
Tony Blair "disastrous", "ruining the economy" – where do all these exclamations of wisdom come from? Or do all these people just read The Daily Mail or The Daily Telegraph?  Yes, the government’s decisions do not suit everyone but Blair and the government were elected only eighteen months ago on a good track record, particularly on managing the economy far better than previous administrations and putting money into our services. Blair won his way to the top of his party by by being seen as a strong and inpirational leader; does Gordon Brown project that kind of inspiration? Who are Blair’s critics? Yes, the ‘losers’ in the Labour political hothouse, ITV and the extremist press – remember the "crises" stirred up by the last two over the last few years, such as petrol depot blockades? They were usually hot air! Stability and calm must be the priority. Set a timetable, perhaps, Mr Blair; but don’t overreact to the media frenzy and the holiday antics of the second-rate.
– John
 
I have a social conscience, a strong sense of fairness in society and trusted that voting Labour in 1997 and 2001 would reflect my attitudes. The idiocy and duplicity surrounding the war in Iraq and the dogma of Tony Blair’s determination to wage that war whatever, has been my watershed in my attitude to him. I also despair of billions being poured into unreformed public services, flawed pension policies, unreasonable levels of student debt resulting from tuition fees, the unworkable white elephant of ID cards and so much else. Tony Blair has lost sense of reality, his judgement has become flawed and he should go.
– Duncan
 
The primary responsibility of any British Prime Minister is to the people of his own country. By leading us into two conflict situations in Afghanistan and Iraq he has put the British people ‘in harms way’. Before Tony Blair involved us in these conflicts we had no discernable problem with Muslim terrorists; now we have the beginnings of a police state. Any British soldiers or civilians killed or injured in these, or because of these conflicts, is down to Tony Blair’s arrogance and lust for the international limelight. He has blood on his hands and he should go and quickly.
– Tony
 
He should go. He only has himself to blame. He thought he had got away with his arrogance in ignoring the British people over Iraq – it has taken some time but he is now paying the cost. Many of his other policies are also unpopular such as the creeping privatisation of the health service and tuition fees. Blair has thrown away his chance to do some good for the nation thanks to his obsession with Bush and his Neocon gang in Washington. It may be too late to save Labour now from defeat at the next election but Blair should pay the price of his betrayal of it.
– John
 
Although I believe in centre-right policies, I do believe that Blair has been good for the UK over the last nine years, particulary on the international stage and the economy. Having said that it is now time for him to leave in a structured manner.
– Arturo
 
I actually find it quite scary that this is a question at all, rather than a statement. Blair should have gone a long time ago. The only reason he’s hung on this long is due to a complete lack of credibility regarding any viable opposition. Blair has missused his position, ignored public opinion, openly lied, both on national TV and in the press, and this is utterly indefensible. And the buck doesn’t just rest with Blair either. The Labour Party generally is a corrupt institution and the UK is paying the price. People forget very quickly. I don’t have that problem. I still remember Dawn Primorolo on National TV saying right after they came to power "If Tony Blair had have told me to tell the people that black was white and white was black, I’d have done it". And by then it was too late! They were in office.
– Richard
 
It seems to me that there has been a lot of comment from people who don’t really understand what is actually going on or who have not been put on the spot. I concur with what your correspondent Ruth has written. She has summed up the position very well. To my mind I think that a lot of current parents should be more forceful with their children and instil standards into them. Personally, I have not had it so good and I have been around since 1942. Yes there have been mistakes, but I assess that overall we are far better off with the likes of Blair than with other leaders. What I want to know is what do people want? Under the pressures that today’s leadership presents who can do a better job?
– Bob
 
Out with Phony! Out of Iraq! Out of Afghanistan!
– Maggie
 
I think he should go, but will someone please explain why it is assumed that Brown should succeed him?
– Eric
 
Does it really matter, and will it make a difference? Probably not. Does it warrant debate or cognitive effort? My view is probably not. Every four years we are faced with a choice that is no choice at all. The various business machines of the mainstream political parties bend and twist their objectives into a wrapper that they believe will give them broad electoral appeal (or should I say a better salary and a nice home address), while tearing at the fabric of their competitor parties. Yet, at the end of the day, they will govern as they want to govern, they will tax as they want to tax and they will act as they want to act. Certainly this outcome is evidenced on a daily basis. Wasn’t it the people’s view that we should have stayed out of Iraq, or that we should get out of Afghanistan, that we should be taxed less, that ID cards don’t sit well within the cultural and moral boundaries of a British nation, that in general we like the NHS and abhor the idea of privatisation…? So where is democracy? Certainly from my perspective, the internal choice of leader is simply one of personality given that the substance is normally decided on the fly and in flagrant disregard for the electorates view, as is also the case in terms of the broad political agendas of the two main stream parties. There are but two sides of the same coin, and beyond them there is no real choice. The BNP, now there is an obscene thought; or the empty sandwich that is Lib Dem.
– George
 
Certain members of the parliamentary labour party seem to be determined that Labour will lose the next election. Although I am no fan of Tony Blair, the MPs who have been trying to publicly force him out are either closet Tories trying to wreck Labour’s chances of re-election or idiots. Unfortunately I think it’s the latter, which is really worrying as the latest batch of idiots were not back benchers but involved in government. All I can say is this if you wanted good government for this country don’t vote for political parties, vote for the candidates, and if there independents them so much the better. Political parties exist to serve their own ends, not the people who elect
them.
– Chris
 
Tony Blair has had a difficult job to do in his time as Prime Minister. In some ways he has become very ill-looking especially around the face, and I would actually say that in itself it shows a man who is under a lot of strain. I believe the war was never a good decision and understanding the fact that our business interests and allies lie with America I still think it was the wrong move. OK, it could well have meant a broken relationship with America but the principles are that we should have thought about the situation more before sending in the troops. Bush has purely been caused a lot of the problems we face here, because Blair has followed him. I always did like President Clinton! He was a much more honest and straightforward thoughtful man. The answer now is how do we move on? Well, many would say it’s too late for Blair. How about he pulls out the troops for their safety and think about a much more strategic position to deal with the Middle East. However I don’t think the image of the Labour Party is very good, especially with the conduct of Prescott.
– Ed
 
As with all governments New Labour began by blaming the previous government for screwing up the country and then went on the screw it up even further. But aside from all the problems with immigration, prison system, NHS, education, over priced housing and at least one illegal war, the thing that strikes me most about our present government at this moment is that three terms is simply too long for any prime minister. We are currently seeing flashbacks to our last strong PM Mrs Thatcher, who began well, was the right person for the job in the beginning but by the third term simply stopped listening and got caught up in her own propaganda. There isn’t much that is right about American politics, but the two term restriction on any one leader is proving by our example to be a very valid one. The problem we have right now is we don’t have much of an alternative. I think the vast majority of this country would agree its time Mr Blair stepped down, however what are alternatives? I for one certainly don’t want to see Prescott or Brown take over! If we are to remove our PM from office then we should have a choice as to whom should replace him. The country should be able to vote on the leadership candidates, a referendum is the only fair way, either that or go to a General Election. I was both surprised and disappointed with the country for putting Labour in power for a third term when they were clearly losing touch. Now it’s time we fixed it.
– Anna

No definitely not. If it were not for the Labour government I would not have been able to buy my first house. As far as Gordon Brown is concerned it just proves you can’t trust your friends no matter how close they seem. We all make mistakes but we all expect support when times are tough especially those who helped Tony Blair become Prime Minister.
– Ian

 
Simple answer: GO GO GO!!!
– Karl
 
Get real folks, Tony is/has been great for the UK. As to a successor, an election must be held within the cabinet with the two main contenders going to the party membership. But not until after Gordon turns down an offer to be first minister in Scotland.
– Brian
 
I think Tony Blair should stay. He will already go down as this county’s worst ever Prime Minister so another year or so of spin, incompetence and inept leadership will not damage his reputation further. And nothing could be worse than the prospect of Brown as PM. Those of us old enough to remember the disaster of Labour government in the 70s knew exactly what would happen if Labour got in again. Old Labour only had two objectives – screw the idle rich and let the trade unions run the country – but at least it had principles. New Labour has no principles and has made its objective to screw everybody; and to screw up the country for everybody. If TB and GB had been the chief officers of any major plc they would have been thrown out by the Board of Directors within a year of taking office when it became apparent just how incompetent they were at their jobs. Unfortunately, they were able to completely con a very small percentage of the British electorate and that was enough to re-elect a minority government.  Hopefully, a new generation has now learned the lesson that Labour means high taxes for everybody coupled with incompetence in spending and administration and will never vote Labour again in their lifetimes. The trouble is that the alternatives aren’t much better of a prospect.
– Dave
 
If the clowns who are pushing Tony Blair to quit had half a brain between them they should see what they are doing is playing straight into the oppositions hands. How in the future can we trust people like this to run the country? They would all be better standing for the loony party.
– Robert
 
YES, he should go and then hopefully gets replaced by someone with a spine who can get this country out of Bush’s pocket.
– Tony
 
Mr Blair appears to be trying to stay on as Prime Minister until May so that he can mark his 10-year record and leave office on the crest of a wave. This is not in the best interests of the country, nor the best interests of the party. It seems that his decision is based purely on what would be best in the long term for Tony Blair as he leaves parliament to seek employment in the real world. The Labour Party are the only people who can put a stop to this farce and start the ball rolling to replace the current Prime Minister with a new, fresh face who would hopefully put the country’s long term prospects ahead of his own personal career.
– Alexandra
 
Tony Blair should never have got in in the first place. Labour have been true to their past performances of tax and spend, and what do the general public see for it? Nothing. The public lost confidence ages ago. Look at the state the country is in: high crime, unemployment rising, the courts not doing anything to protect society, education in a state and hospitals cutting back despite billions being poured into them. I say get rid of Labour and get someone in that can give the country what it needs!
– Mick
 
When Tony Blair was elected in the beginning I thought it was a good thing for the country. I now think he is all for himself and making himself comfortable for retirement. He should never have gone into the war in Iraq. After his first visit to America it became more and more obvious that he was more interested in President Bush and what he was doing. He doesn’t seem to care about the people in this Country and what is happening. My grandson was only just 18 when he was sent to Iraq and is still suffering the aftermath, and so have a lot more of our boys. Unfortunately some of our boys never came back. This war was unnecessary as far as I was concerned, and therefore, if President Bush wanted to go to war, let him go it alone. As far as another leader is concerned, it would be a shame to take Brown from Treasury. He has done the country’s finances good, although there has been nothing for the pensioners in recent years. If he had done more for them would have been excellent. Good luck to Britain in the future. Let’s hope we get a leader that considers Britain and not other Countries first.
– Mollie
 
If you decide to do this go out on a high note, don’t hang around hoping your popularity will increase so you can make a grand exit. It will never happen. As a long standing conservative I’ve seen both the "leaving on a jet plane" type Michael Howard and the beloved "baldie" William Hague whose departure was both honourable and dignified. Others from both the major parties have tried to cling to power in the face of increasing discontent with their conduct from the public and their own colleagues. Still others cling to government in the face of mounting critisism of their competence as guardian of our country’s traditions and culture and their ability to lead and represent our national interest. Claire Short said in an interview on BBC2 last night that TB should have gone a long time ago to give others a chance to continue to manage the Labour party’s in the country’s best interests. I think he has left it so late that it is now getting pretty close to the point where the timing of his departure is immaterial. In terms of the public’s trust and confidence in the ability of the Labour party to govern the country effectively under his leadership TB has likely already probably passed the point of no return.
 
I recall a sad day when the person in my view with the greatest potential to lead the Labour party to greater and memorable governmental achievement sadly passed away (John Smith), allowing modern power motivated career politicians to set the tone for future British politics. I think the only thing Tony Blair will be remembered for is introducing the "Retain power by changing your policies to suit the mood of the electorate" policy which has now been adopted by the Tory leadership as well rather than a "This is now and always has been our belief in the way government should work for the people and we continue to represent these principles and turn them into lasting policies." Generally modern politics involve so much spin and prepared sound bites that it is much more difficult to discern the presence of any underlying character and a real feel for whether the speaker really means what he is saying or is enacting a pre-prepared speech the authors of which are effectively pulling his or her strings off stage. We voted for him not the backstage manouverers who seem to be creating the policies. The fact that policies can and do change at the slightest whiff of a change in public opinion may give some a short term benefit but the long term effect is not a positive one and gives observers an impression of governmental weakness rather than strength on the international stage.
– Tony
 
I find it insulting that the rest of the Government thinks it’s OK to ride rough-shod over the opinions of the nation who voted in Tony Blair as Prime Minister. They seem to be taking it for granted that the public will respond as positively to Gordon Brown as leader, as they have to Mr. Blair. From a personal point of view I would not find the party half as appealing, and as the Conservative party have a much more charismatic leader now than in the past, I am sure my opinion would be swayed by the apalling behaviour of the Labour MPs.
– Wendy
 
During the Israeli/Hezbollah war both Bush and Blair had the opportunity to become great leaders but as expected they chose to be warmongers and now are seen as the two most dangerous men on earth. Frankly both should go. Had Blair stood his ground and not sided with Bush in the WMD fiasco in Iraq maybe then he would have been in a stronger position. He is oblivious of the fact that by spending up to £2bn a week keeping our forces out in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is taking away vital funds from our health and education. I can see the free education for all disappearing into a puff of smoke, especially now with the introduction of university fees. Why does Blair insist on holding hands with Bush when we are next door to Europe? Blair is Bush’s pet dog and we do not need to be led by a American warmonger. We need a leader who will not say ‘how high?’ when Bush says ‘jump!’ but instead tells Bush to take a running jump. Bush and Blair have made this world a much more dangerous place to live in and keep fuelling the fire.
– Kamal
 
To answer Eve’s point about there being no way to force the government to go. Actually their is one way: petition the Queen to dismiss them. That is the only constitutional way to do it.  Unfortunately to the best of my knowledge the last Monarch who did this was Charles I, and that did not go well for him. Queen Elizabeth II may think this is not the best move she could make. Then again it would win the monarchy a lot of support from a section of the Country not known for their love of all things royal (the left), not to mention the rest of us who are fed up with TB and GWB thinking that they can ignore the wishes of the people over just about everything. So what do you say your Majesty: do you feel lucky?
– Bob
 
I am neither pro/against Tony Blair staying or going – it is his decision. I am however firmly against the rising media hysteria into the subject and the overreactions of some as highlighted on this blog. Please please please separate fact from fiction, look at what is real not what is speculated and only then when you know you are well informed and not just parroting information from others.
 
Tony Blair has made mistakes – but who hasn’t. He admits to them, acknowledges them and tries to move on…as do we all. However this current Blairwitch hunt is an hysterical farce. No decent man or woman would stand by and accept or support the hounding out of a fellow employee; cries of unfair or constructive dismissal would be bandied about. Whatever his mistakes being PM is a tough job and someone please tell me another PM who went through their entire elected office without making some mistakes. I have read some of the comments from people and frankly think that a few of them are over-reactionary, childish and inaccurate. Where is your sense of perspective. Do you treat the whole of your lives to this insaneness or do you employ some sensibility into your thinking?
 
Tony Blair is NOT the worst prime minister the country has ever had. They are certainly not the most corrupt government. I can remember back to the 80s and early 90s and the corruption then was legendary. This does not mean however that this Government has not had corruption issues. All Governments to some extent or another do. And to the person who stated that Tony Blair doesn’t understand politics – well I would just say this is a naïve soundbite; where is it helpful to people to say such things?
 
In his defence I would say that he has genuinely tried, as have the whole of Parliament to tackle today’s social issues. However it is a whole new world that we live in today and solving society’s problems is the responsibility of society as a whole. Let’s have some perspective on what is real here It’s time to calm down, look at what is real and deal with it. Useless soundbites of hysteria help no-one, distract from the facts and put up a smokescreen on what is really happening.
– Jo
Yes, he must go and be replaced by someone to get out of this terrible war. They seem forget it is going on.
– Malcolm
 
I think Blair should resign, dissolve Parliament and institute an election to the give the English, rather than the Scots or Welsh, a chance to decide who they want to SERVE them in Government.
– Stephen
 
If Tony Blair has to go then so should all of his ministers, as they have all been there with him all this time and no doubt also voted for UK soldiers to go to Iraq. They have all helped bring the economy down – if that IS the present case – but people should remember that the economy picked up greatly once Tony Blair took office in 1997. To me, the UK seems to have prospered greatly since Blair took office. Whether that was down to him alone, or a combination of all the (new) Labour party, I don’t know. BUT I will say this. Travel costs i.e. train and bus (cheap airlines excluded) have increased far, far too much over the last ten or more years. The cost of travelling on "country" trains is absolutely disgusting, especially when you can buy a "special" fare for say £20 to Edinburgh (overnight) compared to say £200+ at any other time, or a one-way ticket Manchester to London for £42 compared with a "special" £17 return fare (London to Manchester) – and that was back in 2000. The money the railways MUST be making is obscene and they’re not even using it to update (many of) the stations.
– Liz
 
The debate on whether Blair should go sooner rather than later is wholly fallacious. The question the great unwashed (which refers more to the young inept media scribblers than the idle class – idle class being new wave for 19th/20th century working class) should be asking is how do we arrive at true government for the people by the people?
The answer in this materialistic 21st century (as in every other century) is we don’t! Be they New Labour, Conservative, Liberal, they are all besotted by the presence of television lights and cameras (even though they are by nature amongst the ugliest people on the planet!); subsidised lunches in the Commons canteen; studying the arcane (for those who hail from north of Rickmansworth) art of croquet; and naturally gaining a 1:1 from the Potters Bar Academy of PoliSpeak (the institution all political tyro’s attend to learn the craft of non-answers and creative accounting). Me? I’m looking forward to a new party which offers a daily ration of kir royale (watered down or not) in exchange for my vote.
– ‘Winston Smith’
 
Most people would agree that New Labour have done as a good a job as the Conservatives did, or better, in running the country. What most people are also saying, though, and I don’t think enough is being made of this, is that they are willing to boot Blair out of office simply because he (mis)led us into a catastrophic war in Iraq that has done nothing for world security and certainly nothing for our own security. We all remember how he sat, day after day, in various studios around the country earnestly expounding on how he was convinced that WMDs existed in Iraq and that Saddam Hussein was a danger to the very existence of the western world. Of course, it was all a lot of bunk and his own high ranking intelligence officials, in their own diplomatic way, are saying so now. This is what people want to punish Blair for. He may have been convinced by his own hubris or he may have been lying. Either way it is irrelevant. It is his total lack of contrition, his utter inability to admit that he made an absolute stinker of a mistake, along with the complete absence of an apparent sense of responsibility, that are making people more than willing to make him swallow a good dose or poetic justice by deposing him just as the US and UK deposed Saddam Hussein. Justice, after all, should be evenly applied. I’m sure that even he would agree with that!
– Ross
 
In that Blair is doing more harm than good to his own party, whose lies are coming back to haunt them, I think he should stay so that everyone can see how he will fail to take responsibility for all the fiascos he has caused and place the blame accordingly. He’s the best advertisement for Cameron and Campbell that I can imagine – and if the prospect of Brown replacing him isn’t enough to lose Labour the next election I don’t know what is. Blair’s dead but he won’t lie down, an empty little media man whose act has got stale and whose ideas, if they can be dignified by that description, are long since discredited like him and his party.
– Janice
 
Tony Blair should go now! As Prime Minister he is a disaster. Neither he or any of his cabinet seem to know what they are doing. I think peole are very worried about crime, illegal immigration, teenage pregnancies, antisocial behaviour and benefit fraud costing millions. Nothing is done to tackle these problems. I do feel that this country is out of control. The prospect of the boy Cameron does not appeal to me either.
– Sandy
 
I have no interest in when Tony Blair goes but I do see it as a total disregard of the democratic process that it’s taken for granted Gordon Brown will just step into the vacant slot. I don’t intend to vote Labour but I would be less inclined with such a replacement. Leave him as Chancellor.
– Wigley
 
I do not think that Blair should quit now; it would only cause trouble and we would only get someone worse. He isn’t doing all bad. The country is slowly moving forward. Don’t go blair!
– Alicia
 
The most disastrous Prime Minister we’ve ever had. That’s Tony Blair.
– Annie
 
Blair should go now; Brown should go now; Labour should go now. Anyone else will do but Labour. They have been dictatorial and really have done so many things wrong to this country.
– DG
 
Huge problems are looming. Britain has been duped. Whoever wins power at the next election will have a massive poisoned chalise handed them. New Labour will cause the final and total collapse if they stay in power. Conservatives will try and reverse the damage and be loathed for doing so. Love her or hate her, Margaret Thatcher inherited much the same after the last Labour debacle that was their Government. Britain was bankrupt. She sorted it. What is the difference between Labour and Conservative? Labour believe the weak can be strengthened by weakening the strong and wish there to be financial parity between everyone by forcing everyone onto the same level. Conservatives believe everyone should be allowed to find their own level in life. If the entire nation’s wealth were to be collected by midnight and distributed evenly by breakfast, in six months there will be millionaires and there will be paupers. It is human nature. I despair at witnessing the systematic disintegration of my country caused by a bunch of dogmatic, delusional and positively untruthful people intent on forcing their skewed beliefs on a public who should know better. The future ? Oh God!!
– James
 
No he shouldn’t quit. They were voted in as a party and I think the rest of the party should get behind him. I’ve always voted Labour, but the way this lot are going I’ll not be voting at all
– Ruth
 
This government promised to be whiter than white. In fact they are probably been the most corrupt government ever. They ought to be called the ‘Teflon’ party; nothing ever sticks. No one has any honour or integrity. They have ruined this country by dismantling its history and identity. If Blair has to go, so be it. He should have kept his thoughts to himself. But Brown, anybody but Brown. He will be a disaster for Britain.
– John
 
I hope Blair will hold on with all the tenacity that he believes, in his deluded state of mind, is part of his character. In fact, he is a man without principle, bending with whichever wind is blowing him, facing all ways at once, arrogant, divisive, out of touch, marginalised, and trying to preside over a cabinet of the grossest incompetence. In 1997, Margaret Beckett said of the newly elected Labour government, “What a wonderfully talented lot we have”. What a hollow phrase the last nine long, sterile years have shown that to be, much of it down to Blair’s (lack of) leadership. The longer he stays in power, the surer we can be that his party will take their deserved place at the bottom of history’s dustbin, and the sooner we can get a government that promotes hard work, non-dependency, non-interference, ambition and enterprise. As for being happier in former times, those of us who suffered under Wilson and Callaghan and their trades union lackeys, through the Seventies, knew that ‘New Labour’ was just ‘Old Labour’ in another guise, and that they would create the same problems of over-taxation, decline and stagnation as their forebears. Hang on in there, Tony, you are our greatest hope of salvation, but not in the way you want to think.   
– David
 
I think Tony Blair should go and take the whole of the Labour party with him.  Is there no way we can force a General Election when we are thoroughly dissatisfied with the government? They are after all our employees.
– Eve
 
The Greeks were quite suspicious of tyrants. Perhaps we should insist that no one person should be permitted to become ‘Presidential’. Is there really a continuing case for charismatic ‘leaders’ who appear to use the nation as a tool for their personal ego trips?  It is not a question of Blair’s performance: he performs within the structure established by us. We have only to change the structure; make the Prime Minister the ‘Spokesperson of Parliament’ and directly subject to its will. It would perhaps be sensible to restrict a leader’s term to four years and no return for the following four. A ban upon the use of advisers from outside of the bedrock establishment seems to be a sensible proposition also, unless they are co-opted by that establishment. As for the question… Should he go? Well…. of course. And an open and reasoned (limited) succession please!
– Roy
He should never have been elected in the first place! He knows nothing about politics and has sold this country out. Get rid of this control freak!
– Malcolm
 
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