Blair Unbound by Anthony Seldon et al.

The popularity of Jeremy Corbyn among a section of the Labour Party membership can be understood by a perusal of this text. Hastily written, the book contends that the performance of Tony Blair was largely successful between 2001 and 2007. It makes this controversial case by using opinions culled from members of the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic.

The argument is a curious one in that it focuses largely on foreign policy. Given the catastrophe of the Iraq War, this seems to be a really problematic perspective. However, Blair may be credited for his role in the peace process in Northern Ireland. Further, he allegedly made significant progress on climate change. Nonetheless, the hubris of Blair appears evident in his undistinguished part in the Middle East Peace Process.

To a typical Labour Party supporter, the early achievements of Blair may have far outshone his later policies. It seems perverse to imply that introducing the minimum wage and the windfall tax on the privatised utilities was not more progressive than attacking the income of people reliant on incapacity benefit. However, Anthony Seldon et al. are distracted from ideology by their concentration on the practicalities of governance processes.  Hence the verdict of Blair on his record is repeated instead of being examined critically:

“There is only one government since 1945 that can say all of the following: more jobs, fewer unemployed, better health and education results, lower crime and economic growth in every quarter.”

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