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to not understand how anybody could like or respect Tony Blair?

(59 Posts)
ophelia275 Mon 29-Apr-13 10:22:15

The more I read about him and his "accomplishments", the more I think he is a disgusting, immoral, self-serving, greedy little man. How can anyone possibly like or even respect this guy?

Mrstyphoo Mon 29-Apr-13 13:28:20

I wasn't old enough to vote him in, so it's only in recent years I have been old enough to gather opinion on him & his wife.

I believe that saying
'it used to be about trying to do something. Now it's about trying to be someone'.

Would be spot on for them both.

It's maybe a minor thing but I have a severely autistic child who had the MMR just before the whole scare thing and I was blamed for 'allowing' my child to 'catch' autism. When Blair was asked if Leo had been given the MMR he flatly refused to comment, while insisting it was a safe vaccine. Hypocritical git.

SirChenjin Mon 29-Apr-13 13:30:50

I voted for him the first time round - really believed that he could turn the country around. Now I can't stand the man. He did nothing of any note for this country, made it a worse place imo, and is now currently lining his own pocket to the tune of millions. No more a socialist than any of the Tories are.

miemohrs Mon 29-Apr-13 13:32:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lottieandmia Mon 29-Apr-13 13:34:54

He's a brilliant speaker certainly, that's why he was so popular. The MMR thing annoyed me particularly, and Iraq, yes (although wouldn't any PM of the time have supported that?)

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 13:36:09

he dessimated the labour party in a pwer hungry grab for capitalism. socialist sell out cock womble

navada Mon 29-Apr-13 13:39:27

Well, as they said on her death - Tony Blair & New Labour was Margaret Thatchers greatest legacy.

PetiteRaleuse Mon 29-Apr-13 13:41:08

I don't understand what people have against hs wife? Have you met her? Or are you just basing your opinion on tabloid spin and anti powerful woman nastiness? Or her unfortunate face (which is fine most of the time but the tabloids would never publish a flattering picture of her)?

As for him, other than Iraq, which was awful but I am not sure what pressure was on behind the scenes, I think for the first few years he was a great PM. Then, like Thatcher (who I never thought was a great PM) he got far too confident and forgot who put him where he was.

I think he is certainly no worse than any other politician we have, but he has done enough (good and bad) I hope he doesn't come back into politics.

BlueberryHill Mon 29-Apr-13 13:42:18

He played a pivotal role in getting European Nations and the US to intervene in Kosovo to prevent genocide.

slhilly Mon 29-Apr-13 13:46:36

Petite, if I had to guess, I think in his later years he thought to himself "I need to step down now, I'm getting no traction any more because of Iraq, but I don't have a sensible succession plan in place". I think he was well aware that Brown would come in and flounder (he was truly weird: why spend a decade being a brooding chancellor without putting in at least a day or two to developing a programme for government?!)

Unlike Mrs T, he bowed out at a time and place of his own choosing, more or less.

No opinion on Cherie, but I have no time for Tony Blair and never did have. Headline chasing hypocrite in my opinion.

I can also remember the UK before he got in and it was no worse than the UK before the Tories got in this time.

I do remember the optimism when Labour won, and the heartbreak of those who had campaigned so hard for him (young politically active colleagues) when they realised that he was no different to the other self-serving selfish types.

He has blood on his hands, he took us into an illegal war and is responsible for the death of thousands of innocent civilians.

I do find it ironic that it was his government that broke the political will of people to campaign (not worth it because they're all the same) and to demonstrate. Millions demonstrated in London against the War, but each time I read about it history is rewritten with the number of marchers dwindling downwards. In 10 years time it will be "3 men and a dog turned up to demonstrate against the invasion of Iraq".

He is slimy, amoral and there will be a very special place reserved in hell for him.

ubik Mon 29-Apr-13 14:17:39

Yes I remember years and years of Tory government, signing on the dole during the 1992 recession. I remember the jubilation when Portillo lost his seat.

I remember Robin Cook's short lived ethical foreign policy...then we were allowing rendition flights in our airspace, the 'sexed-up' dossier, the first night of 'shock and awe' on Baghdad.

I felt like I had been 'had'

Though don't some of you 'Tony is horrid and so's his wife' people not think about the amazing things his government did?

Huge hospital and school building programme. The minimum wage. A huge jump in maths and literacy levels. Paternity leave. The devolving of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. NHS Direct. Child Benefit increased. Surestart. Free nursery places for three and four year olds. Overseas aid signigicantly increased. Failing schools turned around. Academy programme started. An independent Bank of England. The Human Right's Act was introduced. The gay age of consent lowered. Adoption by gay couples. The Civil partnership Act.

Just a few ways that I can think of (and I can think of loads more so don't tempt me wink ) that improved the living conditions of millions. Under Tony Blair.

Seriously. DH and I were a young married couple who had just started a family in the eighties and life was pretty grim. TB and New Labour were a breath of fresh air.

Yakare Mon 29-Apr-13 14:23:48

Huge fan of Tony Blair. Would vote for him again today if I could.

ukatlast Mon 29-Apr-13 14:26:34

Quote Bramshott:'I think a lot of people have a residual like of him from the memory of 1 May 1997 and that feeling that finally the Tories were out after 18 years. I still remember walking around south London and people grinning and smiling at each other in the street!'

Me and mine too. Also agree with Slhilly that his Labour Governments did a lot of good stuff (Northern Ireland etc ) including the introduction of a minimum wage (Tories always against this but would be political suicide to abolish now). My only beef with him is Iraq (although gave benefit of the doubt at the time) and maybe the sneaking suspicion that his religious beliefs influenced his views there.

He is nowhere near as hateable as Thatcher i.m.h.o. as apart from Irag, he was criticised by the Labour left for being too centrist rather than too extreme. There is something special about someone who can deliver Labour MPs across the South of England 3 elections in a row.

SirChenjin Mon 29-Apr-13 14:28:23

The school/hospital building under PFPI you mean? Yes, I remember it well.

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:37:57

I cannot and will not support Iraq. I think there are questions to be answered regarding Dr. David Kelly.
There were good things that particular government did too, as listed above.
Cherie. FFS. Whatever happened to women sticking together and supporting one another?

slhilly Mon 29-Apr-13 14:46:12

PFI remains a huge mistake, in my view: too complex and opaque, and prone to producing the wrong kinds of infrastructure. Bonds would have been better. It was an expensive way of ensuring private sector involvement.

However, just scrapping BSF was stupid. It's not like the need for replacement buildings goes away, and the costs just rise over time because of backlog works.

SirChenjin Mon 29-Apr-13 14:51:22

The minimum wage was not the great thing that some may think. Whilst it was a step in the right direction, it's not a living wage and just encourages companies to pay less that they should knowing that tax credits (another thing that I don't like TB for) will make up the shortfall.

He is a capitalist hiding under a mask of socialism whilst lining his own pocket. A more slippery politician you will not meet.

If I recall, the original minimum wage was £3.60 (?) or thereabouts. It wasn't a great deal of money then, but I read recently that it was a pay rise for over a million people. Just think about that.

For many of the young, working class women that I knew (and it was usually the women being paid the crap wages) it was a huge benefit to them personally.

slhilly Mon 29-Apr-13 15:03:44

The minimum wage was better than no minimum wage, which was what there previously was. Tax credits were Gordon Brown's innovation, not TBs, and they addressed symptoms and not cause which is obviously not enough on its own, but nonetheless they were extremely important in having a redistributive effect while also supporting people to stay in work.

TB was patently not a socialist. He was a centre-left politician in the Clinton mould -wanting to lift people out of poverty, but (in my view) wrongly unconvinced about the link between great wealth and great poverty.

niceguy2 Mon 29-Apr-13 15:21:36

To be fair, Blair had an easy time. He started his Labour government with a HUGE majority and more importantly a booming economy and balanced government budget.

And whilst Labour stuck to the Tory spending plans which they'd promised to do, things went well. But it was once they'd settled in and decided to rip open the nation's credit card that things started to unravel.

Yes of course building schools, hospitals are good things. Except it was all built using opaque PFI deals which have lumbered us with MASSIVE debts in the future.

Tax credits were a great idea on paper. Except Labour introduced it without worrying where the money to fund it was coming from. We now know where it came from. Borrowing. It also had the dubious honour of giving credits to those earning £60k a year! A political bribe if ever I saw one.

Minimum wage? Oh yes. There were cries beforehand of how we needed this to stop employers from paying slave labour rates. It was introduced to much fanfare but now as we can see, despite the NMW going up far faster than inflation, it's apparently still not enough and now there are calls for a 'living wage'. Of course if that ever came into effect a few years later it won't be enough either and there will be calls for a 'real living wage' or suchlike.

Blair was an astute politician who I think did a great job balancing a capitalist economy against Labour socialist & union style politics.

As a person I liked him. Thought he had the right qualities as a leader. His party's politics....not so much. Any idiot can spend money then sod off when the shit hits the fan.

slhilly Mon 29-Apr-13 16:00:07

The budget stuff is a nice theory, but not actually borne out by the facts. In 1997, net borrowing was £15.6bn. There were then four years of surplus till 2001, followed by deficits once more. The deficit was cyclical (ie it grew then started to shrink) from 2002 till 2006. During this time, it peaked at £42.6bn in 2005, a level last seen in 1994. Except that in 1994, GDP was €902,909m while in 2005, it was €1,846,607m (can only find € figures quickly). So as a % of GDP, the deficit was about half the previous peak. Then came 2007, and everything changed, of course. But it wasn't ordinary day-to-day borrowing and spending that caused the problems: it was socialising the uncovered liabilities of financial services providers.

Frankly, the Labour government earned less and spent less in their decade in power than would have been expected. Remember when it was called the NICE decade? That was because the boom was not a boom. Spending increases were also not especially dramatic.

Re earning £60k - was that household income or individual income? Makes a bit of a difference, no?

TheBigJessie Mon 29-Apr-13 16:06:17

Everyone is entitled to an opinion on Tony Blair. I think taking a pop at Cherie is just being nasty for the sake of it, though.

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