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?

JuliaScurr Mon 29-Apr-13 17:49:59

Unreasonable to blame G Brown for crash and not mention US banks

lljkk Mon 29-Apr-13 17:07:22

I like TB. Not perfect, but alright. Best of a mediocre bunch. He'd win again if put in charge of labour party.

ChocolateCakePlease Mon 29-Apr-13 17:05:46

Yes and mass immigration! I suspect wages haven't gone up because millions of immigrants were willing to do the job for less money so employers never had to increase wages because there were people were willing to work for peanuts. Even those peanuts here are better than their standard of living back home.

ChocolateCakePlease Mon 29-Apr-13 17:00:21

I was refering more to the worthless degrees such as a friend who gained one in "the phycology of drama," left uni and went into a job she could have done when she left school and now has 2 kids. So her life ended up the same as mine yet I do not have a uni debt nor has the government paid for me to do a degree I will never use. It is unlikely she will earn enough to pay back her debt either. Money well spent or not? This is a common story for a generation of people.

Oblomov Mon 29-Apr-13 16:58:25

I was hoping for great things.
Later, when it came out about Iraq, his sham of expenses, that disappeared,etc. He was shown to be a fraud. He conned us. I don't know why we're suprised.
He now holds positions in Europe, doing this and that, speaking on this, being on the board of that, and is earning millions.
He makes my stomach churn. I feel ill when I see him.

Orwellian Mon 29-Apr-13 16:56:27

Under Tony Blair's Premiership we had;

- Took the UK into an illegal war in which hundreds of thousands died and he lied
- Mysterious death of Scientist David Kelly against said war.
- Huge increase in the cost of housing and the rise of BTL which has effectively priced out several generations of young people (of course not Blair's kids, they were bought huge homes by their millionaire daddy).
- PFI for hospitals/NHS which will burden future generations.
- Gave away the UK's EU rebate with nothing to show for it.
- His expenses were mysteriously shredded during the expenses scandal.
- Made the UK reliant on the City and Finance so that banks could not fail. Let the North rot.
- Oversaw mass immigration.
- Built few new homes and didn't reverse right to buy.
- Council tax more than doubled under his watch.
- Reneged on his pledge not to introduce tuition fees for University students once elected.
- Oversaw a huge rise in the welfare bill.

These are just a few things I can think of.

I remember how the UK was before Tony Blair came to power and it was a much nicer place to be. In my experience everything has got a lot worse and we are paying a lot more money for a lot less and there is a lot more apathy and society has got a lot less caring. I don't think the Tories of today are any better and I think that Cameron is trying to emulate Blair (all style and no substance).

slhilly Mon 29-Apr-13 16:49:48

ChocolateCake, I'm pretty sure that the rise in the percentage of the UK population holding a degree started before 1997. It was prompted by a shift in mix of jobs in the labour market, so that relatively fewer jobs do not require a degree. Jobs that used not to require a degree, like nursing, have become increasingly challenging and technical, because of medical advances. That brings its own problems, but the alternative is to not bother with ICUs, dopplering, new chemotherapy regimens, because we certainly can't afford to pay for doctors to provide these things, and it requires a degree to do.

Cailinsalach I agree with every word.

Tony Blair was a great PM and a great politician

ChocolateCakePlease Mon 29-Apr-13 16:32:43

I agree niceguy, he did just that - maxed out credit card then pissed off.

He destroyed higher education by making a degree, which was once something worth a lot, into something meaningless. Millions of pounds have been wasted on people doing micky mouse courses with no real job prospects afterwards.

One time of day you could start at the bottom and work your way up. Now you need degree just to get in the door. A degree you didn't need before but now will cost you thousands in fees, fees that wouldn't have had to be introduced had blair not had every man and his dog go to university which is what made uni too expensive for the government to keep subsidising.

In other words:

Before you could start at the bottom and work your way up.

More people went to university with more and more gaining degrees in things that don't need a degree (because you could have at one time learned on the job) and also more and more degrees in wheel barrows were introduced.

The government looked good because more people were in higher education. Employers started making it so you needed a degree to get an interview.

Many others left uni and went into jobs they could have just got straight out of school.

Tories took over and realised the amount being spent on higher education was not affordable and introduced high fees.

Now as companies now require a degree people are forced to either get in debt in the tune of thousands or take a low paid job.

I do not agree with the high fees but something had to be done to curb the amount of people gaining useless degrees in wheel barrows.

As a consequence as well, everyone thinks they need a title for their job. A cleaner aint a cleaner, they are a dyson technician or some such bollocks.

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.

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?

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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'

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.

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

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.

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