Friday, April 08, 2005

Why Tony Blair Is Still An Asset For Labour

Over at the General Election 05 blog, in the feedback to my post on the media's role in the campaign, there was an interesting rebuke for Andy Marr in a response from a chap named Bernie, who writes:
I’m finding it difficult to share or even understand your liking for Andrew Marr. I agree he must be a powerful figure, but what use does he make of this power: he stands outside 10 Downing Street, where he has apparently just had an opportunity to ask Mr Blair questions about the disaster in Iraq, and he tells us that “nobody could possibly doubt Tony Blair’s sincerity”!
Now, I think Andrew Marr is absolutely correct on that point, and it is in no way a sign of dereliction of duty or toadiness on his part. Indeed, I was intending to blog today on why the latest batch of Labour posters, asking which of Howard and Blair you want as Prime Minister, is an excellent idea.

The key is that Blair still looks the part and acts the part of respected statesman and likeable guy. No matter how annoyed we are with some of his policies, I have always believed he is sincere, even if my disagreement with many of my policies give me the perspective that he is decieving himself in their righteounsess. The thing is that, at the end of the day, I think intellectual laziness is his greatest crime and an ability to believe his own spin. In contrast, I am not convinced Michael Howard shares the same basic values I hold, and isn't just a rabid gypsy-hating immigrant-bashing bigot who is moderating his language in the name of expediency. The polls also seem to show that Blair is still ahead of Howard, even if not by much.

So, while I respect Bernie's opinion, I must disagree. Blair is sincere, he's just wrong at the same time. I don't believe the Prime Minister tells lies; he may misdirect us, but only within a personal mindset that is doing the right thing. On Iraq, Blair thought what he was doing was right. He was wrong, and I hope he suffers at the polls, but as much as I hate his actions, I cannot hate the man himself. He is, after all, our denim-wearing tea-swilling Tony.