June 27, 2006

Tony Blair's open debate

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1806669,00.html

No more coded critiques – let's have an open debate on where we go next.

Tony Blair wants an open debate about the future of the Labour party. But he doesn't really want any such thing, for he knows the debate will centre on him and his own personal record.

If Blair wanted a full and open debate, then he wouldn't be responding to Charles Clarke's criticisms of him with a vague restatement of his values. That wasn't a 'coded critique', it was a clear challenge to Blair's authority. Blair should be saying "bring it on". Enthusiasm for campaigning amongst Labour activists is at just about zero. Come the next election, who will be heading for the doorsteps when they know exactly what sort of reaction they are going to get?

The only hope for a Labour majority in 2008/9 is if Tony Blair can erase the collective memory of the British public, so the word 'Iraq' is forgotten when it comes to selecting which box to tick. That means getting rid of the man most closely associated with the disaster. And that's him.

Blair might be pretending to foster an 'open debate', but in reality he must know by now that such a thing would bring about his speedy resignation.

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