"He could have been remembered as the man who saved his nation from the brutal social ravages of Margaret Thatcher's soulless, hard-right extremism. Instead he will be known forever as the lying lapdog of George W. Bush. Tragedy is a harsh taskmaster indeed."Unlike George W. Bush we are seeing in Tony Blair the fall of a man who could have had a powerful and long lasting legacy except for one serious mistake.
For make no mistake: if not for the criminal folly of the Iraq invasion, British Prime Minister Tony Blair would not have been unceremoniously shoved toward the exit last week by his own party, including some of his fiercest loyalists. The man who once commanded one of the largest majorities in the history of the ancient British Parliament, who won three successive national elections and appeared to have sealed his party's hold on power for decades to come, has seen his stature and authority eaten away by the hubris that led him to join George W. Bush's duplicitous, disastrous Babylonian Conquest.Unlike George W. Bush, Blair doesn't have the luxury of having his own party made up of cultists.
Many old guard Republicans see Bush doing to their party what Blair has done to the Labour Party but at the moment they are powerless to do anything about it. Tony Blair is not so lucky and will pay the price.
With the Labour Party sinking in the polls – now almost 10 points behind the once-decimated and still despised Conservatives – several Labour MPs broke into open revolt last week, resigning from the government and forcing Blair to announce that he will definitely leave office in the next few months, probably May at the latest, more than three years before the next national election. But after a few days on the back foot, the prime minister's remaining partisans then launched a rearguard maneuver to savage Blair's obvious successor, his longtime political partner – and deadly rival – Gordon Brown, the UK Chancellor. Brown has been accused of everything from "traitorous disloyalty" to "psychological problems" by Blairites flocking to the national press. As the unseemly sniping rages on, it seems that Blair is seeking, consciously or unconsciously, to perform one last act of tragic hubris: bringing the party down with him as he falls.