What I wish Tony had known

Posted by on May 11, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tonyblair1

So as I’m leaving for HK airport, BBC World announces that TB is going. An explosion today of on- and offline media comment and op-ed wishful thinking.

Perhaps the best piece I’ve seen is this from Mick Hume at Spiked. Central to it is the notion of Blair’s government as a purpose-lite overkeen-on-legislation team (which may well be right).

I remember all too well that Spring morning, walking to the polling station on Princess Road. I remember the elation, the feeling that – at last – someone who understood how things are was going to lead us.

Of course the Iraq war and the means by which folk feel they were persuaded of the need for it will hang around for ever in popular conversations. And the sense (misplaced as Hume suggests) that things haven’t been achieved that should’ve been (we’re a mighty ungrateful bunch).

For me, though the central thing missing – the weakness in the Blairite recipe- was the thinking about how change comes about: how can you hope to reform public services if you don’t have such a model, how can you reframe our shared public space, how can you hope to reshape our foreign policy and how it is implemented if you don’t understand how human behaviour is shaped…

I know it sounds odd (and more than a teeny bit arrogant), but I just wish I’d had the Herd idea ten years ago…