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21 January 2011

Blair on the left and the right

We were “the most successful centre-left government in the world”, says Blair.

By George Eaton

Tony Blair has been giving evidence again at the Iraq inquiry for just over an hour, and the most revealing moment came when he was asked about the cabinet’s fears ahead of the war.

He replied that, as members of “the most successful centre-left government in the world”, ministers were most concerned by the prospect of an alliance with a “right-wing conservative Republican president”. One likes to imagine that other concerns – the inevitable loss of civilian life, the increased terrorist threat, the empowerment of Iran – would have been at the forefront of ministers’ minds, but here is a reminder of the primacy of politics over policy.

Incidentally, it might appear rather pompous of Blair to boast that he was the leader of what was the “most successful centre-left government in the world”, but can you name any progressive administration that achieved more during the same period?

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