Monday, September 25, 2006

Tony Blair’s last conference as leader – what the papers say

Seeking relief from the British press, I’m a little dismayed to find that the French ones also seem obsessed with the personalities rather than the policies. According to Le Parisien "le Premier ministre a refusé de réaffirmer clairement son soutien à son successeur présumé Gordon Brown". Similarly Libération declares that "Tony Blair qui, dans le passé, a estimé que son ex-ami de vingt ans ferait «un Premier ministre brillant» a refusé, hier, de réitérer le compliment, tout en déclarant : «Je ne retire rien à ce que j'ai dit auparavant.»". And, more succinctly, Le Monde says "Tony Blair a refusé dimanche 24 septembre d'apporter un clair soutien à son successeur probable Gordon Brown".

Oh dear. Perhaps it will get better when someone at the conference actually mentions a policy in a speech likely to make it onto a TV channel other than BBC Parliament. Not much chance of that then......


At 09:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erm, well I wish I could read French better, but I get the gist!

TB has a problem, which is that in the 1990s he rather cultivated his personality as his main selling point, despite his clear exasperation at the Press for still focusing on it in the 2000's.

'Trust me, I'm Tony' kind of thing worked exceptionally well at first, but as soon as his star wanes, it's easy to stick the knife in.

Actually, I think TB is being brave and clever: he is attracting all the personal criticism, a bit like fly paper, and when he goes the new Leader will be able to really break from the past and start afresh - I'm sure TB has the Party's interests at heart on this.

Unfortunately, Brown is quickly raising questions about his own personality, and I just wonder if he'll find it harder to make that break from the past than another, less well known leader might....

At 12:38, Blogger Hughes Views said...

I like your fly paper analogy anonymous! I had hoped that he'd hang on for longer so that Gordon Brown would only have to last a year or so until an election. That way the ‘blame’ could have been successfully directed at Mr Blair and Mr Brown would still have had a relatively fresh new appeal. But now, unless he ramps up his oratory, I fear he may have bored the swing electorate into voting Tory by the time an election can reasonably be called!


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