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Tony Blair

Editorial: What Goes Around Comes Around

The mantra repeated by Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown since they were first elected has been the importance of avoiding "Tory Boom and Bust". Everything else has hinged on the economic stability which they claim is the almost unique preserve of their type of "new" Labour government, with its supposed emphasis on "building for the long-term" over "short-term fixes".

During the recent election campaign Labour put up posters across Britain depicting William Hague and Michael Portillo as Mr Boom and Mr Bust in a pastiche of the film Towering Inferno, called instead 'Towering Interest Rates". Those with long memories will have found this slightly odd – not because the Tory record on unemployment and recessions was a good one – but because no Labour administration in history until the present government had ever left office with unemployment lower than when it had been elected.

Editorial: Thieves Kitchen at Gleneagles

This month the world’s most powerful politicians are getting together in Gleneagles to discuss how best to exercise their power. Two thousand years ago, in 60 BCE, the three most powerful men in Ancient Rome – Crassus, Caesar and Pompey – met to form a shadow government, one which recognised the reality of their personal power as opposed to the nearly defunct formal constitution of the Republic; in much the same way as the Titanic recognised the iceberg’s right of way. Known as the First Triumvirate,  it wasn’t to last – power cannot work against the logic it’s based on; so the rulers of Rome were impelled into a civil war they didn’t want because the needs of their camps demanded it.

Greasy Pole

Greasy Pole

Is There Life After Tony Blair?

Greasy Pole: Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Greasy Pole

“Tony Blair” and “apologise” are not words which, silkily together, slip off the tongue. So there was a tremor of excitement at the prospect that he was about to mark the bicentenary of the legal abolition of the slave trade in this country by offering a full, constructive apology for Britain’s part in that trade. A number of organisations and individuals who had been campaigning for such an apology held their breath, probably in realistic cynicism rather than hopeful expectation.

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