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15 May 2003

Tony's legacy

Are you listening, Tony? Some representative quotes from historians predicting T. Blair's "place in history" in the Guardian's How Will He Be Judged?:

Constitutionally, his place in history will be as the prime minister who, when things seemed to be going well, ran a pseudo-presidential system which, as well as being alien to the British constitution, was monumentally inefficient. (Lord Gilmour)

History, I believe, will judge Blair harshly. I think what most historians will emphasise is the profound disappointment Blair engendered. . . (Richard Overy)

British politics doesn't appreciate Caesarism or the Bonapartist style. (Lord Morgan)

By stealing the Conservatives most radical Thatcherite policies - war and privatisation - while offering the left nowhere to go, Blair's period in office could be seen in retrospect to mark the death of British politics. (Mark Almond)

Blair, Short suggests, is really a Tory who has little interest in either constitutional matters such as reform of the House of Lords, or in quotidian, but vital, domestic issues such as genuine equality of opportunity in health or education. He wants in with the ... deliverers, the saviours, the victors crowned in battle. And that, she was saying, is not what the Labour party is, or should be, all about. (Stella Tillyard)

Since the days of Thatcher, Britain has never been so respected (which is not to be confused with liked) abroad than under a prime minister who bestrides the world stage with energy and purpose. (Michael Burleigh)

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