I endured yesterday’s news item on yobs [TB announced that his third term would prioritise dealing with yobs] with an ever-increasing sense of anger. Anger at the poverty and simplicity of the policy and campaign itself and anger at the failure of all commentators and opposition parties to get the point.
This second stream of anger is the most common in my world - politicians and the media so often miss the point that one starts to think they are doing it deliberately. In the case of the BBC I believe that to be wholly true, but that would be the subject of another essay entirely.
My anger grew so strong that I fired off a late letter to the Telegraph, only to discover this morning that I had entered the email address wrongly! So when speaking to the fabulous Big Tommy G this morning, I unburdened myself of this anger and he invited me to submit a short article for his Blog. Well actually he said 700 words, but I don’t do 700 words. Some of us have jobs you know!!
My aspiring letter read thus:
In 1997 Tony Blair won office predominantly on the promise of "Education, Education, Education.” Eight years later he commences his "historic" third term with a promise to solve the problem of yobs and youth intimidation. Even my maths is good enough to know that the subjects of his first term's priority are now the subjects of his third term's priority. He has failed these young people once and I suggest that most people believe he will fail them again. Could there possibly be a more stark demonstration of failure?
An entire generation has now matured under this Government and it does Tony Blair the honour of reflecting his leadership. Veiled, deceitful, arrogant, rude, disrespectful, directionless, obsessed with money and image and with a desire to record everything they do on camera ("happy slapping" I think the yobs call it, or is that just what Prescott does??). Mr Blair, I suggest you should quit before anyone else notices.
I could now spend endless words explaining what I mean, but frankly it is obvious. This government is now going to spend its third term clearing up the mess of its failed first term. I am an ex Army officer. I have seen leadership of all shapes and sizes, but one thing stands out above all else. Eventually the behaviour of the led reflects the qualities of the leader. So next time you cross the street to avoid an unpleasant looking crowd of youths or find your freedom in any way narrowed by the existence of yobbish or intimidating behaviour, remember where they get it from and ask yourself why their behaviour reflects Mr Blair's leadership.
The lies, the shallowness of his policy stunts, the year upon year of headline catching ideas that never lasted more than a day, the deliberate undermining of respect for institutions like the police, the vandalism of constitutional structures, the evasion, the spin.
Tony Blair preyed upon the Labour Party's desperation for power to enable him to achieve an unassailable position but his shallow pursuit of power simply for the sake of it has made him without question the worst leader I have ever known and large elements of this country now reflects him in everything it does.
My grateful thanks to the Big Man for allowing me some space on his blog.
P.S. I have narrowed my selection of leader to one of David Cameron, David Davis or William Hague (as I still believe he may be persuaded to return).