Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Blair legacy

On the day before the PM is presumed to announce the timetable of his departure, the Independent newspaper publishes an opinion poll suggesting that he will most be remembered for Iraq - 69% of respondents put that at the top of the list.

9% would remember his relationship with George Bush. The first positive aspect of his tenure, the Northern Ireland peace process, comes in next at 6%. Then came cash-for-honours, the minimum wage and "spin", all at 3%.

I think that history will be somewhat kinder to Blair, and recall one or two reforms that the poll respondents did not. In social matters, for instance, the introduction of civil partnerships and amelioration of the laws on homosexuality. On his watch, the Bank of England was given the freedom to set interest rates and a better Freedom of Information Act was introduced (though the government is now trying to back-track on the latter).

On the other side, respondents did not register his botched Lords reform, shilly-shallying over hunting with hounds or his reneging on the promise to consider electoral reform. History will probably forget about these, too.

Strangely, 61% thought he had been a good PM and only 2% had no opinion.
- Frank Little

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