A Journey: My Political Life

Tony Blair's A Journey: Andrew Rawnsley's verdict
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He was a man people on the Right like me warmed to precisely because he was so much like us. When, in his rather peculiar memoirs, he rails against Mr Brown for having betrayed New Labour, he is saying Mr Brown stopped governing Britain in a way that natural conservatives did not find too offensive. His memoirs do not admit to a policy of craven subservience to America; nor do they own up to the deception of his own party and Parliament in the early spring of , when the threat of attack from weapons of mass destruction helped him get approval for our part in the war.

British lives would have been spared. The special relationship might have been fractured, but would have been repaired by now, with America run by a man who was opposed to the war. It was, at the least, a grave miscalculation by Mr Blair; and we are still not sure whether it was a spectacular act of dishonesty. It is that, more than popular jealousy about his money-making activities, that tarnishes his place in history. I do not know that he has polished it by these memoirs.

It is amusing that Mr Blair admits in his book that he is a manipulator, not least because he is also adept at being manipulated. Bill Clinton did it. George W Bush did it. The adulation Mr Blair received and still does receive from American public opinion did it. Closer to home, Gordon Brown did it — whether Mr Blair likes to own up to that or not.

Mrs Blair did it. Tony Blair was this mixture of massive self-confidence, massive ability and massive pliability. That, at least, is reflected accurately in his book.

ISBN 13: 9780739377963

There have never been prime ministerial memoirs like this. They are not the let-me-tell-you-what-happened type of Lloyd George or Churchill, describing their role as politicians conducting wars. They are not the proper and rather boring type of Asquith, or Callaghan, or Wilson. He has certainly settled the most majestic score of all, with the man he failed to stop succeeding him. The battle between them is still on, being fought now to decide their places in history.

Mr Blair has followed the sage advice that there is no better time to kick a man than when he is down: and, my word, has he kicked him.

The rules have been rewritten, perhaps because of the link between the projection of ego and earning potential. His book will continue to attract criticism, even derision for its style as much as some of its content and anger: but it will maintain his position as a leading celebrity and a big name.

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I applaud him for giving the proceeds to the Royal British Legion, and regret the reactions of those who belittle an act of charity. It appears to be a book written in tune with all the most unpleasant and cynical marketing techniques of modern publishing. Its tenor is often pure Sylvie Krin. There is a titanic self-belief in him that has blossomed further since he left office.

It may be fashionable to revile him here, but on much of the planet he is held in awe and respect. He sees how quickly the wheels came off Britain after he left office and reflects, with some justification, that things would not have reached such a pass had he stayed in charge. This feels like a book written after sessions with a psychotherapist, or a priest, or perhaps both. In my own personal experience of Mr Blair, he is an honest man: or at least I give him the benefit of the doubt, still, that he is.

When he was an opposition front-bencher, when he was leader of the Opposition, and in the first few years of his time in Downing Street, we would meet several times a year, without anyone else present, and have candid conversations. I valued this courtesy, which is invaluable to anyone who tries to write about politics.

On the morning after the election, which Labour had expected to win, I saw Mr Blair being interviewed on television, looking utterly miserable. I rang him straight afterwards and suggested lunch. Even though he had no intention of running in the leadership race that John Smith won, he outlined a clear vision for his party, to take it to the Right, to connect it with the middle classes of the south of England, and to put Labour into power next time.

A Journey: My Political Life

His chance to do so came two years later and he grabbed it. It is, therefore, a shame that this gifted but complicated man has produced a book of such tone and, in places, such randomness, when the story he really has to tell is so significant: it has not been properly told yet. I used to like him when he first came to power.

Also because he was a classmate of Mr Bean not my ex-boss.. But when he declared war on Iraq on the insistence of Bush, I started hating him. I think he and Bush owe an apology to Baghdad for the mass-murder of innocent Iraqis.

So soothe your conscience by saying sorry. Bush is now a gentleman cowboy in Crawford, Texas while Blair is globe trotting raking in millions of USDs for speaking engagements. Now he will be busy promoting his Memoirs. Since you are rapat to the former PM of Malaysia, try to persuade Mamak Kutty to apologise Tun Salleh Abas or Anwar Ibrahim for what he did to them, and for his abuse of power and the mess he left behind for the next generation to clean up.

Bush, Blair and Mamak Kutty are recalcitrants. Americans, understandably, have less intense feelings about Mr. Online ISSN See all formats and pricing Online. Prices are subject to change without notice. Prices do not include postage and handling if applicable.

Kent Working Class Hero? Richer Parties, Better Politics? Volume 16 Issue 4 Dec , pp. Volume 15 Issue 4 Dec , pp. Volume 14 Issue 4 Dec , pp.

My Political Life

Still, there are some delightful tidbits of info, like his hillarious and extreme antipathy towards PM Questions, some of his early experiences in the party when he got dominated, and a few absurd moments during the Good Friday negotiations. They seem to me like crocodile tears. On that day, in the course of less than two hours, almost 3, people were killed in the worst terrorist attack the world has ever known. It took me nearly two years to get through the full thing. The chapter about the Northern Ireland peace process is both engrossing and instructive, I think, but little else is in the book.

Volume 13 Issue 4 Dec , pp. When they decide to go for someone, they are But more than that, they are also, partly through the presence of competition, highly partisan in order either to get maximum impact or to put across the views of their proprietors or editors. Throughout the memoir, Blair teaches lessons grounded in seemingly low-impact events.

One of the strangest parts of politics is how you get into situations of unbelievable controversy without ever meaning to or wanting to. Whether to ban fox hunting crossed political party lines Labour versus Conservatives , class lines, and became an animal rights issue for many. On this one, I had a complete lapse.

Tony Blair's A Journey: Andrew Rawnsley's review | Politics | The Guardian

Since leaving the prime ministership, Blair has been traveling the globe trying to make the world a better place according to his values. In a page Postscript, he summarizes his causes.

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A Journey: My Political Life [Tony Blair] on giuliettasprint.konfer.eu *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this remarkably gripping memoir, one of the most dynamic and. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Critics who dubbed Britain's ex- prime minister Look inside this book. A Journey: My Political Life by [Blair, Tony ].

Given the state of the world he documents so unsparingly, he is surprisingly optimistic about the future of humanity. He lives in Columbia, Mo. Already a subscriber?

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