Tony Blair’s Journey – by Ekow Nelson

Tony Blair’s Journey – by Ekow Nelson

Tony Blair may not be everyone’s cup of tea but this memoir reminds us of the remarkable achievements of a leader which have sadly been undermined by a misjudgement over Iraq. When the former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was once asked what he thought were the greatest challenges of the office, he responded thus: “events, dear boy events”; meaning there was no precise definition for the job but that one’s role as Prime Minister was determined in large part, and often on a day-to-day basis, by events beyond one’s control. In the absence of a precise role definition, the fortunes of most national leaders rest on how they manage crises and events as they arise. The experience of those who have done the job before must therefore be an invaluable guide to those that aspire to the office and others who currently occupy similar positions.
In the “The Journey”, Blair charts his unexpected rise to leadership of the Labour Party, his main political influencers who incidentally include a former Trotskyite, an Anglican vicar and one of African’s finest diplomats, the Ugandan, Olara Otunnu, all of whom he met while a student at St. John’s College, Oxford. Brought up in conservative household frequented then by Tory MPs and educated at Scotland’s most exclusive private school, Blair was an unlikely leader of the Labour Party. However, as a child of the 1960s he was a little more progressive than his parents and titled towards the prevailing left-wing politics of the student campus even if the beliefs that came to define him as a politician were not as doctrinal as the Marxists or Trotskyites of the time.

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Essay: Will I ever join the Labour Party?

Essay: Will I ever join the Labour Party?

23 01 2008

TMP asked Ade Sawyerr what it would take to get him to join the Labour Party.  Here he explains what Gordon Brown will need to do to seduce him.

What would it take for me to join the Labour Party in the UK? Surprisingly, it would take a lot of persuasion from Gordon Brown the current leader; this is because I have not seen much difference between the policies of the Labour Party and those of the Conservative Party.

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