Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

So there you have it - the last of the English council results have come in. And let's not pretend otherwise, they're a great set of results for the Conservatives, on top of a great set of results last year. Even some of the Labour bloggers are honest enough to say so.

Tomorrow, Tony Blair will almost certainly announce that he's standing down as Prime Minister. He'll try to take the rap for these results, or at least be blamed by the rest of his Party for them. His ten years in office have been a missed opportunity, and I've been racking my brains this afternoon trying to think of anything positive he's achieved since D:Ream's Things Can Only Get Better rang out that day in May 1997.

The only things I can come up with are ASBOs (which hopefully one day won't be needed anymore) and the continuation of the Northern Ireland peace process, which was started by his Conservative predecessor John Major with the Downing Street Declaration. Yesterday, people across Northern Ireland witnessed the product of the process so far when the DUP, Sinn Féin and the other parties sat down together in government.

But as one Labour Prime Minister gives way to another, let's not forget the tax rises, the billions wiped off pension funds, the rewriting of the government's own fiscal discipline rules, the economic problems stored up for the future. This isn't just the legacy of Tony Blair, it's the legacy of Gordon Brown.

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