At long last, Tony Blair has resigned as Prime Minister of the UK. As I listened to the end of his parting address to the House of Commons, which he ended with “That’s that, the end,” I actually felt myself feeling a bit wistful, a bit sad. Yes, yes, I know that I disagree with the majority of what he’s done (at least, what I know of what he’s done, since I admittedly don’t know much about his domestic policy). And yet, there’s that bit of sadness. Feels kind of like that wistful feeling I get for Bill Clinton, despite knowing full well that he did a whole lot of crappy things and is responsible for a not-so-small part of this country’s move to the right.
Guess I’m just a sucker for an intelligent, charismatic, eloquent national leader to whom I can actually listening without wanting to smack them. At least when they when they’re talking about piss-poor policies, they sound good doing it.
I may not have much time to miss Blair, however, since he’s apparently a lead candidate for the role of special envoy to the Middle East. Given that his track record on the politics of the region basically amounts to supporting Israel 100% 24/7/365, I expect that I’ll get the chance to be infuriated with him soon enough. That’s likely to cut my deluded nostalgia right quick.
And now Gordon Brown, the newly confirmed Prime Minister, is speaking from 10 Downing Street, so I may as well say hello to him. From what I’ve heard and read, he may be better than Blair on a few points, including foreign policy in general and Iraq in particular. Let’s see what he does. And hey, as far as new European leaders go, hell, he’s bound to be better than Sarkozy! (Shudder.)