Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Political asylum for Blair

This blog officially endorses Tony Blair, understanding, of course, that the British parliamentary system isn't the US presidential system - although, so far as I can tell from a distance, Blair has made the premiership much more like a US presidency. The problem is, I wouldn't want to endorse the Labour party as such nor, for that matter, the Conservatives. So the best one can do is endorse Blair, standing alone atop a peculiar and unstable political party construct that one of these days will surely tumble him down.

This is not to say that I agree with Blair on very many issues - better said, as with Bill Clinton, one half agrees, noting that the half one agrees with was something he borrowed from you and won election on as though it were his own. If I were a Briton, the seeming permanent incompetence of the government in the provision of services even amidst a generally improving economy would drive me batty. The sheer spin would infuriate me. His 'third way' stuff is dreaming the impossible dream. His drive into Europe promises to make him the last British prime minister with the power to do what Blair did.

All that said, as the great Mark Steyn points out, for all the many things on which Blair is wrong and his government incompetent, he is right on the one big issue of our time. Which excuses all the rest. Not to mention that his Tory opponents have been utter opportunists on the issue of the war on terror and Iraq - if Blair's for, I'm agin. Here in America we are well acquainted with that policy, and it's called John Kerry. Here's hoping no British Tory is permitted to darken the door of the White House during Bush's second term.

I am aware that an American declaring the "one big issue of our time" might be regarded by some as merely cynically gussying up that which matches American interests, or at least American interests as seen by the government in power. I don't think so. Still, let us be modest. Let us therefore add:

If - when - Tony Blair falls from power, and is pursued in disgrace by his accumulated enemies of the British right and left, driven from pillar to post by angry mobs of Britons, Michael Howard erecting walls before him to cut off his escape and Gordon Brown harrying him with his hounds of orthodox Laborite hell from behind and the Liberal Democrats threading nooses and the European Court of Human Rights making a special exception to the no-capital-punishment rule, without a moment's rest or place to lay his head -

Well, it behooves the United States to remember who stood by it when the rest of the world's great and good stood aside, and offer Blair political asylum.

And a rich sinecure on Wall Street with an investment banking firm and a place in the Hamptons, preferably next-door to George Soros'.