Saturday, April 09, 2005

To Blair or not to Blair? 

An interesting quandary for the right-of-center bloggers and commentators, as identified by Powerline's Deacon:
"Great Britain will hold its elections on May 5. We'll be following the run-up, but with much less anxiety than we followed recent elections in Australia and Iraq. I take the simple-minded position that the British elections are a rare 'win-win' situation for American conservatives. The Brits will select either the party headed by our greatest friend, Tony Blair, or the conservative party."
Deacon mentions that some on the right side (the former official Bush webmaster Patrick Ruffini and NRO's Jim Geraghty) are already coming out for Tony. Deacon himself is reserving his judgment.

I've written about this dilemma on a few occasions in the past. In many ways my heart says Tony and my (conservative) head says the Tories. I've voted right my whole life and could never imagine not doing so, so thank God I'm not faced with a similar choice here in Australia.

Coincidentally, I received this morning an email from a friend of mine from Great Britain. He writes: "Please get your blogosphere allies to do all they can for Tony Blair, even if he is a Social Democrat. I fear that the toxic combination of an unprincipled Tory party, anti-war lefties and misled Muslims will do him in. Sadly the good news from Iraq and Afghanistan has yet to properly percolate through to the UK."

Speaking of anti-war lefties, "Labour supporting magazine the New Statesman today risks the wrath of party bosses by urging readers to vote out key Blairites in protest over the Iraq war. The magazine, owned by one of Gordon Brown's closest allies, calls for the removal of 35 Labour MPs, 12 Blairite candidates and three close Cabinet allies... The anti-war hit-list... is designed to give Tony Blair a bloody nose without risking a third term for Labour." It's precisely that sort of stuff that would make me vote for Blair).

Indeed, it would help if the Tories were more principled here:
"The Prime Minister [Tony Blair] accused Tories of 'contemptible' hypocrisy over Iraq today as he was challenged again over the legal advice given to the Cabinet before the war.

"Tony Blair said he was happy to have a debate on Iraq with people who 'disagreed fundamentally' with the decision to go to war.

"However he added: 'What I find contemptible are those parts of the Conservative Party that agreed with the war in Iraq, were urging the war in Iraq upon us and now attempt to resile from that position.

" 'I don’t think that will command respect anywhere'."
Sadly, a bit like John Kerry, the British Conservatives voted for war before they started to play politics with it. And in a way you can't blame them for that; they're only doing what every opposition party does - in this case they're still supportive of the war but want to damage Blair's credibility. Still, it all feels very dirty and I have a feeling that Maggie Thatcher would have done it differently.


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