Today at noon London time Prime Minister Tony Blair snapped shut his binder, stepped away from the despatch box and ended his last time at the Prime Minister’s question period. Presently he rode in his limousine up the Mall to Buckingham Palace where he submitted hisresignation as prime minister to the Queen. Shortly thereafter, the monarch asked Gordon Brown to form a government and Tony Blair became plain Mr. Blair, leaving his limousine to carry Prime Minister Brown back to 10 Downing street.
It is a bitter-sweet day. When he became prime minister in 1997, Tony Blair was fresh-faced, enthusiastic and full of promise. Subsequently, he won three majority governments, a feat unequalled by any previous labour leader.
His greates triumph , in my view, was to lead the way to peace in northern Ireland. His greatest failure was his support of Bush in the Iraq war. That one decision will forever keep Tony Blair out of the ranks of Britain’ greatest prime ministers. But along with Bill Clinton, I thought Tony Blair was the smartest politician and the greatest orator of his generation.