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Tony Blair Stepping Down As PM After 10 Years

From his avowed enemies at Reuters:

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Blair bows out after 10 years

By Katherine Baldwin

TRIMDON (Reuters) – Tony Blair said on Thursday he would step down as prime minister on June 27, more than 10 years after winning power in what was hailed as a new dawn for Britain that has since been darkened by the Iraq war.

“I tell you one thing: hand on heart, I did what I thought was right,” Blair told Labor Party members on Thursday. “I may have been wrong, that’s your call. But believe one thing, if nothing else I did what I thought was right for our country.”

Blair’s announcement triggers a contest for the leadership of the ruling Labor Party, which finance minister Gordon Brown is favorite to win. Brown would become prime minister when Blair resigns next month.

Blair, U.S. President George W. Bush’s closest ally over Iraq, leaves office out of favor among voters for sending British forces to join the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

A Labor Party rebellion in September forced him to say he would quit within a year, after serving 10 years.

“I think that’s long enough, not only for me, but also for the country and sometimes the only way you conquer the pull of power is to set it down,” Blair told party members in Trimdon in his northern England constituency.

Blair will also be remembered for helping bring peace to Northern Ireland after decades of violence, winning three straight elections for Labor for the first time and dragging it from its left-wing roots to the centre of British politics.

An opinion poll published by the Guardian newspaper on Thursday showed 60 percent of voters believed Blair would be remembered as a force for change, though not always good. The ICM poll said 44 percent believed he had been good for Britain

Like any honorable sensible politician, there won’t be a good thing said about Mr. Blair until the time of his death. And then only for a few days. 

Why anyone goes into public service (except to enrich themselves) is beyond me.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 10th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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