Blair losing boroughs in
Successive British governments have reduced the power of most city councils to the point that they probably envy the autonomy of the Iraqi government. But under cover of yesterday's local elections, Tony Blair's cabinet reshuffle may be moving the
While some of the demotions in the cabinet shuffle were understandable because of the scandals surrounding the ministers being axed, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary had not been the focus of any headlines. That leaves the suspicion that he was axed because of the small print in what he has been telling the media. He had said that it was "inconceivable" for military operations against
If you check the ever-informative sound of silence, this is not something that the Prime Minister had been saying.
There is a poetic justice here. One of the reasons that Blair had sacked Robin Cook as foreign secretary was to remove an obstacle to his war plans over
One cannot but help suspect that it is that arrogance which is costing him and the party so dearly. While there are nanny-state issues, like the identity cards Labour is introducing, which erode its popularity, and while it has dangerously alienated its own base in the unions and among workers, one of the interesting things about the results of the local elections is that Labour did not do nearly as badly as many people thought it may.
There are several reasons: one being an incompetent opposition-indeed, between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories, two incompetent oppositions. The other is that in the primary task of a government, Labour has done quite well in a social-democratic way. Almost everyone in
Much of this is due to Chancellor Gordon Brown, who has managed to assuage the bankers while increasing state spending on traditional Labour objectives. But he has wisely stuck to his economic knitting, waiting for the blade to fall on his rival, Blair
He has not uttered a word against the war in Iraq, let alone against one in Iran, and in his own way he is as fond (or fondly delusional) about the special relationship with Washington as Tony Blair.
But aware of how unpopular George W. Bush is with the British electorate, not to mention Tony Blair, all Brown has to do is to keep his head down to be the beneficiary of Blair's overreaching if he joins in an attack on Iran.