Blair is no repentant liberal
The Financial Times leader today remarks that: “Blair made many mistakes. To be fair, he admits to some in the book: the u-turns on health; curtailments of personal liberty.”
The FT’s right on the health point, but does Blair admit that he was wrong on civil liberties in his memoir? I’ve only read the released extracts so far, but I’ve not come across much regret. The very opposite in fact.
Here’s Blair on ID cards: “I could see all the practical problems. I could envisage that it might take time. The civil liberties argument I thought a little absurd, I confess – many well-functioning democracies have identity cards, and the information stored is less than most supermarkets have.”
He also mocks the Tories’ opposition to Asbos saying “they were supposed to be the party of law and order”.
Not that Blair likes to think of himself as authoritarian. “Except on law and order, I am by instinct a liberal”, he writes. Which strikes me as a bit like saying “except on that ’son of God’ stuff, I am by instinct a Christian”.Tagged in: tony blair
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