Tony Blair and Michael Barber at the Strand Group, Eagle Eye

Tony Blair and Michael Barber at the Strand Group

Tony Blair came to the Strand Group at King’s College, London, my new academic home, yesterday, as the respondent for a talk by Michael Barber on his new book, How to Run a Government So that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy.
The video is here and the transcript is below.
Michael Barber started by talking [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 12 June 2015 at 8:09 am

Footballing History, Eagle Eye

Footballing History

There is a nice line in Jim Murphy’s book, The 10 Football Matches That Changed The World … and the One That Didn’t (that was the Christmas game in no-man’s land in 1914) about Tony Blair.
Murphy, now shadow International Development Secretary, tells the story of Blair’s visit to John Burton’s house in Sedgefield, the last [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 11 June 2014 at 10:47 am

Blair is un-Blairite on free movement of EU workers, Eagle Eye

Blair is un-Blairite on free movement of EU workers

I agree with Ed Miliband and disagree with Tony Blair about Europe in my column for The Independent on Sunday today.
Here is a graph that shows the relative success of Miliband and Yvette Cooper’s approach to the question of immigration. YouGov regularly asks: “Which political party [do] you think would handle [asylum and immigration] best?” [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 8 June 2014 at 2:42 pm

Blair on Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Eagle Eye

Blair on Egypt and Saudi Arabia

I haven’t commented much on Tony Blair’s speech last week, “Why the Middle East Matters“, partly because I don’t understand his argument about Egypt – that the international community should give “Egypt and its new president as much assistance as we can”. I didn’t agree with him last year, and I am doubtful now. I know [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 3 May 2014 at 5:51 pm

Late period Blair, hard edges sharpened, Eagle Eye

Late period Blair, hard edges sharpened

I commented on Tony Blair’s speech, “Why the Middle East Matters”, on BBC Radio 4 World At One today (starts at 13:29), which was followed by a discussion between Matthew Doyle, who used to be Blair’s press secretary, and Julian Lewis, the defence-minded Conservative MP.
Here is my script:
This speech was hardcore Tony Blair, delivered to an [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 April 2014 at 3:30 pm

Roy Jenkins: “Second-Class Mind”, Eagle Eye

Roy Jenkins: “Second-Class Mind”

One more thing from the last chapter of John Campbell’s wonderful biography of Roy Jenkins. My special interest in it is in its charting of Jenkins’ growing disenchantment with his protégé, which is entirely to Tony Blair’s credit.
I particularly enjoyed Campbell’s account of Jenkins’ description of Blair’s “second-class mind”.
Just because I could, I dug out [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 1 April 2014 at 4:53 pm

Tony Benn, Heroic Failure, Eagle Eye

Tony Benn, Heroic Failure

Tony Benn has died at the age of 88.
By all accounts, the world has lost a warm and generous man who was liked and respected by friends and colleagues across the political spectrum. Having been born in 1987, I remember him only in the final phase of his career, when he’d long settled into his [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 15 March 2014 at 9:23 am

Men of Secrets V, Eagle Eye

Men of Secrets V

We come now to the interview with Lord O’Donnell in the series of interviews with Cabinet Secretaries past and present on the website put together by the Mile End Group for 10 Downing Street.

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 8 February 2014 at 10:06 pm

Blair backs Egypt’s military leaders, Eagle Eye

Blair backs Egypt’s military leaders

Tony Blair was in Egypt yesterday, and in an interview with Sky News Arabia which is due to be broadcast today, urged other countries to “get behind” the military government:
My view is, when I look at the region, I see it as one picture with different parts to it, but there’s one big picture, which [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 8:39 am

Tony Blair vs Brave Sir Robin, Eagle Eye

Tony Blair vs Brave Sir Robin

If you’re about my age and grew up in hard-left circles, Tony Blair is rather like Sauron, a figure of pure malevolence casting a baleful shadow over everything.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 21 January 2014 at 2:41 pm

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