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Monday, August 22, 2011

“Good politics but bad policy”. A phrase from Tony Blair worth keeping.

One phrase in Tony Blair’s Observer article about the recent 2011 city unrest, may be remembered long after the rest of his article has become forgotten. Recalling his own position about moral decline in society and the James Bulger affair, he noted that his 1993 speech was “good politics but bad policy”. It has a ring to it showing a contrition and awareness that was lacking when in office.

Such reflection stands Blair well. But have you noticed how other ex-party leaders seem to grow in stature after leaving office? Iain Duncan Smith, Paddy Ashdown and John Major seem to display a clarity of thought that was lacking in their younger years. Unimpeded by the weight of office they can now articulate a perspective of our present condition which eluded them in younger years. One might even call it statesmanship. Perhaps our aspiring political leaders need to put more time in to acquire a hinterland and sense of perspective before they step forward for the prize they seek.

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