How am I doing?
So the late Prime Minister, which is wrong because he isn’t dead, so the former Prime Minister Tony Blair has apologised for taking the UK into the Iraq War.
Except of course he hasn’t and he didn’t apologise for himself.
What he apologised for is for everyone else’s mistakes that led him to take the UK into the Iraq War, forgetting that he and his advisors ‘sexed up’ the dossier to justify the decision.
The reason I bring this up is because Tony Blair, for all of the bile and renting of garments that is currently the vogue within the Labour Party over how they never really supported let alone liked him, he was either well-loved or really hated but somehow managed to remain genially above it all and Teflon coated against criticism.
How George Osborne would love to be able to have such a persona rather than the spoilt child, Hanoi Hannah, ‘I’ll get you back for this’ attitude he continues to display when he doesn’t get his own way.
Winning three General Elections in a row with a majority takes some doing and it may well be some time before it is repeated but what set Tony Blair apart was the fact that he had such self-confidence you never got the impression that he ever asked
‘”How am I doing?”
The other day I watched Prime Ministers questions, the one where he refused six times to answer the question about would families be poorer next year as a result of cutting tax credits, and found it fascinating that David Cameron kept looking at his own members with a look that asked just that,
“How am I doing?”
Well judging from the fact that he moves from a mood of defiance to anger to frustrated annoyance at being challenged as if he has a right not to be, he isn’t doing very well and isn’t being helped by the policies his colleagues and friends are implementing.
Or by those who are getting their ducks in a row to be his successor.
The problem is that in displaying a “How am I doing” attitude David Cameron is really asking for affirmation that he is doing well and in fact expects to be told as befits his upbringing and expectations from life that he actually doing brilliantly.
Lord Acton (it would be a bloody Lord) made what has become one of the most quoted political statements when he said,
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’”
This is of course denied emphatically by political leaders whether local or nationally in the democratic system no matter what the evidence to the contrary and it seems to me they revel in the slightly varied version put forward by the late President of the USA one Lyndon B Johnson that
“Power corrupts and absolute power is absolutely delightful’”
Well we seem to forget that the Government of David Cameron has a majority of only 12 and it seems that away from the Bullingdon Elite not everything within the Conservative party is happy with what is happening or as I’ve said before,
“Just because they call it a party doesn’t mean everyone is having a good time”and by all accounts the 70 Conservative Members of Parliament who see their seats being at risk because of the Government policies are certainly not having a good time.
So perhaps David Cameron is justified in asking “How am I doing” if only to gauge the level of opposition and rebellion forming amongst his own members?
In contrast of course at the same PMQ’s it appears that Jeremy Corbyn seemed to do rather well, in fact very well if you listen to the political commentators and judge the reaction of the Conservative MPs whose invariable response to being shown up is to revert to childhood wailing.
Now let’s face it and to put it bluntly no one expected Jeremy Corbyn to win and when he did they didn’t expect him to last long and during his brief stay as Leader of the Labour Party very few, if any thought he would be capable of taking on the Conservative machine.
Well it has turned out that he has proved to be anything but a temporary aberration and is growing rapidly into the role which is clearly disconcerting David Cameron and George Osborne and causing consternation amongst Conservative MP’s who feel their seats are under threat if it continues.
It also has to be said that his success against all of the odds is also causing a level of concern amongst the Labour Westminster elite as well.
What has come as a surprise is the fact that he doesn’t seem to worry about asking how he is doing and is relying on what he believes is right.
Whether you agree or disagree it certainly makes a refreshing change from the bland all from the same mould Oxbridge stereotypical MP’s we have grown accustomed to over the past 30 years.
It is always dangerous especially in politics to judge a leader by their first action or even actions with every statement being deconstructed, reconstructed and misrepresented by their enemies in the opposition and within their own party as we have seen since Jeremy Corbyn became the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition.
And yes it is very early days but overall if he was to ask, not those ensconced within the Westminster Bubble but people across the Country,
“How am I doing so far?”
I’d probably guess they might say,
“Pretty well and keep going because you might not surprise yourself but you will a lot of other people”.