I gagged at the fawning sycophancy of Martin Kettle, defending Blair's place in history.
For me, Blair ranks with Eden - my, less than, balanced scorecard would be as follows:
Liberty - From ASBOS to Control Orders, Blair seems to be instinctively illiberal. The decade has seen a sustained erosion of personal freedom. In contrast, after the Brighton bomb, which was a far more serious incident than 7/7, Thatcher didn't reintroduce internment, and took a measured approach.
Child welfare - Out of 21 industrialised nations, Britain came bottom of a recent Unicef league table on child well-being. Child poverty has increased over the last ten years.
Equality - Compass reported that 'the share of national wealth owned by the richest 1 per cent in Britain had risen from 17 per cent in 1991 to 24 per cent in 2002, while the share of the country's riches held by the bottom 50 per cent of people had dropped from 8 percent to 6 per cent'. This gap has probably widened over the past few years.
Integrity - John Major showed weakness in dealing with a number of MPs who were personally corrupt. In contrast, Blair has brought sleaze right into the heart of the political process. He became the first sitting Prime Minister to be questioned as part of a criminal investigation, over the cash for honours issue. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is investigating the BAE Systems (alleged) bribes to Saudi Arabia. The IMF considers Britain to be an on-shore tax haven.
National Security - Nations go to war. But they do so for gain. The charge against Blair over Iraq is one of incompetence. He volunteered British troops to the conflict; and gained nothing from it, in terms of trade or treaties. And most damningly he joined with full knowledge that the Americans had absolutely no plans for the subsequent occupation. In doing so, he gave impetus for a group of sociopaths to commit the worst terrorist attack on British soil. And yes, there is peace in Northern Ireland, but much of the credit for that goes to Mo Mowlam and John Major.
Culture - from the Dome and 'Cool Britannia' Blair has celebrated mediocrity and vacuous celebrity. The creed of New Labour is inclusivity against elitism; serving up pureed art.