The Legacy of Tony Blair
I had lunch today in London with a very prominent British international law scholar and, of course, the main topic of conversation was Tony Blair. I will not reveal the name of the person to respect confidences, but will outline the gist of his impressions. He said that Tony Blair has done many good things in the domestic arena, including improving health care and education. But in terms of foreign policy, he said Blair’s legacy has been an unmitigated disaster. He attributed the peace accord in Northern Ireland to John Major as much as Tony Blair. He felt that Blair’s strong commitment to closer ties with Europe offered little concrete to show for it. And most importantly, he said that Blair’s misadventures in Iraq will forever taint his international legacy. He agreed with others who have said that instead of one victory in Afghanistan he now has two losses on his hands. When I asked him if there were any foreign policy achievements he could identify, he fell silent. It’s rather sad, he said, because Blair meant so well.