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PR leaders and their downfalls

Tony Blair was selected to win elections for the Labour party, by giving good PR face and convincing people that Labour wasn’t terrifyingly left-wing any more, despite being way to the right of most activists and MPs.

David Cameron was selected to win elections for the Tory party, by giving good PR face and convincing people that the Tories weren’t terrifyingly right-wing any more, despite being way to the left of most activists and MPs.

Tony Blair led the UK into a deranged war based on his messianic belief that it was The Right Thing, Dammit, going way to the right of almost everyone who was in any way involved with or a supporter of his party. And he was thrown out as leader only many years later, once he was actively unpopular with the public-at-large by an even greater margin than his party.

David Cameron has implemented a right-wing agenda, certainly no leftier than John Major’s government, despite being in a coalition with the Lib Dems. He has had to fight tooth and nail to get his party to do anything which has even the slightest smack of centrism, and so mostly hasn’t. Yet, despite all the above, and despite being vastly more popular (“less unpopular” might be fairer) with the public than his party is, they appear to be seriously considering turfing him as leader already.

I’m not quite sure what this proves, although “Labourites are Stockholm victims and Tories are a terrifying angry mob who nobody in their right mind would seek to lead” is probably up there.

  1. yorksranter
    March 13, 2013 at 12:52 am | #1

    I think it proves that in 1997, the public were so sick of Tories they'd have voted for Jimmy Savile, and Labour was so sick of being in opposition they'd have run him as the candidate. You can't understand Blair's career without those two facts.

  2. ajay
    March 26, 2013 at 8:48 pm | #2

    Tony Blair led the UK into a deranged war based on his messianic belief that it was The Right Thing, Dammit, going way to the right of almost everyone who was in any way involved with or a supporter of his party.

    Whoa there tiger. The Iraq war got quite a bit of support from Labour. 244 Labour MPs voted for it. In early March 2003, 33% of self-identified Labour supporters told Ipsos/MORI that they were in favour of war even without a UN resolution, and 46% said they approved of Blair's handling of the situation.

    And I am really not sure about Cameron being way to the left of most Conservative MPs. Rather than just giving the vague impression of being so.

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