El fin de la “era” Blair se percibe como un acontecimiento mayor, para el Reino Unido y Europa.
Algunos titulares y comentarios:
En París, Le Figaro, 27 junio 2007
- Tony Blair laisse un pays transformé.
- Sous son influence, l’Europe est devenue plus atlantiste, libérale et anglophone.
- Un réformateur inspiré par sa foi.
En Londres, Financial Times, 25 junio 2007
Political lessons from the Blair era
By Philip Stephens
[ .. ] Mr Blair commanded Britain’s politics for a decade. He also took the nation to war in Iraq.
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Whatever the considered judgment of history – and it will be kinder than the cheap scorn of many of the first drafts – some of the big political lessons of the Blair era are already clear.
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Mr Blair won three elections because he grasped the significance of the change ahead of his opponents.
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Beyond that, the boundaries between left and right are heavily blurred. Mr Blair’s cultural liberalism has been of the left, his authoritarian policy on law and order very much of the right.
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As for the practice of government, the big lesson from the past decade has been the limits of direction from Whitehall. Mr Blair grasped early on that universal, taxpayer-funded public services have a future only in so far as they secure the allegiance of aspirant voters – the legendary middle classes of middle Britain.
It took the prime minister longer to realise that the government could not deliver the high-quality services these voters want by setting a barrage of performance targets. Monolithic structures in health and education pay lip-service to the idea of equity, but in practice they have proved a more faithful ally of mediocrity.
The answer, to which Mr Blair came relatively late, is self-sustaining improvement rooted in local control, pluralism, competition and choice.
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A third lesson lies in the response to globalisation. Britain has remained open to the competitive forces of the world economy, to open trade and investment and to immigration. That has been the right choice. By and large Britain has prospered from it.
But the gains are uneven. The dislocations and inequalities that come with rapid shifts in comparative advantage demand more active welfare policies and a secondary education system that works for the poor as well as the middle classes. The present government is not even halfway there.
We have learnt also that, however much they would like to concentrate on the domestic, today’s political leaders will be increasingly preoccupied with abroad. The interdependence of the modern world is inescapable. Britain, like its European neighbours, cannot escape the consequences of poverty and conflict, failed states and cruel tyrannies elsewhere. Migration, terrorism, cross-border crime and the rest have torn down the boundaries between the foreign and the domestic.
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Interdependence demands alliances. Mr Blair can be criticised for leaning too heavily on Washington or, alternatively, for being too willing to sign up for European integration. After Mr Blair’s wars there is a temptation to think that the time has come to strike a more independent note. But the ambitions of any British prime minister will be realisable only to the extent he or she forges strong partnerships across the Channel and the Atlantic. Think, for example, of energy security or climate change.
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Doubtless there are other lessons to draw from the past 10 years – over the delicate balance, for example, to be struck between the preservation of civil liberties and effective efforts to combat terrorism and, most obviously, about the legitimacy of military intervention overseas. [ .. ] Many of the questions are as yet unanswered. [ .. ]
One of the unfortunate reactions to the Iraq war, I suspect, will be a retreat from humanitarian intervention. [ .. ] Today’s politics is about making the national local and understanding that the international is inseparable from the national.