Friday, July 21, 2006

Tony Blair celebrates 12 years as Labour leader

Today sees Tony Blair celebrate 12 years as Labour leader and what a great dozen years it has been for the Labour Party. Many people like to bash Tony in the media, along with various blogs both on the left and right, but I have to say that I remain a fan of the Prime Minister and his achievements in office. When he took over in 1994, he had the determination to modernise Labour and make it electable, which was vital if we were to return to power. By abolishing the archaic clause four in 1995, he showed we meant business and were serious about being in government with an agenda that met modern realities.

As someone who did not see a Labour Government elected until 1997, what Tony Blair has done in office is pretty remarkable given that we had been out of office for eighteen years prior to his election. He has led the party to three election victories for the first time ever and all with big majorities, he is the most successful leader of the Labour party ever and that will be a record very difficult for any predecessor to emulate.

In Merton and in my own ward of Pollards Hill, we have massively benefited from having a Labour Government. Without it we would have no regeneration of the area, no neighbourhood policing, no modernisation of the local schools, poorer housing and of course we would not have the low levels of unemployment we have today with initiatives like the New Deal helping many of the long-term unemployed. Our successful management of the economy has meant that many people in the area have been lifted out of poverty and we have benefited from policies like sure start and the minimum wage.

I continue to remain an admirer of his record in government. I have enclosed below some our achievements in Government. In years to come people will come to recognise his achievements as Prime Minister and what he has done to change this country for the better. Below is also archives from the BBC website and a much younger Tony Blair!

Some of Labour's achievements since 1997.
1. The greatest period of sustained prosperity in the last fifty years.
2. Introduced the National Minimum Wage and introduced 4 weeks paid leave for all workers
3. Record levels of literacy and numeracy in schools, all class sizes under 30 for 5,6 and 7 year olds. and funding per pupil will have doubled by 2007-08.
4. Devolved power to the Scottish Parliament and Devolved power to Welsh Assembly, brought back city wide government for London
5. New Deal - helped over a million people into work and unemployment under a million
6 Free entry to all national museums and galleries
7. £200 winter fuel payment to pensioners & extra £100 for over-80s, free travel for over 60's and free TV licences for over 75's
8. Negotiated the historic Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
9. Halved maximum waiting times for NHS operations and spending increased to the European average along with extra doctors, nurses and a the biggest ever re-building programme in the NHS.
10. Cut crime by 35%, record police numbers and increased neighbourhood policing


Blogger A soft socialist said...

Tony is looking a lot greyer these days!!

12:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And after the informal conversatation between Tony and George (caught by the microphones), how can anyone accuse Tony of being George's poodle?

7:25 pm  

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