14 September 2010

Tony Blair can still deliver - even when it's only a platitude!

When it comes to timing, you really couldn't make it up.

In the wake of the "down with Blair" chorus that's greeted his memoirs in the UK, and with the Labour party poised to dump him and all his wares into the dustbin of history, up he pops on the other side of the Atlantic to receive the Liberty Medal for his role in the Northern Ireland and Middle East peace processes.

Cue much scorn and derision, no doubt, from voters in the Labour leadership contest.

Cue more scorn and derision from the same quarters as Bill describes him as a "wonderful world citizen".

Cue yet more of the same from the same at the (dubious) platitude he goes on to produce.

But like it or not, these two can still deliver - even from scripts that are a bit thin on content - and they still make all the contestants for the Labour Leadership look like amateurs in a student debating society.

2 comments:

TJ said...

Max, I think Blair is the finest well-known speaker in the world today. Is there anyone in the English-speaking world you would rank higher?

Max Atkinson said...

If American-English counts, Barack Obama is ahead of Blair. One speech - at the DNC in 2004 - brought him from nowhere to the Senate to the presidency. Last president to do that was the great communicator, Ronald Reagan, who went from one powerful speech in support of Barry Goldwater's campaign for the top job to Governor of California to president (somewhat slower progress than Obama).

And, though still falling short of Blair, David Cameron shouldn't be underestimated. Again, one speech - at the Tory Party leadership beauty parade - launched him from nowhere to leader to Prime Minister.

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