Monday, May 09, 2005

More than just the war

One of the rather irritating things about the media is they way they try to reduce complicated events to just one headline. It is a seductive theory of current events, as it is a seductive theory of history, the One Big Thing. In both realms it is probably one of the best signs that the editors/writers are of inferior quality.

Iraq was not the torpedo that sunk the HMS Tony Blair. Partly because the ship remains resolutely un-sunk, but mostly because outside of a few selected seats Iraq, by itself, was not important. Only when combined with a number of other issues such as concerns of the New Labour's reform of the public services (ie foundation hospitals), crime and order, immigration, student top-up fees, house prices, and fuel prices along with a passel of other stuff, in addition to an 8+ year reputation of being spinner-in-chief and bending to the wind does Iraq at reverberate. People easily forget that Tony Blair was never particularly trusted in the sense of telling the truth. People may well have trusted him to run the country reasonably, and in particularly better than the Tories, but he was always seen as something of an epitome of a politician with a fairly casual relationship with the truth. Iraq is simply the issue that seems to have confirmed this for most people.

There was a reason why a lot of fuss was made about ID Cards, foundation hospitals, and student top-up fees to mention just three of the more contentious issues in the previous Parliament. And I imagine very quickly the headline writers and readers will remember all those other one-dimensional reasons why they dislike Tony Blair.

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