Is Tony Blair, who by clinging to power until 2009, as the tabloid News of the World now says he will, might just cost his party the next election. Under Gordon Brown, now chancellor of the exchequer and Labour heir presumptive, the party could expect to coast to victory. It's certainly hard to see David Cameron, the Conservatives' Blair Lite, leading his party back to power — unless Blair ("Worse Than Bush," as Geoffrey Wheatcroft says) lingers on.
Peregrine Worsthorne offers his own vote of no-confidence in Cameron. He writes on the First Post website:
As a result of the Thatcherite revolution, men and women with the necessary qualities – trustworthiness, truthfulness, courage and loyalty – to run that kind of paternalist show no longer exist; have been bred out of the system. At least Mr Blair, the hollow man incarnate, reflects that reality to perfection, while Mr Cameron – shades of Benjamin Disraeli – rings both false and out of date.
Ironically, then, if Blair did cost Brown the election, the new Prime Minister — assuming Cameron survives that long — would be a watery Tory Blairite. A miniature poodle, you might say.