Re: Blair slowly sinking
Can't resist an invite like that. I'm no expert but it seems to me that he's got one very big problem - he's lost the trust of a large part of the British public and of his own party.
I believe it was Confucius who reckoned three things were needed to govern - weapons, food and trust, and that trust was the one to hold on to until last as 'without trust we cannot stand'.
He's always been accused of spin doctoring but had always been surrounded by the bubble of New Labour invincibility. This is now well and truly bust - the emperor has been seen to have no clothes.
It will take time barring a show stopping event (e.g. an enquiry finding, unanswerable evidence of gross deceit) and this is unlikely without closure on the WMD situation in Iraq - but the slow downward slide will be very hard to stop. He probably needs a major crisis or something along the lines of a covert and current nuclear programme to be found in Iraq. Not just the remains of some weedkiller in eight year old barrels or rusty bits buried years ago in some boffin's garden.
No WMD, proven use of dodgy evidence to justify a war which many had huge misgivings about, a bad situation in Iraq which is not improving, close association with an (over here at least) deeply unpopular Bush administration, the resignations of a number of senior members from his own party who are now actively campaigning against him, the 'Old Labour' rump in the party now routinely voting against the government in parliament, parliamentary enquiries asking hard questions he's splitting hairs on and not answering properly, being forced to bet all on weapons being found to justify his position, his chief adviser only escaping a parliamentary finding that he hyped the case for war by the casting vote of the committee chairman, unheard of open conflict with the highly respected BBC. (as somebody said 'don't pick a fight with a guy who buys his ink by the gallon' A widely held perception that he screwed up the recent government reshuffle. Hung out to dry by a Bush administration which frantic to justify its own increasingly tattered position rejected the British government's claims that Iraq tried to buy nuclear materials in Niger. All overshadowed by signs the UK economy is heading for a difficult patch and maybe worst of all a changed personal demeanour which has him looking more like a rat in a cage and less like a leader every day.
It's by no means a foregone conclusion. The opposition is weak, the government has a lot of power to influence bodies like the BBC and the parliamentary enquiries, the Labour party will in their own selfish interest be slow to destabilise the situation without an election friendly candidate. Not to mention that with the coming launch of the Labour re-election campaign they'll be committed to going for election with his Blairship in the hot seat in another very short while........