I’ve listened to this political memoir with a sense of disappointment. Tony Blair was a legendary politician and his legacy – regardless of political views and bias – was one of moderation and economical growth. He must be credited for cutting unemployment, raising educational standards and many other achievements in government.
In 1997 I was exstatic when he won the landslide victory and always maintained, even when his policies differed from mine, that he was , if nothing else, the lesser of two evils, and far less evil than the alternative. I trusted him and want to think that his errors were actions made in good faith.
Yet, listening to his description of the time in office was not always easy, nor was it always convincing, however much I would have liked to see things his way. The book is less about individual policies or a justification of his decisions, but a more personal account, mentioning the in-fighting, behind-the-scenes-events and portrays politics as showmanship and luck in large parts. While some of this washed with me, a lot of it didn’t. Particularly the last few chapters about his feud with Gordon Brown sounded like self-glorification and didn’t make me warm to my former idol.
This comes at the back of me having read Nick Clegg’s “Politics”immediately before, a book which was more specific and detailed regarding actual policies, was far more honest and self-critical and seemed to give a lot of insight into politics. (Review coming up soon).
However, if you want to find out what it feels like to be Prime Minister, how the system ‘works’ and what kind of man Tony Blair portrays himself to be, then it is still worth your time. I’m very glad I read it and I won’t dismiss the politician because of the book. But there was a larger potential in this book than what was offered.
Two and a half Stars out of Five.