The Tony Blair resignation has obviously got a lot of publicity, and rightly so. I’m no political commentator, so I won’t add to the fray except to say that some of the coverage, especially on message-boards and letters pages, is almost unbelievably vitriolic in its criticism of Mr Blair. Yes, there have been disappointments, and yes, we are in a mire in Iraq – but regardless of political persuasion, it can’t reasonably be argued surely that this man is some kind of selfish criminal? Economic prosperity, social cohesion (relatively speaking) and the fact that he’s managed to keep the lights turned on for ten years unlike a number of his predecessors, are quite some achievement. Not to mention some incredible things like peace in Northern Ireland. The man might not be perfect, but he’s been a dedicated public servant, and I get upset sometimes that people seem so keen to scream criticisms and a lot less keen on rational argument. I for one believed him when he said that he did what he thought was right. I think the country would be happier if people and especially the newspapers took him and others at their word when they say that.
Last night was our Council Group Annual General Meeting, where the Lib Dems on the council meet to decide who will sit on various scrutiny groups and other committees, as well as other things. Once everything is ratified at Annual Council next week I can start to think about the committees I’m on and the things I hope to achieve on them. At the moment we are in this strange period between elections and Annual Council when nothing is finalised and no work can be done – so I won’t know for sure what I’m going to be doing until the middle of next week, even if I have a fair idea about which committees I’d like to be on and the once I’d be best at. But last night it was great to see the (newly expanded) Lib Dem council group together having constructive conversations about the future of the party and what we all want to get out of the next year for Prestwich.