Sunday, February 04, 2007

Blair wants history to judge him, but the police are first in line

"Cash for peerages is emblematic of a governing style that has always seemed unfit for purpose. A patronage state dominated by Downing Street can no longer bear the required weight of public confidence. Cabinet government has collapsed, as ministers campaign against each other’s policies (as on hospitals) or discard responsibility for the doings of their predecessors (as at the Home Office). When critics charge British government with being presidential they misunderstand the word. Presidencies have checks and balances. Britain under Blair has been not presidential but courtly, a place of jesters, spinners, flattery, feuds and favouritism. Above all it has revolved round patronage, whose abuse may be its downfall." —Simon Jenkins

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