Sep 27, 2006

[World Affairs] Blair's Long Goodbye

Back in high school I was pretty active in the school debating team. It was my time amongst the debaters that I learned to appreciate current events and when I started the habit of keeping up-to-date on all the latest and greatest news around the world. More often than not, I always found foreign news to be more interesting than the worst of our scandals back here. I'm not trying to sound overly third world-ish here - it's juat at times I feel our concerns are so petty compared to the issues being tackled elsewhere.

I've always been a big fan of Tony Blair, mainly because of his wit and ability to truly carry and argument. I think that's something England has managed to keep consistent in their leaders - usually they're pretty powerful speakers that always manage to command the attention of a room and soon manage to gain the respect of many as well.

BBC News: Tony Blair giving his last speech to the Labour Party conference

Yesterday Mr. Blair addressed the Manchester conference for the last time as Prime Minister. Given the recent calls for him to step down, he had previously mentioned his willingness to end his term soon enough. Beyond those vague statement, yesterday's speech marked his "official" exit from the party, although his actually leaving the position of Prime Minister is something that is set to happen at a to-be-determined date within the next few months.

While his actions post-9/11 were not his best, in my opinion, given his choice to play the role of the US government's strongest ally with practically blind loyalty at times, he still managed to make me pause whenever he took to the stage to make known his views. I doubt there will be many individuals who can possibly manage his speaking skills; then again there's no point in even trying. Each leader strikes his own path and leaves his own mark on the political world.

I can only begin to wonder how things will be after his time.

For some of the more notable points from his speech, feel free to visit the BBC news excerpts page by following the link.

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