Saturday, 14 July 2007

Tough at the Top

Despite all the criticism, I was fascinated to watch the televised highlights of the Alastair Campbell Diaries this week.

The struggle to implement the 'Big Vision' when dealing with people who can't see much beyond the end of their own nose, let alone anywhere past tomorrow; the emotional highs and lows of the journey; the determination is takes to keep going in the face of huge adversity; the unfairness and bias of the media, and the constant juggle between career ambition and family demands.

All in all, a bit like building a big business really.

The most amazing part was how Tony Blair managed to put on such a charming and persuasive front throughout, when much of the time his blood must have been boiling.

Although I am a dyed in the wool Tory - and a big Cameron fan - I still have a great respect for Tony Blair. He transformed Labour at a time when they were totally unelectable; yes Iraq was probably a mistake, but it's easy to criticise the decision in hindsight. If Saddam had continued in power and committed a few atrocities we would all be complaining why no one took a stand when they had the chance.

In the way of all great leaders, like Thatcher before him, the faceless talentless ones always eventually turn and kill the goose that laid their golden egg. Does anyone seriously think that Brown would have won the election back in 1997? It was Blair who made it possible for him to take power today.

In politics (as in business) momentum, once created, is a great asset - but it's only possible for the free ride to last for so long. It will be interesting to see how long Brown can ride the wave that Blair created for him.

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