Presentation on theme: "ANTHONY CHARLES LYNTON BLAIR. PRIME MINISTER Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953Edinburgh) is a British Labor Party politician who served."— Presentation transcript:
PRIME MINISTER Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953Edinburgh) is a British Labor Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. The former leader of the British Labor Party, the 73rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997 to 2007).
The record holder of the British Labor Party on the length of stay at the head of the party. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedge field from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labor Party from 1994 to 2007. Blair led Labor to a landslide victory in the 1997 general election, winning 418 seats, the most the party has ever held. The party went on to win two more elections under his leadership, in 2001 and 2005, with a significantly reduced majority in the latter
ANTHONY CHARLES LYNTON BLAIR Blair was elected Labor Party leader in the leadership election of July 1994, following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith. Under his leadership, the party used the phrase "New Labor" to distance it from previous Labor policies. Blair declared opposition to the traditional conception of socialism, and declared support for a new conception that he referred to as "social-ism", involving politics that recognized individuals as socially interdependent, and advocated social justice, cohesion, equal worth of each citizen, and equal opportunity. He was succeeded as Leader of the Labor Party on 24 June 2007 and as Prime Minister on 27 June 2007 by Gordon Brown. On the day he resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East. In May 2008, Blair launched his Tony Blair Faith Foundation. This was followed in July 2009 by the launching of the Faith and Globalization Initiative with Yale University in the US, Durham University in the UK and the National University of Singapore in Asia to deliver a postgraduate programme in partnership with the Foundation. Foreign policy: Blair forged friendships with several conservative European leaders, including Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, Angela Merkel of Germany and more recently Nicolas Sarkozy of France.
Blair became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 2 May 1997, serving concurrently as First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Labor Party. The 43-year old Blair became the youngest person to become Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool became Prime Minister at the age of 42 in 1812. With victories in 1997, 2001, and 2005, Blair was the Labor Party's longest-serving prime minister, the only person to lead the party to three consecutive general election victories. In the first years of the New Labor government, Blair's government implemented a number of 1997 manifesto pledges, introducing the National Minimum Wage Act, Human Rights Act and Freedom of Information Act, and carrying out devolution, establishing the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Blair's role as Prime Minister was particularly visible in foreign and security policy, including in Northern Ireland, where he was involved in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. From the start of the War on Terror in 2001, Blair strongly supported the foreign policy of US President George W. Bush, notably by participating in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 2003 invasion of Iraq. Blair is the Labor Party's longest-serving Prime Minister, the only person to have led the Labor Party to more than two consecutive general election victories, and the only Labor Prime Minister to serve consecutive terms more than one of which was at least four years long.
EARLY LIFE Blair was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 6 May 1953, the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair (née Corscadden). Leo Blair, the illegitimate son of two English actors, had been adopted as a baby by Glasgow shipyard worker James Blair and his wife, Mary. Hazel Corscadden was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman who moved to Glasgow in 1916 but returned to (and later died in) Ballyshannon in 1923, where his wife, Sarah Margaret (née Lipsett), gave birth to Blair's mother, Hazel, above her family's grocery shop. Blair has one elder brother, Sir William Blair, a High Court judge, and a younger sister, Sarah. Blair spent the first 19 months of his life at the family home in Paisley Terrace in the Willow brae area of Edinburgh. During this period, his father worked as a junior tax inspector whilst also studying for a law degree from the University of Edinburgh. In the 1950s, his family spent three and a half years in Adelaide, Australia, where his father was a lecturer in law at the University of Adelaide. The Blair’s lived close to the university, in the suburb of Dulwich. The family returned to the UK in the late 1950s, living for a time with Hazel Blair's stepfather, William McClay, and her mother at their home in Stepps, near Glasgow. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Durham, England, where his father Leo lectured at Durham University.
EDUCATION After attending The Chorister School in Durham from 1961 to 1966, Blair boarded at Fettes College, a prestigious independent school in Edinburgh, during which time he met Charlie Falconer (a pupil at the rival Edinburgh Academy), whom he later appointed Lord Chancellor. While studying at the school classmate of the future prime minister was the actor Rowan Atkinson
After Fettes, Blair spent a year in London, where he attempted to find fame as a rock music promoter before reading jurisprudence at St John's College, Oxford. As a student, he played guitar and sang in a rock band called Ugly Rumours
He was influenced by fellow student and Anglican priest Peter Thomson, who awakened within Blair a deep concern for religious faith and left-wing politics. While Blair was at Oxford, his mother Hazel died of cancer, which greatly affected him. After graduating from Oxford in 1975 with a Second-Class Honors B.A. in Jurisprudence, Blair became a member of Lincoln's Inn, enrolled as a pupil barrister, and met his future wife, Cherie Booth (daughter of the actor Tony Booth) at the law chambers founded by Derry Irvine (who was to be Blair's first Lord Chancellor), 11 King's Bench Walk Chambers.
PERSONAL LIFE FAMILY, RELIGIOUS FAITH Blair married Cherie Booth, a Roman Catholic and future Queen's Counsel, on 29 March 1980. They have four children: Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn, and Leo. Leo, delivered by the Royal Surgeon/Gynecologist Marcus Setchell, was the first legitimate child born to a serving Prime Minister in over 150 years—since Francis Russell was born to Lord John Russell on 11 July 1849. Blair was criticized when it was discovered that one child had received private tuition from staff at Westminster School. All four children have Irish passports, by virtue of Blair's mother, Hazel Elizabeth Rosaleen Corscaden (1923-1975). The family's primary residence is in Connaught Square Religious faith. Blair has the Christian faith. Blair often read the Bible before taking any important decisions. He says that "I was brought up as [a Christian], but I was not in any real sense a practising one until I went to Oxford. There was an Australian priest at the same college as me who got me interested again.
CHARITY On 14 November 2007, Blair launched the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which aims to "increase childhood participation in sports activities, especially in the North East of England, where a larger proportion of children are socially excluded, and to promote overall health and prevent childhood obesity." On 30 May 2008, Blair launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation as a vehicle for encouraging different faiths to join together in promoting respect and understanding, as well as working to tackle poverty. "The Foundation will use its profile and resources to encourage people of faith to work together more closely to tackle global poverty and conflict," says its mission statement. Blair has established Tony Blair Associates to "allow him to provide, in partnership with others, strategic advice on a commercial and pro bono [free] basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform".The profits from the firm go towards supporting Blair's "work on faith, Africa and climate change". In February 2009, he applied to set up a charity called the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative: the application was approved in November 2009.
EARLY POLITICAL CAREER Blair joined the Labor Party shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975. During the early 1980s, he was involved in Labor politics in Hackney South and Shoreditch, where he aligned himself with the "soft left" of the party. In 1982 Blair was selected as the Labor candidate in the safe Conservative seat of Beaconsfield, where there was a forthcoming by- election. Although Blair lost the Beaconsfield by-election (the only election he lost in his 25-year political career) and he lost 10% of the vote, he acquired a profile within the party. In contrast to his later centrism, Blair made it clear in a letter he wrote to Labor leader Michael Foot in July 1982 that he had "come to Socialism through Marxism" and considered himself on the left. The letter was eventually published in June 2006. In 1983, Blair found the newly created constituency of Sedge field, a notionally safe Labor seat near where he had grown up in Durham. The branch had not made a nomination, and Blair visited them. Several sitting MPs displaced by boundary changes were interested in securing selection to fight the seat. With the crucial support of John Burton, Blair won their endorsement; at the last minute, he was added to the short list and won the selection over Les Huckfield. Burton later became Blair's election agent and one of his most trusted and longest-standing allies. Blair's election literature in the 1983 UK general election endorsed left-wing policies that Labor advocated in the early 1980s. He called for Britain to leave the EEC, though he had told his selection conference that he personally favoured continuing membership. He also supported unilateral nuclear disarmament as a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Blair was helped on the campaign trail by soap opera actress Pat Phoenix, his father-in-law's girlfriend. Blair was elected as MP for Sedge field despite the party's landslide defeat in the general election. In his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 6 July 1983, Blair stated, "I am a socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for cooperation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality." The Labor Party is declared in its constitution to be a democratic socialist party rather than a social democratic party; Blair himself organized this declaration of Labor to be a socialist party when he dealt with the change to the party's Clause IV in their constitution. Once elected, Blair's political ascent was rapid. He received his first front-bench appointment in 1984 as assistant Treasury spokesman. In May 1985, he appeared on BBC's Question Time, arguing that the Conservative Government's Public Order White Paper was a threat to civil liberties. Blair demanded an inquiry into the Bank of England's decision to rescue the collapsed Johnson Matthey Bank in October 1985 and embarrassed the government by finding an EEC report critical of British economic policy that had been countersigned by a member of the Conservative government. By this time, Blair was aligned with the reforming tendencies in the party (headed by leader Neil Kinnock) and was promoted after the 1987 election to the shadow Trade and Industry team as spokesman on the City of London. In 1987, he stood for election to the Shadow Cabinet, receiving 71 votes. When Kinnock resigned after a Conservative landslide in the 1992 election, Blair became Shadow Home Secretary under John Smith.
EVENTS BEFORE RESIGNATION As the casualties of the Iraq War mounted, Blair was accused of misleading Parliament, and his popularity dropped dramatically. Labor party's overall majority in the 2005 general election was reduced to 66. As a combined result of the Blair-Brown pact, Iraq war and low approval ratings, pressure built up within the Labor party for Blair to resign. On 7 September 2006, Blair publicly stated he would step down as party leader by the time of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference held 10–13 September 2007, having promised to serve a full term during the previous general election campaign. On 10 May 2007, during a speech at the Trim don Labor Club; Blair announced his intention to resign as Labor Party leader and Prime Minister.
At a special party conference in Manchester on 24 June 2007, he formally handed over the leadership of the Labor Party to Gordon Brown, who had been Chancellor of the Exchequer. Blair tendered his resignation on 27 June 2007 and Brown assumed office the same afternoon. Blair also resigned his seat in the House of Commons in the traditional form of accepting the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, to which he was appointed by Gordon Brown in one of the latter's last acts as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The resulting Sedge field by-election was won by Labors’ candidate, Phil Wilson. Blair decided not to issue a list of Resignation Honors, making him the first Prime Minister of the modern era not to do so.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton, Blair formed a strong political alliance with George W. Bush, particularly in the area of foreign policy. Bush lauded Blair and the UK. The alliance between Bush and Blair seriously damaged Blair's standing in the eyes of many British people. Blair argued it is in Britain's interest to "protect and strengthen the bond" with the United States regardless of who is in the White House. However, a perception of one-sided compromising personal and political closeness led to serious discussion.
POST-PRIME MINISTERIAL CAREER DIPLOMACY On 27 June 2007, Blair officially resigned as Prime Minister after ten years in office, and he was officially confirmed as Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia. Blair originally indicated that he would retain his parliamentary seat after his resignation as Prime Minister came into effect; however, on being confirmed for the Middle East role he resigned from the Commons by taking up an office of profit. President George W. Bush had preliminary talks with Blair to ask him to take up the envoy role. White House sources stated that "both Israel and the Palestinians had signed up to the proposal». In May 2008, Blair announced a new plan for peace and for Palestinian rights, based heavily on the ideas of the Peace Valley plan.