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Blair’s missed chance

Reviewing the extraordinary career of Lord Blair, Roy Denman finds the roots of his failure in the decision-taken just after the triumph of May 1997-to postpone early entry into Emu

By Roy Denman   February 1998

Lord Blair celebrated his 70th birthday last month. So this is a timely survey of one of the most charismatic and eloquent politicians that 21st century Britain has so far produced. Blair remade his party. In doing so, he walked off with the clothes of the Conservatives, scored the greatest electoral victory in British history, but was finally brought down, like his two predecessors, over Europe.

The biography passes quickly over the early years. Tony Blair had a conventional upper middle class, public school and Oxford education; he showed himself intelligent and personable but not academically brilliant. He became a…

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