Id have to say the only significant improvement under the Blair governmen has to be schools, which I for one take my hat off to Blair, he certainly got it right with schools. He's done a stirling job, its just a shame he couldnt do it with further education as well, University fee's are crippling for a LOT of people and should never have been introduced imho.
Tax credits have helped some familys, but hindered other. Problems with tax credit payments have left families owing the government thousands and a lot having to sell their homes to save them.
With regards to homes, I see the interest rate has risen again today by .25%, I predeicted in another thread not so long ago that another interest way was on its way and it came lol. How exactly they can say the economy is stable I dont know, okay I agree, people do have a much better standard of living, but this is solely because of consumer credit getting completely out of hand.
How many of these people who have a normal wage and family and drive flashy brand new cars every couple of years actually "own" their cars? How many people will be able to continue to pay their mortgage when the BOE interest rates rise by another 0.75%??
The standard of living argument being put across by the media is a joke, its all built upon a falsified economy that is made to look strong, when in reality, its as weak as it was in the mid 80's.
The ban on fox hunting is an absolute joke - I support it, but its simply not enforced well enough. The good friday agreement was monumental step in the NI peace process, but we have to say that a lot of the foundations for the agreement were actually laid by Clinton rather then Blair. Still he has to recieve some credit for it nevertheless.
Waiting lists have been cut, but then so has the overall quality of the NHS. Superbugs are rife, lack of care is escalating, especially for the elderly, nurses are simply not paid enough and have too many restrictions, thousands of nurses have been made redundant in Blairs time in office, and your chances of getting seen by a Paramedic when an ambulance attends an emergency are only just over 50% now (EMT's are now sent to provide a rapid response, to meet government targets for response times, even though an EMT is not allowed to do many procesdures that a paramedic can, which can be crucial to save a persons life - and people have died as a result).
So either Mark is Blairs left hand man, or he simply hasnt thought about the actual facts in his decision not to agree. As you have said Joe, you are a Labour supporter yourself (albeit you would rather it was old Labour), yet you and the majority of Labour supporters, and even many senior party members have become very disillusioned with the way Blair has run the country during his time in office.
Im a Tory, but at the end of the day when Labour came in, there was a feeling for everyone of a great oppurtunity to build a country to be proud of. Major did excellent to rebuild the crippled economy of 1992 when we were even kicked out of the EEC, Tony Blair himself applauded Major's efforts and admitted the Tory government left the country in a vastly better overall state then they had expected. It was something for Labour to build upon, I look at Blairs leadership today as an oppurtunity missed. The only reason imho he got in in the last general election was because from Major leaving in 1997 to Cameron getting voted in, the Tories have been an absolute un-unified shambles, Howard did well to try and rebuild party morale and unity but didnt have enough time, and the only person people could vote in was Blair.
Imo, Blair is getting out whilst he can, I think he realises Labour would not win another election under his leadership, the country dont trust him, but worst of all, his own party dont trust or agree with him anymore. The final nail in the coffin for me was the near defeat of the foundation hospitals bill.