Tony Blair said today: “This is probably the most successful Chancellor, Gordon Brown, that the country has had for 100 years.”
Which raises the question: why is Mr Blair such a huge admirer of Austen Chamberlain?
This is not the first time Mr Blair has paid tribute to the Conservative government of 1895-1905. In his Sedgefield adoption speech back in 2001 (no longer webbed it seems), he said he was “seeking for the first time in a century of British politics to marry together a well-run economy and a just and fair society.” The inference being that this feat had been achieved 100 years ago – until it was ruined by the Liberal government that laid the foundations of the modern welfare state.
Maybe we’ve all got Tony Blair wrong. He’s not a Thatcherite. He’s a Salisburyite.
Well, the alternative interpretation – that he’s just pig-ignorant of history – isn’t very plausible, is it?