So, Tony Blair has delivered his final Queen's Speech. Is now the time to assess his legacy? It seems strange that he may well be remembered solely (or at least mainly) for the Iraq War. After all, he obviously had so many New Labour plans for change when he came to power on that real wave of optimism in 1997. Sometimes I feel almost sorry for him that they have been swallowed up by the disaster of Iraq.
When I was at university, we discussed Thatcherism and people had an idea of what that word meant, whether they agreed with it or not. I'm not sure if Blairism is more than just a word. It doesn't seem to have a real ideology behind it, but maybe that's because Blair hasn't managed to do all he wanted - even though he's had a pretty good run (a decade next year - almost as long as Thatcher). Perhaps expectations were set too high in 1997?
Yes, it's true that Blair was responsible for devolution, but that doesn't exactly seem to have worked as planned. His other great promises, on education and the NHS, are yet to be fulfilled. It's astonishing that this government has pumped so much money into different areas, but that the results are still unsatisfying. Today the Queen's speech has talked about crime, immigration and climate change. There's obviously still an awful lot to do, but will Blair be able to leave behind the legacy he wants or will Gordon Brown, and perhaps even David Cameron, transform the political agenda?