Leadership defined: Tony Blair

A wonderful Irwin M. Stelzer piece for The Weekly StandardLabour’s Pain . . . And Blair’s achievement“:

…I have attended every annual conference since Blair took control of the Labour party. I have watched him face down the party’s vocal and powerful left and shed the famous and beloved Clause IV of his party’s constitution, drafted by Sidney Webb in 1918 and pledging “to secure for the workers by hand or by brain . . . the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange.” I have seen him develop and lay out the doctrines of preemption, intervention, and regime change in the case of genocidal regimes, while Bush was still governor of Texas and the neoconservatives mere out-of-power scribblers. And I have seen him leave a trade union conference in mid-session and head directly for the United States after September 11, and then stand with President Bush in a coalition of the willing when France and an anti-American, Saddam-purchased clique paralyzed the United Nations.

And last week I saw him once again defy his party and much of the electorate to reiterate his resolve to stay with us in waging war on terrorism, in the firm belief that helping to spread democracy is what he likes to call “the right thing,” and that the spread of democracy is our ultimate defense against Islamic terrorism.

To be fully appreciated by the reader-of-the-whole-thing.