Tony Blair’s blues

The downcast former British prime minister— and close friend of the Clintons — fears that their shared brand of centrism may be dead.


Tony Blair isn’t sure the center can hold – hell, he isn’t even certain that centrists like Hillary Clinton or himself have a viable future in Western politics.

“It’s a very open question whether the type of politics I represent really has had its day or not,” said the 63-year-old former Labour prime minister, speaking to me on Monday in his London office for POLITICO’s “Off Message” podcast.

“There were times when I was growing up in politics and when I was prime minister when I had complete confidence in my own ability, just as a professional, to predict the course of politics. The last few years have caused me to question [that],” he added – referring to the rise of hard-left upstarts Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K. and Bernie Sanders in the U.S.

This is not the boyish, optimistic “Bambi” who walked, doe-eyed, into 10 Downing St. 19 years ago – a polished politician whose popularity reached an astounding 93 percent after he anointed the late Diana the “People’s Princess.” The last few years have been trying times for a deft maestro of the middle, a man who dominated British politics from 1997 to 2007 – but crashed after joining in lockstep with George W. Bush to advocate the invasion of Iraq.

The past six months in particular have brought four shocks that undermine Blair’s legacy and agenda: The rise of the crusty Corbyn to the apex of a militantly leftist Labour, a Brexit vote he viewed as a disaster, a scathing Parliamentary commission report that faulted his presentation of unsubstantiated intelligence as a justification attacking Iraq – and the rise of Donald Trump, which he views as a global harbinger of something sinister.

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Amsel (Jungvogel) ~ European Blackbird (juvenile) ~ Turdus merula

Fall is here and I enjoy looking through my pics from this spring: sweet baby Blackbird resting in the yard and waiting for parents to return with food. :-) 

2014 © Jesse Alveo


bird friend by Rachel Kertz
Via Flickr:

European Blackbird (Fledgling) ~ Amsel (Jungvogel) ~ Turdus merula

The latest “addition” to the yard’s wildlife is a giant baby - a European Blackbird fledgling, an only child. :-) His/her father has a constricted foot, anti-bird netting has cost him a toe but he can use his leg again now. :-/

Blackbird chicks hide on the ground mainly and are very prone to predation, so let’s hope the best for the little big spotted guy. :-)

2014 © Jesse Alveo 

Common Blackbird (male) ~ Amsel (Hahn) ~ Turdus merula

I met a Blackbird and he didn’t like it - but before he left, I was able to take this picture. He has spiderwebs on his forehead. :-)

2014 © Jesse Alveo