Since 1997, Tony Blair has proved himself time and again to be a strong and effective leader of Great Britain. However, as of September 7th of 2006, he has announced his resignation in an appeasement for his un-supportive public and co-counsels. While the specifics of his resignation have not yet been released, it is understood that his departure will occur within the next year. According to a story published by the Associated Press (AP), his resignation came after a subtle uproar in the cabinet. Allegedly, when eight junior officials were given the option to remove their names from a letter that demanded Blair leave office or for them to resign, they chose the latter.
Labour Party officials have commented that while they respect the direction Blair was taking, it was time for his leadership of the party to end.
America can now be left to wonder what will come of their strong alliance with Great Britain in the near future. While Blair himself has become a close colleague of President Bush and his diplomatic decisions, Britain's public has moved in the other direction. Serious public disapproval of Blair's decision to join America in the war in Iraq has been a major driving force in the events that have led up to his departure.
Now, the million dollar question is whether or not his successor will favor public opinion and pull out from the war. The dynamics of Great Britain's relationship with the U.S. will undoubtedly change either way, but how much and how fast can only begin to be speculated when the new prime minister is announced.
On the American side, though, it has been made clear that Blair will continue to offer his knowledge and counsel to the Bush Administration. According to the AP, Tony Snow-- official spokesman for the White House-- has been quoted as saying,
"He's a valued ally... at this point; we're not sitting around writing encomia for Tony Blair. We're instead busy working with him."
Rightfully so, since Blair's support for America could be said to have cost him his position. Furthermore, this poses the question of how well his counsel will be received by the American public, in light of the fact that Bush's own support is in decline.
Regardless of the future and popular opinion, Tony Blair's departure from his position as Prime Minister not only signifies the end of an era, but also leaves a pretty big pair of shoes to fill.