LONDON — Tony Blair has a powerful claim to being one of the most successful British politicians of any recent generation, at least in domestic economic and social policy. But history will remember him mainly for his strategic error in going to war in Iraq.
During his 10 years in power, Blair and his chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, gave Britain one of the longest periods of economic stability, relatively high growth and low unemployment that it had ever known. In this respect, Blair’s premiership marked a fundamental break with the Labor Party’s tax-and-spend tradition. It also established a new tradition of stability in economic policy, continuing and reinforcing the previous Conservative government’s commitment to fiscal discipline and low inflation. Stable economic policy and rapid growth, in turn, enabled Blair’s government to pour extra money into education and the National Health Service.
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