Blair clings to power, forced to yield

[Updated] This has been building for a while, and it is difficult to say how much is due to British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s servile stance towards the Americans, in which he has emulated several of his predecessors. Some of it surely is that he’s held office for a long time; recent criticism has focused on the possibility of his repeating “Margaret Thatcher’s mistake” by trying to stay in office too long. But joining the Americans in a war in Iraq based on lies and failing to adequately condemn Israel for its recent failed invasion of Lebanon have clearly not helped.

In the wake of “an all-out power struggle,” the BBC reports that Blair has announced he will step down by September 2007. The statement may “not be enough to quell dissent.”

Likely successor Gordon Brown “is understood to have demanded that Mr Blair quit by Christmas, with an effective joint premiership until a new leader is anointed by the party” and “that Mr Blair personally announce a timetable under which a new Labour leader would be in place before next May’s elections to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and English local authorities.” Some have called for him to step down now.

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