With Tony Blair about to step down, Alan Cowell considers the departing PM's most important accomplishments and failures. The former: moving Britain’s poiltical center of gravity away from Margaret Thatcher’s rugged individualism and toward a more compassionate society.
The PM also presided over a prosperous economy and Britain's shift from Europe to the U.S. as its major international partner. But Blair's legacy will be undermined by his failure to reform British education and healthcare. And while he once seemed headed to be one of Britain's greatest PMs, his decision to drawn Britain into the deeply unpopular war in Iraq has left him widely regarded as second rank.