At the end of Tony Blair's term, a new political campaign is launched. He is opposed to William Hague, member of the Conservative Party. In a period when Ireland still faces separatism after numerous bloody episodes, in a world more and more subject to globalisation and four years after the previous election, he has to face new issues and to renew his program.
We can then wonderwhat was Tony Blair's aim beside the election when delivering this speech and which devices he uses.
In this extract entitled “Britishness”, Tony Blair insists on several points : first, he states about the present situation of the country and the issues it has to face; then, he sums up past deeds, whether good or bad, in order to finally conclude about his propositions for the term to come.The England of 2000 is no more the country Tony Blair has known four years ago. Northern Ireland has launched a peace process since 1994, renewed in 1996, and has faced many confrontations. The outside world has changes too : the growing globalisation, the economic and social changes has profoundly shaped up a new area. Two difficulties are to be dealt with : how to find a place for United Kingdomin the world and how to face the consequences of globalisation on a domestic scene.
From the beginning of his speech, he seems to allude to the Northern Ireland's situation. Actually, confrontations have been numerous through the past decade. He affirms that “Britain is stronger together, than separated apart” (l.1) and repeat it with “United Kingdom” (l.23). We can wonder if he does not alsorefer to the devolution for Scotland and Wales : indeed, since 1997, both have acquired the right to constitute their own Parliament thanks to him. What Tony Blair states is that the United Kingdom is not that united at that point, especially for the Northern Ireland.
On on domestic scene, Blair measures the consequences of globalisation that even “question systems constructed around the nationstate” (l.48). Not only leading to relocations of great industries, loss of employment for the English people and massive population movements, the globalisation has an effect on the people's culture : indeed, globalisation be close to uniformity. The country is now linked by “communication technologies” (l. 45) to the whole world, the internet especially. This a time of “personal liberation andopportunities of self-fulfilment” (l.50).
On an international scene, the creation of Europe and the place United Kingdom has in the world has evolved. By refusing to adopt the euro as its money, the country as well shown its will to keep a certain independence toward the European Union. The “international order” (l.47) has changed. Indeed, the country has to regain its place of major force in theworld and strengthen their view about “defence, foreign policy, economic weight” (l.69).
Blair's statement about the present situation is quite clear : United Kingdom is divided and has to face the globalisation of a “modern world” (l.14,64). We can't feel anything alarming in his tone, but the facts he presents have a certain importance for the future ruling of the nation. He does not really seemsto believe in the United Kingdom strength to confront the ground swell that figures globalisation.
Leading to the present situation, the past events are also summed up by Tony Blair. He first criticise the post war consensus, also referred as Butskellism, in its short-term vision. Then, he also makes allusions to Thatcher's term and to weak position of the Conservatives. To finish with, heexplains the past positive actions of the Labour on power, that is to say his own term.
He argues that the post war period has failed to “generate a clear sense of national purpose” (l. 31) and has only considered the issues in a “short-termism” (l.36) approach. That is to say that England has failed to resume the reconstruction of the country on a long term basis by uniting the people around...
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