Doubtless those who have been filling Guardian space with calls on Tony Blair to pack up his three election victories and walk off into the sunset would describe themselves as democrats. It is therefore worth reminding this lengthy list of commentators, thinktankers, former advisers and self-proclaimed experts on the political pulse of an important democratic fact: a few months ago the country held a general election. Tony Blair made clear it was his last. He said he would, if elected, serve a full term. He made clear he saw Gordon Brown as his successor, as do most people in the party. Tony and Gordon spent much of the election campaigning together, which helped to underline the point.Meanwhile, Tony Parkinson looks unfavourably on the situation of Australian Labor, as measured against the party led by Tony Blair:
Labour won, its majority smaller than in the first two elections, but big enough to get through the programme of change set out in the manifesto.
So the contract between party and people was clear. In the often near-hysterical media bubble that party conferences become, I think some deluded souls honestly believed Tony was going to signal his imminent departure.
The contrast with the identity crisis of the ALP could not be more pronounced.