Blair 1705623c

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953), originally known as Anthony Blair, but later as Tony Blair, is a British Labour Party politician, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), from 1997 to 2007. From 1983 to 2007, Blair was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield, and from 1994 to 2007, Blair was the Leader of the Labour Party in the House Of Commons. He now runs a consultancy business and performs charitable work.

Links To Peel

While a student at Oxford University in the early 1970s, Blair was part founder of a rock band, Ugly Rumours, in which he played guitar and sang. The name came from a Grateful Dead album cover, and the band at one time featured Mark Ellen, who went on to present BBC TV's Whistle Test. Later, when Blair was asked to suggest an object to represent the twentieth century in an exhibition at the newly-opened National Museum of Scotland, he chose a Fender Stratocaster guitar[1], and was also photographed playing guitar during his time in office.

John Peel's Future Of Radio

John Peel's Future Of Radio

Peel makes a comment on Blair's Labour Party from 6:03 of the video

Peel supported Blair in the 1997 General Election [2], but by 1998 had become disillusioned with the government following Home Secretary Jack Straw's decision not to reopen the inquiry into the deaths of Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. Interviewed at the time by the Independent newspaper, he commented:

"The Government seems to glory in not doing what they said they were going to do. I was jubilant when they were elected, but it's turned to despair." [3]

In addition, the involvement of Blair's government in war with Iraq in 1998 and 2003, in support of America, did not gain Peel's enthusiasm:

"We bombed them, bombed them again and starved them for years... " [4]

In 2003 at an unknown convention, Peel mentioned how he felt he had been betrayed by Labour's policies:

"I speak as a man two elections ago was delirious with joy of a Labour victory and the last six years I feel so utterly betrayed". [5]

Like his Labour Party predecessor as Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Blair tried to cultivate the youth vote in his early years in power, by harnessing the 1990s "Cool Britannia" trend and inviting Britpop artists such as the Gallagher brothers from Oasis to receptions in Downing Street - but this effort was greeted with scepticism from Peel and many others, including the Gallaghers themselves. However, after Peel's death in 2004, Tony Blair paid tribute to the DJ:

"He was a unique voice in British broadcasting and used that voice to unearth new talent and different subjects and make them accessible to a much wider audience." [6]

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