Les longs adieux de Tony Blair

Début 1999, Paddy Ashdown, qui dirigeait à l’époque le Parti démocrate libéral britannique (et est depuis devenu Lord Ashdown, représentant spécial de l’Union européenne en Bosnie), fut surpris avec une femme autre que la sienne et contraint à quitter son poste. Dans son journal, il indique avoir rendu visite au Premier Ministre Tony Blair pour lui faire part de son intention de démissionner :

« Selon Blair : « Partir est ce qu’il y a de plus difficile à faire en politique. Nombreux sont ceux qui restent bien trop longtemps dans l’arène politique. Je préférerais arrêter au moment où les gens se demanderont : « pourquoi part-il ? », plutôt que lorsqu’ils diront « pourquoi reste-t-il ? », ou bien pire : « quand va-t-il partir ? ». Pour ma part, j’espère être capable d’agir au mieux ». »

Nous voilà avec un mystère sur les bras. Comment expliquer que l’homme politique le plus adroit et le plus compétent du Royaume-Uni, qui sait exactement depuis des années ce qu’il ne doit pas faire lorsqu’il s’agit de son départ, a pourtant choisi de faire fi de ses propres conseils ?

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