|Meeting of the NATO-Russia Council|
Paul Morse / Public domain
For Africa, however, there may be a silver lining in Blair’s gradual demise. If I am correct and Blair worries not only about his current reputation but how history will write about him, he will have to do something spectacular before he leaves office to set the record straight. In that regard, he will have his eye keenly on his forthcoming role as chair of the G8. In a perverse way, coupled with growing pressure from campaigns such as Make Poverty History, perhaps he will choose the current context to make a move on African debt relief. Not only will this balance his blunders in Iraq and increase his international standing, at least in his mind, he will also steal the thunder from Brown, who has championed the Africa debt issue. So, as Blair scrambles to save his tarnished image, now is the time for antidebt campaigners to turn up the heat. Who knows, for some of the wrong reasons (and hopefully some right ones too), maybe Blair is ready to agree to sweeping debt relief following the G8 Summit in July. Like Blair’s election, the quality of such a victory may not be entirely satisfying for antidebt campaigners, but this will be of little concern if its impact makes a real difference in Africa.
This article by Brandon Hamber was published on Polity and in the Engineering News on 27 May 2005 as part of the column "Look South". Copyright Brandon Hamber.