Blair on Globalization

Tony Blair is a dead politician walking after the palace coup staged against him last week. Still, given the furore over the President's not-quite-what-you'd-call-non-partisan remarks of a few days ago, i'm still impressed by the ability of the British PM to properly describe world events. This is from a speech he gave yesterday:

Globalisation is so often debated today that it can just elicit a yawn. 'The world is interdependent' has become a cliche. What isn't cliched, however, is the response to it. For the first time, I can sense building up, here and round the world, a division, not of ideology but of attitude, as to how we deal with the consequences of globalisation. Ten years ago, the response was reasonably clear and adopted by consensus.Yes, globalisation was at one level frightening, in its pace and reach; but the only rational response was to manage it, prepare for it and roll with it.

I don't think there is that consensus today. There is a mindset of fear that is different and deep. People see the burgeoning economic power of China, India and the emerging economies threatening jobs and stability.....What has changed is the interplay between globalisation, immigration and terrorism. Suddenly we feel under threat: physically from this new terrorism that is coming on to our streets; culturally as new waves of migrants change our society; and economically because an open world economy is hastening the sharpness of competition.

A stretch to think he might have managed the world "interplay", but imagine if President Bush had said something like that instead. But he won't. Perhaps the best option would be a Blair-for-Connecticut write-in campaign after all.