(London) British Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce within the week his plans to give up chairmanship of the Labour Party and resign from his post as Prime Minister upon the ascendancy of a new chairman as P.M.
Given the hit his popularity and reputation have taken in the past year - ever since his ill-fated gamble to follow President George Bush and the Americans into war in Iraq even though most members of his party and country opposed the move - his resignation is not surprising.
The shocker in all this is Blair's plans to heed the request of Bernie Ecclestone and form a new British Formula 1 racing team with Blair as driver set to begin racing next year. A source close to Blair who asked not to be identified disclosed that Blair felt, "there was no way to catch Schumacher this year and that he would need practice time in the race car that he could not get this season."
His colleagues in the Labour Party are reportedly shocked by his decision to take up racing nothing that his experience is limited to "driving really fast whenever he visited Germany." However, most agreed that Blair's handling of the Iraq war left the Labour Party in a bad way were Blair to stand for re-election. "He'd never win. Never," said one old Labour fellow. "The Tories could throw up one of their halfwit back benchers who promised to pull us out of Iraq and he'd swamp Blair. We'd be like the Tories were after '97 . . . what, 150 seats or something?" He went on to point out that this move would also prove popular in the cabinet because it would clear a spot at the top of the party. Someone will have to replace Tony and someone will have to replace the person who replaced Tony. The blood is in the water."
Reportedly, Mr. Blair's family is pleased with the move as well, having decided that Formula 1 racing is far safer than being PM in today's climate.