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Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Friday, 10 March 2006

Tony Blair's long goodbye

Tony Blair

Tony Blair is a man with an exit strategy and not much time.

If he is to avoid an unpopular war in Iraq becoming his defining legacy, he must push through an ambitious programme of radical public service reform.

He wants to introduce choice, internal competition and market systems throughout the NHS and education services, and regrets not being more radical sooner.

Since the start of the year, Panorama has filmed behind the scenes at Westminster, as Number 10 aides struggle to strike a balance between Labour Party "core values" and the prime minister's new objectives.

Many Labour MPs are in open revolt over his Education White Paper and, if the prime minister needs Tory support to get it through, it could cripple his authority and speed his own departure.

Nobody expects Mr Blair to leave office as distressed as Mrs Thatcher - but can he achieve a legacy as historic as hers?

Panorama: Tony Blair's Long Goodbye was on BBC One on Sunday 12 March 2006.

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12 Mar 06 |  Panorama

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