Anthony ‘Tony’ Charles Lynton Blair, born in Edinburgh 1953, is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the UK from 1997-2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994-2007. He remains the last British Labour Party leader to have won a general election, winning a landslide victory in 1997 and, aged 43, was the youngest Prime Minister since 1812. The Labour Party went on to win two more general elections under his leadership.
Tony visited Ruskin in 1996 and gave his ‘The Agenda for a Generation’ speech, marking the anniversary of Jim Callahan’s ‘The Great Debate’ speech 20 years earlier. He emphasised that education would be a priority for him in government, focusing on standards, especially the basics of literacy and numeracy in all schools, improving educational experience and raising the standards of achievement.
He said “Ruskin College reminds us that education is about opening minds not just to knowledge, but to insight, beauty, and inspiration… Ruskin provides top-class education for people with top-class minds, but no qualifications… teaching them about themselves, and helping them change direction”