Jacqui Smith, in an interview with the Guardian, gives her views on Blair.
Has Labour missed Tony Blair?
Of course. Yes, we've missed him individually, and we've missed that ability to communicate.
Would he have dealt with this crisis [MPs expenses] better?
He has a real strength of understanding people's feelings and being able to communicate to people. I think he would have got the zeitgeist about expenses. One of his strengths is he understands how people feel about things, he identifies it quickly and then he's able to take action about it. I think he would have been less good on the substantive issue of the last year - Gordon would have had to do that.
Indeed. Blair and Brown, whatever the difficulties, complemented each other. Brown has these huge weaknesses that he can’t communicate and is not listened to, both of which are essential in the 24/7 media age and the more so on a day such as this.
What Blair had was the ability to communicate and be listened to. Thatcher also had these attributes as do David Cameron and Alan Johnson.
Brown’s lack of communication skills may leave him very exposed if we have reached crisis point in both Afghanistan and with the swine flu epidemic.