All the News of the World The Sunday papers assess the performance of Blair's Government
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The Independent Culture
IT HAS been staggering over recent weeks to see fair-weather friends stick the boot into the Government at the first hint of any difficulties. Let's not forget that this is arguably the best government this country has seen in 50 years. Most of all, this is a Government with a huge majority and a clear agenda it can and will see through. And despite the blows it has suffered in the past few weeks, Tony Blair is still on course.

Sunday People

TONY BLAIR lists the targets his Government is determined to meet and acknowledges that there is a long way to go before he gets there. With colossal understatement, he admits that there are real problems in the NHS this winter, partly due to the previous administration.

But the truth of the matter is that in a little over three months' time, New Labour will have been in office for two whole years. It's time to stop blaming the Tories for their failures. And deliver the goods.

News of the World

FRANK DOBSON, the Health Secretary, who spoke confidently in November of the NHS facing the winter with confidence, now admits there is a crisis, as Mr Blair saw for himself in an unexpected visit to a London hospital last week. He put a brave face on the situation he found there when he spoke to the House of Commons next day but acknowledged the severity of the problems, primarily the shortage of nurses. His explanation that the ailments which afflict the health service are the fault of the Conservatives running the NHS down during their 18 years in power shows the stress he is beginning to feel as election slogans are tested by the realities of power.

The Sunday Times

IT IS increasingly clear that the Government wants to campaign openly for entry into the single currency. For months before the last general election, Tony Blair poured scorn on to John Major for being weak and indecisive.

It is now Mr Blair's turn in the hot seat. If he really wants to take us into the single currency, then he should have the courage to come out and tell us straight.

The Express on Sunday