Tony Blair [Image: WPA Pool/Getty Images].

Tony Blair [Image: WPA Pool/Getty Images].

Labour’s right wing must have come to a pretty pass if matters are so bad that Tony Blair is considering a return to mainstream politics.

Is his Messiah complex so huge that he thinks his Second Coming will consign Jeremy Corbyn to backbench hell for the rest of his career? If so, he is clearly deluded.

And he’s trying to delude the rest of us, too.

Look at his claims – he wants to find a role that will help Labour become electable. Firstly, Labour isn’t unelectable – only yesterday (Thursday), the party retained a council seat with a vote share increase of more than 12 per cent.

Secondly, the best part he could play in improving electability is a passive one. Nobody in their right mind wants him to come back.

He says he wants to reclaim the centre ground of British politics – but he never occupied it. Under him, Labour became a strongly right-wing party.

A centrist party would be Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, with its plan for a mixed economy that offers the best deals for everyone, not just the extremely rich.

Apart from that it’s the same old claptrap about being a party of protest as opposed to a party of government, which is a false dichotomy; Corbyn’s Labour isn’t a party of protest and Blair’s claim that this is a far-left trait is meaningless in that context.

And Blair reckons Mr Corbyn’s policies would drag the UK back to the 1960s? In case he didn’t notice, the 1960s weren’t such a bad time. The UK had just come out of austerity and was enjoying a period of unparalleled creativity, we still had a manufacturing industry, and the economic model set up by the Attlee government in the 1940s was still providing growth and paying off our war debts.

It wasn’t until the oil shocks of the 1970s that we really began to experience economic woes (I may be grossly overgeneralising but the broad strokes are accurate).

When I was a child, I lived in a country with minimal unemployment and good jobs, a working welfare state for those who needed it, and public services that worked.

But, as a member of a relatively poor family, I grew up into a nightmare of unemployment, privatisation and deprivation, and Blair only exacerbated these problems.

The best role he can play in the future of politics is silent.

Tony Blair has refused to rule out a return to British politics in an interview in which he predicts that the centre ground will rise again in the Labour party.

The former prime minister said he is still trying to find a political role which will help the party to become electable.

In an interview with Esquire magazine, he said the centre of British politics will rise again and he does not rule out a role in that rise.

“I don’t know if there’s a role for me,” he said. “There’s a limit to what I want to say about my own position at this moment. All I can say is that this is where politics is at. Do I feel strongly about it? Yes, I do. Am I very motivated by that? Yes. Where do I go from here? What exactly do I do? That’s an open question.

“There’s been a huge reaction against the politics I represent. But I think it’s too soon to say the centre has been defeated. Ultimately I don’t think it will. I think it will succeed again. The centre ground is in retreat. This is our challenge. We’ve got to rise to that challenge.”

Source: Tony Blair says his return to British politics is ‘an open question’ | Politics | The Guardian


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