Blair bids to torpedo Corbyn – but will it backfire?

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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25 thoughts on “Blair bids to torpedo Corbyn – but will it backfire?

  1. Dai

    The Lib Dems were always preaching they were in the center ground, if its so good why did they lose 50 seats.

    The more the Tories lurch right, it makes corbyn s sensible policies look attractive.

  2. Michael Broadhurst

    if Blair wants to get back into politics he should join the Tory party,which is what he is.his style of centre Labour lost the last two general elections.

  3. Martyn Wood-Bevan

    UK growth Pre-Thatcher was twice what it is Post-Thatcher. A return to the 60’s would benefit most people. Blair does not know the difference between “Right-Wing” and “Centrist”. Corbyn is clearly “Centrist” as you imply above, but Blair always wants to call him “Ultra -Left”. Use that term and you will put some people off voting, but I imagine he knows that.

    1. Chaz Wyman

      I agree with this. There are few policies of JC that could really be called ‘hard left” as they so often are. The media has gone so far to the right, that they no longer recognise the middle what he hits them in the face like a wet haddock.

  4. Roy Beiley

    Blair may not yet be back but his super hubris precedes him. “I don’t know what role I will play yet”.We know what role he is playing already. Funding the Blunkett group who STILL believe that by somehow junking JC the New Labour project can be re-railed and become the HS2 of modern politics. As if. 1997 will never be repeated.
    Twenty years of growing inequality can not be reversed by trying the same trick twice.

      1. Zippi

        Aye, he lost his seat, appears as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing and expects to be taken seriously as a politician? How many elections did you win?

  5. Dez

    God, why does he not just sod off and spend the rest of his life counting his and his missus cash…we’ve seen his lifes best shot and it was crap …. he is a total lost cause..

  6. Roland

    Tony Blair should be kicked out of the Labour Party and never be allowed back in the man is toxic a lier a cheat and word that I can’t put her

  7. Rob Ross

    The return of the anti-christ is more like it. One of the international unholy trinity responsible for dismembering socialism, along with Gorbachev and Spain’s Gonzalez. Nauseating news

  8. Barry Davies

    His view of what was centre ground ultimately proved a disaster for Britain, he cleared off and left Brown to take the rap for it. His return, and I presume he considers himself to be the automatic leader of the labour party, would be a disaster for Labour from which it may never recover.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      He couldn’t get in automatically. He’d have to find a constituency that will have him, and that won’t be easy now.

  9. tom

    I am just asking, is it that if Blair goes in campaigning, he is exempt from legal pursuits?
    Otherwise this narcissistic “pervert” need help.
    PS: here pervert is not meant to be sexual at all.

    1. simon

      PS: here pervert is not meant to be sexual at all.

      No, you mean ‘pervert’ as in ‘ to pervert the course of justice ‘. Understood.

  10. eric

    blair and bush together mass murderers should be held to account for their inhumane actions,blair opened the borders now we pay the price,also would we have isis,but for his war mongering

  11. mohandeer

    Blair’s return to politics is bad enough but he might have found another party to destroy other than Labour. The best thing he could do for Labour is join the Tories! With Blair within the LP fold we would be totally unelectable – he’s the one who lost Labour the election in 2010 as the most hated man in politics.
    “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…..”
    More closely resembling the Tories.
    He is anathema to all decent people whether Conservative or Labour and he is probably best described as a poisonous and cancerous opportunist megalomaniac.

  12. Joan Edington

    I was a teenager in the 1960s and not too into UK economics. However, I do remember all was not too rosy, with Wilson being forced to devalue the pound by quite a whack. I sincerely hope that Blair is not brought back though. He may have ousted the Tories, after their long spell of Thatcherism, but that was to get rid of them, seeing anything as being an improvement, as it was for a while. Hindsight can be useful at times and should be used in Blair’s case.

  13. Pjay Mac

    I would welcome his return it will show the people of this Country just how Vile and distasteful Watson et al really are, no doubt Campbell, McTernan, and Mandelson are behind this Yes ex Prime Minister crackpot idea, let him come the Judas Escariot of The Labour Party as it was let them all come the two Genuises of the monetary budget of this sinking ship Brown and Darling two supposedly shining stars of fiscal responsibility, then you come to the part where none of the two of them saw the 2008 CRASH and Lifelong Recession coming Aye Right they have brought Shame on My Part of the UK, so let them come all the Lovers of Barabus and Judas and in the case of Brown and Darling just plain Stupid Blair would poll about 7% of the vote if he was as stupid as the two Chancellors of The Exchequer Jeremy is Loved by a Massive part of Britain, so Blair lets be Aving You Then.

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