If he had any sense, Tony Blair would be wishing he had kept his mouth shut.
The right-wing former Labour leader took part in a radio interview with former Young Conservatives chairman Nick Robinson in which he moaned about the current direction of Labour.
It might not be possible to take back control of the Labour Party Tony Blair tells me in first of a new season of my Political Thinking podcasts 🎧 Download here… https://t.co/CvnQV03kvP Listen on iTunes: https://t.co/clySpQhhRo / pic.twitter.com/iFkJBZmFLY
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) September 7, 2018
His question: “Can it be taken back?” is nonsense.
The fact is, the Labour Party has been retaken after Blair turned it away from its socialist background and forced its members to put up with an elitist, centrally-led hierarchy in which our wishes were steamrolled and leader-approved yes-people were parachuted into safe seats, to provide a cushy livelihood for the favourites, no matter what the rest of us may have been suffering.
The backlash was immediate, and severe:
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) September 7, 2018
Current Labour backbencher Chris Williamson told the BBC about the current Labour Party in no uncertain terms:
— Michael Walker (@michaeljswalker) September 7, 2018
Reporter Paul Mason took a stronger line:
What Tony Blair really needed to say today was: "I'm sorry"… pic.twitter.com/E8Hj1CEaES
— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) September 7, 2018
And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had this to say:
— Dan Carden MP (@DanCardenMP) September 7, 2018
Others, including high-profile figures, were far less compromising:
Tony Blair was never in the right party and there will never be a return to his politics in @UKLabour
— Jon Lansman (@jonlansman) September 7, 2018
I agree with Tony Blair. Labour has gone through profound change under @jeremycorbyn's leadership. It now has a policy programme that brings hope to millions and which has united much of the party, which is now the biggest in Europe. These are changes to be celebrated. #TonyBlair
— Len McCluskey (@LenMcCluskey) September 7, 2018
I stayed in the Labour Party when I opposed the Iraq War. I was harassed, shunned and my membership threatened but I never walked as @UKLabour is the only vehicle for progressives to win Government. Whoever is in charge if you're a Democratic Socialist and Trade Unionist you stay https://t.co/R93rMtVnMd
— Alex Sobel (@alexsobel) September 7, 2018
Blair's 'moderate' politics led to the introduction of workfare, benefit sanctions & conditionality, plus the work capability assessment for sick & disabled people. Labour centrists later abstained on austere Tory welfare reforms. Thank goodness they cannot 'take back control'. https://t.co/0aufxFE5LC
— Ben Claimant 💚 #joinaunion (@imajsaclaimant) September 7, 2018
The fact is that Blair’s politics was regressive, not progressive.
I’m giving the last word to Evolve Politics, who provided the following perceptive analysis of Mr Blair’s mistake:
If Tony Blair had even a single ounce of self-awareness about just how roundly despised he is by the British public, he would surely realise that the most effective thing he could possibly do to ensure Corbyn doesn’t get into Number 10 is to actually endorse him and his politics.
— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) September 7, 2018
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