We would be stupid to ignore Tony Blair

Some people may not like Tony Blair; they might despise his inclusion of Britain in the invasion of Iraq; they may resent his warnings about the dangers of electing Jeremy Corbyn as the next Leader of the Labour Party.

But the guy is the most successful leader that the party has ever had, taking it to three successive massive victories. Whatever you think about him, he cares for the party he once led and would like to see it back in power, able to help the less advantaged in our deeply unequal society.

So it is worth listening to him when he writes in an article in today’s “Observer” newspaper:

“There is a politics of parallel reality going on, in which reason is an irritation, evidence a distraction, emotional impact is king and the only thing that counts is feeling good about it all.”

Blair compares the appeal of Corbyn in the UK to the current success of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in American primary races. This is something I did in a blog posting a month ago.

He mentions the appeal of simplistic political messages in countries like Greek and France and, in this article, I examined the crisis in the older democracies.

As Blair puts it in his article:

“… it doesn’t alter the “real” reality. It provides a refuge from it. Because Trump and Sanders aren’t going to be president; Scotland did vote No and even if it votes Yes in the future, the pain of separation for all of us will be acute; Syriza may win but only by switching realities; and Jeremy Corbyn is not going to be prime minister of the UK.”


  • Phil Holt

    The problem is the inheritors of the Blair mantel have just lost 2 elections disasteruosly. Blair was and is charasmatic and faced 2 Tory imbeciles. However, he has used his time to feather his own nest and is no great theoretician nor writer. The other contenders to JC are no inspiration and you need that in politics. They merely talk of labour values. JC has serious policies and is inspiring the young. I think you are underestimating him. The fact that Blair and co have just reverted to insults tells me a lot about him. Bevan, Wilson, Atlee were all derided as no hopers and romantics. I am on the side of the realistic romantics rather than the careerists with not one socialist idea in their heads. Regards

  • Peter Clark

    I’m neither conservative nor labour nor liberal and although I understand your article Roger, I rather like Phil’s reasoned response.
    The one thing that JC seems to have done is put a spark of life into our normally dull political scene.

  • Alan Surtees

    I’m a socialist and believe that many of JC’s policies are admirable (some are not). Yet, these policies will remain as a mere wish list unless the Labour Party has the power to enact them in Parliament. Tony Blair is correct to point out the obvious: if you are not in power, you can do nothing. The public mood is not yet ready for JC’s leftish plans and may not be for ten years. We need a new charismatic figure in the Labour Party to plan a return to power with more moderate policies which can be ‘adjusted’ once elected. Isn’t that what every government has to do?


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