Samir’s Selection 07/11/2016 (p.m.)

  • There were three essential pillars to his premiership. At home, the animating conviction was that there was nothing good to be said for the Labour party’s glorious tradition of losing a lot more elections than it ever won…A progressive party that was sincere about helping the people it said it cared about needed to achieve power to do something for them. In Europe, this most pro-European of prime ministers argued often and passionately that Britain should cease being the most grudging member of the European Union and become a fully engaged actor on its continent. In the world – and this was a conviction that developed in office from the time of the successful endeavour in the Balkans to prevent Slobodan Milosevic from slaughtering the Kosovans – the overarching belief was that democracies should not stand by when bad things are happening in other places…Never has the landscape seemed more bleak for the broadly centrist, reforming, liberal, internationalist politics that Mr Blair at his peak made so dominant that he won three elections in a row…The Iraq war is a crucial element of the context that put the Labour party in the hands of Jeremy Corbyn. Anger about the war on the left has played a huge role in obscuring the achievements of New Labour’s time in office. The minimum wage. The peace settlement in Northern Ireland. The record sums invested in public services. The resources redistributed to the less privileged. Continuous economic growth for every quarter of the Blair premiership…There are vast acres of political space between Corbyn Labour and a Ukipified Tory party lurching off to the right. Internationalist, broadly centrist, liberal, reformist politics has a future in Britain. It will have to be revised and revitalised for changed times. It won’t be called Blairism. It won’t be labelled Cameroonian. It will emerge as a new iteration under fresh leadership. Something will rise from the dust.

    tags: AndrewRawnsley TonyBlair LabourParty decline harm failure casestudy UK politics Brexit

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