Tony Blair has seemingly had a fairly sizeable change of heart regarding Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. And in a U-turn only eclipsed by Theresa May’s one on the Tories’ social care policy, Blair has now said Corbyn could be PM. But as always with Blair, there’s a catch.
The former New Labour PM was being interviewed on BBC Newsnight. Due to be screened on Monday 17 July, Blair told Newsnight Editor Ian Katz that [1.20] the UK could possibly “end up with… Corbyn as prime minister”. And he said that [3.25]:
I accept now what, if you’d asked me a year ago, I would have dismissed as impossible… I accept it’s possible. You have to say in today’s world now… it’s possible that Jeremy Corbyn could become prime minister and Labour could win on that programme…
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Blah, blah, blah
It follows his comments at the weekend that Corbyn’s politics were “populism”; not really supported by many people who voted Labour. He also said he didn’t think that everyone who voted Labour “voted to make him [Corbyn] Prime Minister”.
Furthermore, he said that Brexit followed by Corbyn being elected as PM would put the UK “flat on our back”; and that Corbyn’s supporters should be “cautious in thinking ‘one more heave’ will deliver victory” at another general election.
But Blair’s comments on Newsnight were not without a caveat. He said [1.45] he still believed that the “surest route” to a Labour victory was “through the centre”. And he also claimed [1.35] that a combination of Brexit and Corbyn as PM would mean “we will be in for a very, very difficult time as a country”.
Same old Blair
Both Blair and Katz alluded to the fact they did not understand what has happened to politics. And that is, of course, unsurprising; when you have two men, both entrenched in the Westminster and neoliberal/corporatist mould of politics, then what Blair referred to condescendingly as “populism” would indeed be way over their heads. Mainly because, trapped inside their individual bubbles, they couldn’t possibly understand a movement that has come directly from ordinary people in the UK. And that’s a world neither of them inhabit.
Watch Tony Blair’s Newsnight interview:
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