We need to talk about Tony
Old Tony is back in the game isn’t he? God knows England needs a sensible moderate pro-European grown up politician making the running. Hmm.
Time to talk some blairite turkey. The term blairite is a bit misleading. Back in the day 80% of Labour Party members voted to abolish Clause IV and they were mostly called Modernisers with Blairites and Brownites as mere factions in the wider flow. As the Myrmidons of the Master have declined the co-option of this great popular and indeed populist Modernising to the narrow description ‘Blairite’ has grown apace.
All forms of sportsball sat and sit uneasily with me, the speccy, asthmatic bookworm that I am, but it is the argot of the tribe, the in-group dialect, so bear with.
Clearly my big team is the SNP: finer set of 11 women to wear the famous black and yellow never there was, superlative piled on superlative as the surf crashes on the strand, yada-on-yada-on-yada.
But in this cosmology the shattered remanent of the blairites are my wee team: able to turn out a solid 9 folk in the Sunday leagues, even is two are still drunk and wan has a tin leg and can but lurk at left-back.
Corbyn remains who he was: a joke, a hard-left throwback, a no-nothing, a man whose political acumen can be summed up as “he couldn’t find his cock if he woke up with a hard-on”.
Labour fell to him as the opportunistic infection rakes the frame of the immunocompromised.
If you open the ‘Big European Book Of War’ is starts in 753 AD with Norbert the Thane going over the hill with his men, getting his arse handed him by the good men of Withingham and his political career going down the privy hole shortly thereafter.
The health of Labour was taken, in the greater part, by this old story: choosing and losing a war.
As a faction with an open Blairite orientation the wee team were able to get 4.5% of the vote in a party that can only get 3.5% of the vote in Richmond.
Back when I was a Blairite liquidator in the 90s we knew well what to do: identify that which made us unelectable and ruthlessly dispose of it.
Cameron and May understood well what they had to do when they went à-hoodie and à-huskie hugging. It is clear as the day that they still kept a small statue of Thatcher amongst their household gods and daily made private devotions: but in public they did as the politics needed them to do.
Much of what is now touted as ‘New Labourism’ (think about the electorate not the part, build an election coalition) is actually just the craft of politics. The writings of Cicero’s brother and election agent, handily republished as How To Win An Election, pay tribute to that.
Blair’s new promise to the electorate — he is the man who snatched dinner with the all-important son-in-law, he is the Good Farage who will tame Trump — is doomed to fail. Who can forget how his ‘taming’ of Bush worked out?
Woy Jenkins famously said that Blair had a second rate intellect but a first class temperament — the way he deftly made love the electorate in his pomp will be hard to emulate — but is not suited to the times. What England needs now is a new Attlee: devout, quiet, unassuming.
A modern European Scotland needs a southern neighbour fallen to the Trump-Faragist enragés like it needs a hole in the head. The black star that is the collapsed great party of state that was Labour leaves a vacuum that maun be filled.
Fellow blairites furth of Scotland, take your lumps and throw your lot and your seats in with Tim Farren. God speed and may you long chant your verbless liturgy in the privacy of your own homes.
If you read this far you should:
- follow @gordonguthrie on Twitter
- buy my book Winning The Second Independence Referendum — A Manifesto For Scotland In The EU After Brexit
- read more of my stuff
- buy my book War Is Coming or watch my lecture about it