Tony Blair's new manifesto

Submitted by AWL on 8 June, 2021 - 4:04 Author: Sarah Morgan
Tony Blair

I have just got round to reading Blair’s latest piece of writing in the New Statesman, partly because I really didn’t want to read any more of what he had to say. However, in the spirit of an open mind I read through the three pages of Blair philosophy.

I can’t say I found anything in it to bring joy or hope to my heart. He seems determined to trash all the ground that the left has built up and is completely unwilling to see older left-wing philosophy as something to be cherished and fought for.

He rightly speaks of free education in quotation marks, as everything ultimately needs to be paid for, but he is utterly wrong in saying that the old model would adversely affect social mobility. In fact, I would argue that the philosophy that he has lumbered us with is in itself regressive and a barrier to social mobility and a strong, flourishing economy.

If we all pay into higher education, we can all reap its fruits to whichever degree they are given to us. Imagine if Oxford’s vaccine effort had British tax-payers’ money going directly into it in advance. It would not just be a prestige project for a privileged Uni spun out in an emergency fashion, but a break through sponsored by and for the benefit of us all that wouldn’t require special funding.

He does not even have the courage to take on the left’s arguments, he merely dismisses them as an irrelevance. They are not an irrelevance, Corbyn has shown that they are as relevant now to all sections of British society as they have ever been. Perhaps it is true that Corbyn couldn’t bring the party together, and sure he made mistakes, but at least he put up a good fight for things the left used to believe in.

Nationalising a rail network is as relevant to the future as the technological revolution, partly because of it. In a shifting world where you can be put out of work by a new computer, why not have a bigger stake in the running of the train service or educational institution through tax and transparent public ownership?

Privatisation, which he has also championed, has not brought the sparkling future that he promised. It has brought division and inequality and some stagnant social mobility. People are being forgotten. Where is that on his agenda?

On reading The Third Way I was angered at the tender age of 17 about Labour’s new vision for women. This time I have a more considered reaction. But the gut feeling is the same. The right of Labour needs to listen to the left and not just side-line them as an awkward irrelevance, just because they have a difficult corner to fight. Those arguments have a history of successes he conveniently forgets.

Comments

Submitted by John (not verified) on Sun, 13/06/2021 - 17:15

The truth (that many of us already know) will be public knowledge one day. At that point people will say 'how did we not see something that was so obvious?'

That's for a later date. Mr Blair's New Labour way of thinking was new in 1993, it isn't current. With all due respect to Mr Blair, he's a rich man, and hasn't ever really been in touch with the people, having had others more connected around him in the 1990s. No longer in frontline politics, there's also nobody still in the Labour Party who could tell him how things actually are, because the rest of them don't know either. Things change, and circumstances have changed drastically and negatively for most people, but the political class now seem only to be there to stop relevant change from coming.

Submitted by No brain, your… (not verified) on Tue, 15/06/2021 - 21:24

A song about the Jarrow March (1936)

'And forty years have since gone past.
But you're still down there if you're working class
Can anybody tell me what has changed?'

(Rock band Lindisfarne in 1976)

And 45 years more have passed since then, and.........😁

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