Ken Livingstone compares Tony Blair’s infamous embrace of Colonel Gaddafi to “two lovely old guys in a gay bar”. Which other megalomaniac world leader was rumoured to be gay?
Veteran fibber Tony Blair used his ill-fated Today programme segment this morning to spread more porkies about Brexit and the NHS. Blair claimed there are “significant staff shortages in the NHS” since the referendum, implying a Brexodus of doctors and nurses who are EU nationals. This is untrue…
NHS Digital stats show there were 3,000 more EU nationals working in the NHS in June 2017 than there were before the referendum result, an increase of 5.4%. That includes 470 more doctors. The overall share of the NHS workforce who are EU nationals also increased over that time, from 5% to 5.2%.
So total rubbish is being spread by Blair and arch-Remainers trying to scare NHS staff and patients in their crusade to smear Brexit. Good job we’ve got the staff, it’s the Remainiacs who need treatment…
Asked by John Humphrys if he’d call for a third referendum should Leave win a second time round, Tony Blair declined to rule it out. Blair’s delusional performance on Today shows why the ultra Remainers are failing to change any minds:
Tony Blair sounding pretty manic on #r4today. Not a great look for the anti-Brexit campaign.
— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) January 4, 2018
Tony Blair’s argument on #R4Today was infuriating, poorly defined, inflammatory, patronising, uncomfortable and almost entirely correct.
— Mikey Smith (@mikeysmith) January 4, 2018
Altho this is Blair’s worst performance in some time. Maybe just rusty from Xmas break but sounds unusually hesitant.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) January 4, 2018
How many referendums do Remainers want until people vote their way?
The new hope of ultra-Remainers expressed by Blair, Clegg, Adonis et al is that the EU will suddenly change its mind and reform free movement, and thus Britain will be able to stay in the EU. Patrick Wintour in the Guardian speculates optimistically that “if Angela Merkel is re-elected on 24 September, she may… show a new flexibility and might support the idea of an emergency brake on migration”. You don’t need to be David Cameron to laugh at that one – EU correspondents from the Sunday Times and Politico know it ain’t gonna happen:
— Matthew Karnitschnig (@MKarnitschnig) September 11, 2017
Extremely unlikely https://t.co/aFVXxwVxVa
— Bojan Pancevski (@bopanc) September 11, 2017
The doomed focus on free movement reform also shows Remainers still don’t understand the referendum result. Polls have shown Leave voters were motivated more by sovereignty than immigration – how would reforming free movement and staying in the EU honour voters’ instructions to take back control of laws, money and trade? It wouldn’t and it ain’t gonna happen anyway…
Ken Clarke tells Niall Paterson:
“I’m pessimistic about staying in the European Union. Parliament voted by an enormous majority to be bound by this referendum. I think myself it’s inevitable we are going to leave the European Union.”
A reality check for Tony Blair and ultra Remainers indulging his fantasies…
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 10, 2017
That’s about the sum of Blair’s contribution to the Brexit debate. Reminder that according to YouGov every section of the British population dislikes Tony Blair…
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 28, 2017
After Corbyn blamed the Grenfell fire on austerity – and by implication the Tories – Theresa May claimed that the cladding of buildings happened under Labour during the Blair years. Never let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to rile things up, eh Jezza…
When it comes to electoral performance there is no contest between Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn. Tony led Labour to three election victories in a row and Corbyn has led Labour to their third election defeat in a row. Blair won a 10.2% swing from the Conservatives. Corbyn managed only a 2% swing despite the progressive alliance gifting him votes and the Liberals being a shadow of themselves. Blair was a winner, Corbyn is a loser…
Today’s Daily Mail lambasts Tony Blair for securing the release of Guantanamo detainee turned ISIS suicide bomber Jamal al-Harith, asking “Still Think He Wasn’t a Danger, Mr Blair?” A fair question, yet also one that could be asked of… the Daily Mail. As Blair himself points out in a delicious take down:
It is correct that Jamal al-Harith was released from Guantanamo Bay at the request of the British Government in 2004. This followed a Parliamentary and massive media campaign, led by the Daily Mail, the very paper that is now supposedly so outraged at his release and strongly supported by the then Conservative Opposition. The Mail headline shortly after he was released after months of their campaigning was “Freedom At Last for Guantanamo Britons”. They then quoted with approval various human rights activists saying “clearly by what‘s happened they’re not bad guys. they are entirely innocent’
Blair also notes it was the Tory government in 2010 which secured al-Harith’s £1 million compensation. The then Home Secretary? One Theresa May…
BoJo adds for good measure that Blair’s speech was “insulting the intelligence of the electorate” and points out he would have taken Britain into the Euro and “dragooned” us into the Iraq War. The Labour and Tory leaderships are united in condemning Blair’s speech…
Following Tony Blair’s speech, a senior Labour source tells Guido:
“No wonder we are still trying to recover from Tony Blair’s legacy when he has such contempt for democracy. What he doesn’t seem to realise is people voted Leave precisely because they felt let down by 13 years of Davos leftism he’s still trying to flog.”
Would Labour be any better off under a democracy-rejecting Blairite Remainer than they are under Corbyn?
Tony Blair’s call for Remainers to resist Brexit has been slapped down by one of the leading figures in the Remain campaign. Lucy Thomas, who was deputy director of Britain Stronger in Europe, delivers this reality check to her old colleagues:
A split among BSE alumni between the delusional Open Britain / Roland Rudd fundamentalists and members of the reality-based community like Lucy…
Open Britain, the zombie Remain campaign, is hosting a speech by Tony Blair today in which he will argue for Brexit to be reversed. The pre-briefed quotes go from mildly patronising – “The people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit” – to full on contemptuous condescension: “Our challenge is to show how this decision was based on imperfect knowledge which will now become informed knowledge, to calculate in easy to understand ways how proceeding will cause real damage”. Blair and Open Britain seriously still believe that Leave voters are stupid, ill-informed idiots whose minds can be changed if the case to Remain is explained “in easy to understand ways”. Hard to think how Blairite metropolitan elitists could be more patronising. They just don’t get it.
UPDATE: Richard Tice from Leave Means Leave makes a fair point:
“There is some irony that Tony Blair, a former Prime Minister who will forever be remembered for deceiving the British people, will try to resurrect his political corpse tomorrow by trying to deceive the British people once again.”
On Monday night the Tories held their glitzy fundraising Black & White Ball, last night Labour welcomed the year of the Rooster with a fundraiser. Chinese for Labour‘s annual bash took place at a top-end North London restaurant: a far-cry from your local takeaway, the menu features a “New Year Imperial Treasure Pot for eight” of oysters, prawns and chickens at £438.80. The Rooster represents fidelity and punctuality; doubly ironic as the event only kicked off in earnest after very thirsty MPs turned up very late due to the Article 50 votes.
The raffle featured a prize donated by Tony Blair – unusual at a party knees-up nowadays. A bottle of wine signed by the three-election winning former Prime Minister went for £850. A bottle of whiskey signed by Jeremy Corbyn was also auctioned. It’s price? £150. The Rooster starts inauspiciously for Jez…
Tony Blair tells the New Statesman “I can’t come into front-line politics. There’s just too much hostility, and also there are elements of the media who would literally move to destroy mode if I tried to do that”. So what is he up to? Blair says he plans to use technology to “build a platform” that will create a forum for debate without abuse. Less likely that this is some naff social network idea – BlairBook or Tonblr? – more likely he is talking about a Blairite version of Momentum.
“One advantage of today’s social media is that you can build networks. Movements can begin at scale and build speed quickly. You’re not going to relate the answers to the challenges that we face by a Twitter exchange, so what I’m interested in doing is asking: what are the types of ideas that we should be taking forward? How do we provide a service to people who are in the front line of politics, so that we can provide some thinking and some ideas?”
Blair says there are millions of “politically homeless” people in Britain, he wants his new “platform” to represent the Europhile, metropolitan, Blairite to LibDemmy liberal elite. Blair’s organisation has already hired former Mandy SpAd Patrick Loughran and Scottish Labour loser Jim Murphy, and he has been in talks with Nick Clegg. Problem for Tony, as he recognises, is the political forces that exist today are very different to when he was winner…