Tony Blair wants to make a comeback? He should stay off the stage
Tony Blair is like an ageing actor, too old to play Hamlet, too young to be King Leer. There’s no clamour for his self-proclaimed ‘return to politics’ but he can’t resist the stage, the urge to have his pronouncements on the issues of the day heard and given weight.
A lengthy interview with the New Statesman finds him discussing the potential for some nebulous technology platform for people in frontline politics to get new ideas from outside the bubble. Like so many people, Blair believes that “the best ideas aren’t in politics… [but] in the technology sector.” The idea of an app to solve everything seems to have seduced him utterly.
One old idea that he seems even less enamoured with than ever is ‘democracy’. He continues to argue that the Brexit vote can be reversed “if the British people decide that.” Never mind that the British people have decided, they should now be persuaded to decide correctly.
Turning his eye to the events across the Atlantic, Blair analyses Donald Trump’s electoral success with the kind of corporate, value-light way you’d expect someone whose campaigned for his own first term as Prime Minister with a pledge card and the promise of change. He talks about the “Republican platform” and sweeps aside Trump’s comments during the campaign.
Blair’s response to the Chilcot Inquiry was the most extreme version of the ‘non-apology apology’ ever played out before the British public. He accepted his responsibility for the failure of post-invasion plans but stood by the decision to go to war in the first place.
If his post-Chilcot press conference was brazen, his new campaign to return to public life is eye-poppingly outrageous. Having built up a property portfolio worth millions, consulted for dictators and topped up that perma-tan, he’s decided its time for a come back appearance. The arrogance is so thick and rich you could spread it on toast.
Image credit: Chatham House