Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Is Blair plotting a comeback?
Last week tbg. reported that Tony Blair is to make a comeback within the Labour Party albeit as an advisor for a policy review.
I firmly believe that this is just the start of something big.
Even though Ed Miliband did fair well in the recent local elections, privately Labour strategists fear he is failing to make ground in areas where Tony Blair did.
Another major problem that Red Ed has had to contend with has been his close links with the unions and the fact that the vast majority of Labour's funding comes from the trades union barons.
Yet despite this guests paid £500 to attend a Labour sports dinner hosted by the likes of Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand and Sir Alex Ferguson recently.
It may not have been in the same league as the sort of fund raising that was so successful in the run-up to Labour's 1997 landslide but it was a start and if I were Ed Miliband, far from being happy to have Tony Blair back on board not only would I be very worried about the baggage he carries from the Iraq War but I would also be watching over my back very, very closely.
Let's not forget that this is the same Tony Blair who only last year admitted for the first time that the Labour Party "lost the driving rhythm" which underpinned its success before Gordon Brown succeeded him, the same Tony Blair who suggested his party lost its focus on the political "centre ground" and "stopped acting as New Labour" when he stepped down, and the same Tony Blair who, in a speech to the Progress Group in London recently, urged Ed Miliband not to let Labour become simply a "party of protest" again by saying that "parties of the left have a genetic tendency, deep in their DNA, to cling to the analysis that they lose because the leadership is insufficiently committed to being left."
Blairites have long accused supporters of Gordon Brown of launching a coup in 2007 to force Mr Blair out while Brownites like Ed Miliband have claimed that Mr Blair reneged on an agreement to stand down much earlier.
If this is the case then why on earth are they working together?
Tony Blair may have said that he is unlikely to ever be Prime Minister again but he did say that he would like to and there are very many people in the Labour Party who would jump at such a chance.
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