Labour set for new membership boost after new “Blair bleat” and ‘moderate’ claim

blair bleat
A “Blair bleat”

Labour is preparing for a new influx of members after former PM Tony Blair again meddled in party business. Blair has created considerable amusement among insiders after an intervention in which he said he considers himself a ‘moderate’ and the words “it doesn’t really matter what I think or what MPs think” actually came out of his mouth:

Labour’s formal statement was dismissive enough:

Labour is giving a voice and hope to communities that have been held back and ignored for years.

Our policies to end austerity and bring water, energy and rail into public ownership are popular and reflect the mainstream of public opinion.

At last year’s election, when all the pundits and critics had written us off, Labour had our biggest increase in vote share since 1945 and deprived Theresa May’s Tories of their majority.

However, privately insiders were talking of yet another membership boost – as has happened on previous occasions when Blair has attempted to talk down the party and its leadership.

The likely reason was succinctly identified by Labour activist group EL4C on its Twitter feed:

el4c blair.png

Journalist Paul Mason added a very contemporary twist, although his chart needs updating to reflect the summer membership surge apparently occasioned by months of smears against the party’s leader by the Establishment of which Tony Blair is unquestionably part:

A party insider told the SKWAWKBOX: “It’s like clockwork – Blair bleats and we get new members.”

SKWAWKBOX comment:

The Labour party thanks you, Mr Blair. Keep it up.

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  1. The Labour Left lacks a socialist programme so in fact contrary to intuition the difference between the Left and the “moderates” is rather small beer.

    The minor extensions of public ownership mentioned above would still place the Corbyn government well to the right of the Callaghan government in terms of the level of public ownership. Any “anti-austerity” spending would swiftly be nipped in the bud by the capitalist class who’ll remain in control of the economy – or by capitalism’s supranational organisations as in 1976-7.. Starmer will doubtless come up with some EU deal which will follow EU law and the EEA in outlawing public monopoly, compelling markets of private enterprise and reintroducing the supervision of British State aids. The Labour Left managing capitalism is highly likely to end in tears.

    Given the Left’s dismal insistence on retaining the capitalist system Tony really should calm down!

    1. I fear you are correct.. The right-wing commentariat are clueless (or maybe they’re not) but Corbyn is not a Marxist or a Communist. He still endorses the status quo that keeps the rich on top. But if him winning the next election saves lives, then it’s worth fighting for.

    2. Rather pointless diatribe which 129 top economists/business people disagree with, according to the Observer in June 2017!

    3. The presence of Communists in discussions about British politics would be really, really welcome, on social media platforms and in the mainstream media. But Britain’s socio-political pendulum has swung so far to the right since 1979 (76?) that Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto really does look radical with its re-nationalisation programme, abolition of the House of Lords and a number of promising leftish social policies. I’m not a Communist, so the idea of gradualism is not anathema to me or a cop out. In politics you have to take account of context, of what everyday reality looks like and is. I am fairly sure that Jeremy, like many, many of his supporters (me included) would adore the abolition of private education, of a democratisation of Oxford and Cambridge Universities (rather than their abolition – my preferred solution to the problem of their chronic and poisonous elitism), of higher redistributive taxation, abolition of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, and many other left-wing policies, ideas & solutions of which I’m not sure of in terms of popularity with him.

      Yes, the 2017 manifesto was moderate, but I would say that if the certain battle with the Establishment that will come if Labour becomes the largest party at the next election or even wins a majority does “end in tears,” it will not be caused by policies not being radical enough.

      I would also say that a democratic-socialist government needs time to shift that pendulum leftwards. Marx wanted the creation of a “humane society”. So do I, and so, I’m sure, does Jeremy. Democrats and non-democrats on the left of politics have different aims and objectives, of course, as well as advocating very different ways of reaching them (I would imagine) but why not let cynicism be monopolised by conservatives and Conservatives, not shared too by people on the left.

    4. I don’t know Danny. Maybe Rome wasn’t built in a day. Relatively small steps look quite radical when you consider the scale, impact and bankruptcy of the Thatcher/Blair/Brown years. Still, I share your concerns – I’m scouring around for whatever I can find on the Lexit perspective.

  2. “Now let’s go back to one of our top stories” – BBC 11:42am.
    “Blair seems to be taking hair-styling advice from Kneel Kinnock” was what I took from it. Said something about moderates too I think.

    Immediately followed by poor old Vince making his annual retirement announcement just so his party knows he’s not dead yet – assuming his party didn’t break her hip and get eaten by her cats since his last retirement announcement.

    Neither of them had a word to say on policy, just about how to advance their idea of ‘moderate’ political agendas.
    Nobody but Jeremy talking about policies that affect real people.

  3. Tony Blair’s body is “drenched in the blood of a nation” (Iraq) and Margaret Thatcher once said of him that he was her finest achievement.

    In reality the words ‘centrist’ and ‘moderate’ means multimillionaires who avoid paying tax and who use the legacy of the Holocaust to further their own financial goals. It means taking the votes of the working class whilst turning a blind eye to the victimisation and slaughter of the most vulnerable in society. http://calumslist.org

    Centrist and moderate means spineless acquiescence to Tory policy in Parliament – for example, abstaining from voting during the second reading of the Tory Welfare Bill (my own local Labour MP).

    Moderate and Centrist means old fashioned Conservative.

    1. Given that the witch hunt is surely not yet over, we should take care that justifiable anger, forcefully expressed doesn’t, through ambiguity, place a free gift in the wrong hands.
      Please, take care!

      1. – use of the plural in p2 – nasty people might latch onto that and use it to distort intent, it’s not ambiguous for me – anyway I’m sure you can hold your own!

  4. Still wrapping his forefingers over his thumbs when he speaks, trying to enforce his point. Still giving it the ‘Shatner’ pauses.

    It annoyed me then, it makes me almost homicidal now.

    Oh, one other thing – apart from membership going up – that almost invariably follows bliar making statements about Corbyn….

    john ‘Smithers’ mcternan will get pulled out of bliar’s ‘arris again to remind us just what a brown-nose he is, by trying to convince anybody (who isn’t already p*ssing themselves laughing at the moron) that bliar’s: ‘still a force in UK politics’.

    1. He was on the BBC’s Catherine Tate show once. He acted a part in a comedy sketch with chilling professionalism. For many it exposed him for the actor he really is. The mask slipped.

      He has never stopped acting. I still remember the rolled-up shirt sleeves and all the other manipulative nonsense.

    2. John McTernan.

      * Undermined not only Corbyn, but Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham.
      * Called Corbyn backing MPs “moronic”.
      * Called for libraries to be cut
      * Called for privatisation of the tube and said Thatcher did not go far enough.
      * Called rail privatisation a success.
      * Called for the Tories to crush unions and for guards to be removed from trains.
      * Praised tax avoidance.
      * Called for UKIP voters with genuine grievances, to have more immigration enforced on them as “punishment”.
      * Supported TTIP.
      * Called Scotland of a bigoted nation.
      * Abused the Australian visa system.
      * Stated Owen Smith won all the debates.

      The man is either a professional troll or his ideology is elitist far right.

    1. The defendant was found not guilty on the grounds that “moderate” state terrorism “is, by now, a commonplace”.

      In his summing up, the judge made reference to the policies of “certain Middle East States”. He also pointed to how, for example, the CIA have deployed “moderate terrorists” in Syria.

      “It is all perfectly legitimate….”

      Of course.

  5. I found this:
    Richard Burgon, a close ally of the Labour leader, wrote on Twitter: ‘In last 3 days, 150,000 people have joined Labour. We now have 800,000 members. Great news! Let’s make it a million! http://www.labour.org.uk/join’

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