Video: deputy leader hopeful Rayner endorsed this Blair praise-Watson, attack ‘hard left’ interview

‘One of the best interviews I’ve seen’ – but criticism from members dismissed as ‘toxic’ trolling

Angela Rayner

Labour MP Angela Rayner is considered a favourite to win the party’s deputy leadership contest, on a platform of not being aligned with any particular leader or politics. She said at the start of the contest:

I don’t consider myself to be of one political persuasion or another. I’m not a Blairite, I’m not a Corbynite, I’m not a Brownite. I’m an Angela Rayner – a member of the Labour party who has various different opinions on lots of different things just in the same way MPs and other party activists would.

However, Ms Rayner’s recent opinion on the first of the past leaders she mentioned – Tony Blair – will be of interest to Labour members considering how to cast their vote when the ballot opens.

“I think Tom has actually shown really great leadership actually for the Labour Party over these past weeks” – Tony Blair on Tom Watson

In March last year, Angela Rayner tweeted her opinion of an interview given by Blair on that day’s Andrew Marr show on the BBC. In that interview, Blair:

  • repeatedly described the left of Labour as the ‘hard left’
  • praised the ‘TIG’ MPs who quit Labour as ‘courageous’ and talked of his sympathy with them
  • said that the problems in the Labour Party that had led to the quitters quitting ‘derive from [the] attitude’ of the leadership
  • praised Tom Watson’s ‘really great leadership’ after he set up a right-wing grouping among Labour MPs

The full transcript of that interview is available here.

Ms Rayner’s opinion of these comments? “One of the best interviews I’ve seen from Tony Blair”:

Ms Rayner’s comment triggered a huge backlash, with around 1,700 mostly negative replies to her tweet:

However, the MP dismissed the criticism triggered by her praise of Blair’s interview as ‘trolling’ that she felt was “typical of the toxic political landscape”:

Angela Rayner was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.


Members and supporters on the left of the party considering how to vote in the coming leader and deputy leader elections would do well to take note if they want to make an informed choice.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


    1. I sussed out Angela Raynor over a year ago, with her adulatory two page spread in The Times. She has always come across as a politics-less self-interested , and rather dim, career politico – keen to cultivate the Tory press . How she somehow acquired this ‘Left’ image is a mystery. That she seems to be a fan of war criminal, multi-millionaire, and global fixer and schmoozer (as with Mandelson ) for the world’s oligarchs and dictators, Tony Blair, says it all !

      She would simply be a catspaw of the Labour Right and mass media if elected as Deputy Leader.

  1. Maybe I’ve got this wrong but I thought we were all supposed to be supporting the RLB / Rayner dream ticket. I’m presuming that RLB is still in favour so now that SB seems to have crossed AR off the most favoured list who are we now supposed to be supporting for the deputy leadership? What’s the latest plan?

    1. Cut out the sarcasm,I notice you don’t tell us who you favour in the elections.Incidentally Rayner was never my choice.

      1. What’s sarcastic about telling it as it is and highlighting the clumsy (and laughable) Skwawkbox clog dance over the leadership election? The simplistic ‘heroes and villains’ narrative is entirely juvenile and of the playground.

        I do agree, however, about the opposing (and inaccurate) playground term ‘hard left’. If you’re going for playground slagging, there’s much better terms to describe the different tribes of persistently willing losers.

      2. She was never my choice either, bearing in mind her pro-Israel stance.

        I’d trade a million Angela Rayners for just one chance to elect someone like Chris Williamson.

        There’s no chance of that now. He was thrown under the bus as a sacrifice to the BOD and the Labour right, ran as an independent, lost his deposit and is now out of Parliament and in the political wilderness.

        A sad result of appeasement.


    We “slaughtered” Jeremy Corbyn, says Israel lobbyist Joe Glasman

    The Electronic Intifada
    “Campaign Against Antisemitism” leader Joe Glasman claims they “defeated” Jeremy Corbyn in December 2019’s general election. This video is posted here for news reporting purposes.

    1. I saw this before Christmas. The vile fucker made me sick in the stomach. These ‘comfortably off’ people have no regard for the struggling poor, just their own greedy agenda. Obviously one of the type who crosses to the other side of the street to avoid homeless people.
      I wouldn’t waste a mouthful of spit on him and people like him.

      1. Aidey – It’s the first time I’ve seen it, I agree it’s a sick racist rant. No wonder he’s tried to hide this.

    2. Glasman is wrong. It was Brexit change which lost us GE19. Thanx 2 Electronicintifada for posting this insight.

      Given the focus on Corbyn exclusively, this gives us insight for future reference if they start to focus personally on Corbyn’s successor. Because then we will know it was not just about Corbyn.

      Which will tell us everything we need to know.

      Won’t it?

      1. “It was Brexit change which lost us GE19”

        Of course it wasn’t – that’s a self-serving bit of mythology from supporters of Tory policy.

        The main reason was the successful MSM campaign against Corbyn, who became astoundingly (and unfairly) unpopular on the doorstep.

        It truly was The Sun (And Mail and Express) what won it – and no credible counter was devised.

        But, in terms of Brexit, the problem was the incoherent shuffle over it right at the beginning – it gave the impression that Labour didn’t know it’s arse from it’s elbow, and was a follower of the Tories rather than an opposition.

        The loss of Remain votes at that stage, and the negation of the will of the membership was disastrous, and, although the late change in policy did regain a proportion of those votes, too many were alienated.

        As we know, more people in the election voted for ‘Remain’ parties – but Labour had already lost its chance to take the initiative, allowing the MSM to influence the gullible.

        Simple mathematics indicates that Labour was never going to win by pursuing a ‘Leave’ vote with two other, more convinced parties. It’s a garbage idea.

    3. Fascinating. The rambling rehearsal racial/religious mythologies of sectarian exclusivity is horribly reminiscent of forces abhorrent to the sane – whether Jew or Gentile. The caricature of Corbyn is the exact counterpart to the fascist renderings of hook-nosed jews.


      1. It is indeed remarkable that the individual who runs the CAA who were so instrumental in starting the EHRC investigation into the Labour Party should turns out to be someone who believes that he belongs to a superior race.

      2. I’ve (again) seen no mention of this car-crash rant that exposes the racism of the group in the MSM. Have I missed any such?

    4. I am very concerned about this man comments on the CAS’s “successful” submission to the EHRC ( on alleged antisemitism). It is my understanding that the EHRC investigations are ongoing. How therefore can he know that the submission was “successful”? It appears to indicate that the investigation has been compromised. I hope the party raises this formally with the EHRC.

      1. The EHRC ‘investigation’ was compromised from the start. How could it not have been, given the provenance?

      2. 100% successful in his terms – the referral alone attracted more ongoing media attention than a guilty verdict would have, given a media looking as usual for any opportunity to damage the left in the run up to the general election.
        The EHRC allowing itself to be used for such partisan political purposes suggests its leadership may be far more deserving of investigation than Labour – I wouldn’t be flabbergasted to read of two resignations and “insufficient evidence” to make a report of any kind.
        Glasman clearly is unconcerned about possible legal repercussions for those he’s used – or for the real antisemitism the despicable invention of fictional antisemitism might foment.
        Every political party, religion and culture has its idiot fringe.

      3. Reply to RH
        Unfortunately it would appear that you are right.

      4. ” the real antisemitism the despicable invention of fictional antisemitism might foment.”

        This, of course, is one of the very real consequences of such fanaticism – as articles on the sane and thoughtful JVL website constantly emphasize.

    5. Well yeah- and that’s why it makes no sense to the rest of us that you’d be an apologist for Starmer, the beneficiary of that slaughter. Do you not see the contradiction between posting that clip and defending the status quo in the party?

      1. kenburch – Why are you commenting on a post that is over a year old?

    6. She only entered the contest a week ago. It’s still inexcusable that Williams is losing what SHOULD be an unlosable Labour seat, and it will be the fault of no one but Starmer and the Right if he does.

      Just admit it’s time to end the war against the Left already- no good has come to the party of 100,000 Corbyn supporters leaving- nobody out there in the wider electorate was demanding that everyone allied with Corbyn be either suspended, expelled, driven away in despair or forced to recant their support for a radically improved world as if that were a medieval heresy.

      Why can’t you admit that Starmer’s nastiness has achieved nothing for the party he’s supposed to be leading, and that the voters didn’t WANT Labour to start blurring the differences and acting like a junior partner in a National Government?

  3. I’m afraid Angela Rayner is just another weather vane politician, I lost respect for her some time ago and didn’t really trust her. I do trust is important in choosing the Next leader, I would have preferred Ian Lavery but understand the fear of splitting the left vote. The only leadership candidate has now to be RL bailey, and Richard Burgon if the media hates you – you must be doing something right.

  4. Richard Brgeon gets my vote. He would be great with RLB. Angela has been high profile of late and is able to articulate her argument but I totally disagree with her TB endorsement. Totally lacking in insight as to what is going on in labour. Does she not consider TBs dismissal of the left as vitriolic trawling or is that just reserved for Corbyn supporters
    . Very disappointing!

    1. Yes I absolutely agree. I was undecided but this has made my mind up foe me. I’ll be voting Richard Burgon for have Deputy

  5. Steve H, I watched that video and I am horrified about the crap that bloke is sprouting.

  6. In terms of policy, Clive Lewis is the only one getting to grips with some key constitutional issues – except he, like the others seems to be keeping schtum about the issue of me

    The only thing I’ve got against him is that haircut 🙂

    But he won’t get the required nominations.

    So – back to square one of an uninspiring game of thrones.

    The present state of the PLP suggests that it will take this parliament before any really convincing leader emerges. This is a long haul.

    1. RH – You may well be right about the nominations. He probably made a significant tactical error by putting so much emphasis on the democratisation of the party (the last thing most of the PLP want) before he’d secured enough PLP nominations.

      1. “He probably made a significant tactical error by putting so much emphasis on the democratisation of the party”

        You may be right. Lumpen Labour from both ends has always opposed PR – and look where the Party is as a result. Blair blew the opportunity to make significant structural change … and we are where we are.

        … and there are still those who think that the natural majority of the Tories under FPTP can be overturned by singing ‘Zippedy Doo-Dah’ and pretending that Scotland doesn’t matter.


        “As soon as this pub closes … the revolution starts.”

      2. RH – I was referring more to his pledge to democratise the party but as you point out PR is also critically important. I suspect that including the following in his speeches hasn’t endeared him to large sections of the PLP.
        Lewis told supports and press in attendance that he wanted to “completely transform and democratise” Labour’s culture and organisation in line with socialist values and “the fast-changing context of the 21st century”.

        He argued that Labour needed to work with other progressive parties and “admit that we don’t have the monopoly on all the answers”. He also expressed support for proportional representation and abolishing the House of Lords.

        “We can’t have more of the same. The Labour Party needs to modernise, or it will die.

        “I’m fed up with the top-down style of politics, where real debate and discussion in our party is stifled because of sectarianism and tribalism. We can’t grow as a party if we’re afraid of having difficult discussions.”

      3. It does make one wonder why the Labour Party is so wedded to FPTP.

        In the last election FPTP didn’t do us many favours. We would still have lost, but not as badly.

        Number of Seats – 361
        % of seats – 56%
        % of votes – 43.6%
        Total Votes – 13,827,975
        Votes per Seat 38,304

        Number of Seats – 202
        % of seats – 31.3%
        % of votes – 32.3%
        Total Votes – 10,231,217
        Votes per Seat – 50.649

        Number of Seats – 48
        % of seats – 7.4%
        % of votes – 11.5%
        Total Votes – 3,643,494
        Votes per Seat – 25,882

        I wonder if all those youthful Labour campaigners would like to know that, for all their effort, they got a third less MPs than they would have done if they were Conservatives – and half as many as the SNP.

        Clive Lewis is the only one advocating PR.

    2. Oh but if we analyse it, some ambitious Labour members think they have to play the bourgeois game of wheeling and dealing to climb the greasy bourgeous pole when left wing democratic socialists say and fight for what they believe and garner support by practice and are unlike non-socialists become politically free.
      I reinterate the Right and centrists are trying everything to stop Burgon getting on the Deputy Ballot to avoid a Rayner Lightweight v Left debate.
      Poor Angela, she knows no better.
      Only the stars will transform societies,so Angela for the future, read, stand for what you believe in, say what people need to hear, not what you think people want to hear, and you have a chance to be free.
      But for now step aside, you have sold my class out!

      1. You’re backing Burgon, a middle class lawyer with an Oxbridge education? Well I never!

      2. RH 10/01/2020 at 11:25 pm

        This fixation on class is really not working out too well for the obsessives.

  7. Sadly political lightweight working class Rayner stabbed the poor working class in the back under the orders of the middle class political moron Harman when they abstained on welfare cuts.
    Rayner as a bourgeois opportunist didn’t have the political courage to stand by the poor and the political acumen to counter the dominant right wing narrative on welfare when the luxurious upper class welfare state gives corporations £79b a year in tax cuts & subdidies (£3,500 per household) and hey Angela I say this as a working class socialist social housing tenant.
    But the centrists are trying to stop Richard Burgon getting on the Deputy Leader ballot for this working class sell out, lobby your MP to get Richard on the ballot.
    Will never vote for Rayner for anything ever again!

    1. Your notions of class, Bazza, are so simplistic – not to say massive in their confused category error. You specifically confuse a diverse set of economic/cultural descriptions with notions of group and idividual political belief and virtue.

      Have a look at the election result and ponder what a car crash of mistaken ideas this embodies.

      … and get used to the idea that working class and middle class (as commonly defined in terms of occupation) Labour supporters need each other.

      The Labour Party can’t survive in a faux-Marxist Disneyland.

  8. Well RH you may have noticed that the Labour party are short on Socialists especially in the PLP So maybe your Quote “The Labour party cannot survive in a faux marxist Disneyland” is a sign that we never had enough socialist input and Jeremy Corbyn was Pi55ing in the wind for old fashioned labourites like yourself who are class obsessed.and most definitely not socialist Two partys struggling to co exist and the broad church is not working class and will not survive this reality check.Socialis…..!Marxist,we cannot survive and in that you are right.but you will miss the input when we go especially the subscriptions from over half a million socialist Labour party members..Enjoy being a party of the “Few” …

    1. Joseph – If all the Marxists who are Labour members decided to resign their membership en-mass I doubt it would have much of an impact on the party’s funds.

      1. Hey, Steve. I’m a Marxist and a labour member. I have principals. And if you don’t like them I have others.. (Groucho Marx)

      2. Steve H……Socialist,its just you consider Marxist an insult,and whilst you and the moderates like RH flex your muscle for the Right wing of the moderate party you condemn yourselves to a party of the establishment.and the few with a membership in the liberal democrat position and a dwindling band of a few thousand.Welcome to reality you destroyed the democratic socialist Labour party.with your beliefs.

    2. Joseph – If all the Marxists who are members of the Labour party decided to resign en-mass I doubt it would have much of an impact on the party’s funds.

    3. Note my term ‘*faux*-Marxist’ – Marxism as a badge on Wolfie’s beret.

      Marx was an intelligent analyst. He wasn’t so good at political prognosis, but would have noted the inaccurate commandeering of his concepts in a totally different historical context.

      As usual, Joseph, your analysis is way off target – and it’s not me who is ‘class obsessed’; I only pick up on the misuse of class descriptions that are undefined and meaningless knee-jerkery, – as one often sees here.

      The ‘broad church is not working class’. I’m glad you’ve got that far in your recognition of the nature of the Labour Party. Nor should it be – a Party pretending to a shrinking ‘working class’ membership (traditionally defined) is doomed to fringe irrelevancy, and it won’t be the Labour Party.

      1. P.S. As a philosopher, Marx would certainly have jumped on the category errors and definition errors that abound in this faux-Marxism.

  9. Well at least the moderates feel its safe to come out and bragg how they destroyed the Labour party.Hope you’re happy ☺ with a minority opposition party ,that is if you coǹsider voting with the torys an opposition party.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: