Does Tony Blair have no self-awareness? He needs to stop talking now

Suzanne Moore


How does it feel to have been the leader of the country, to have made your party electable and then to saunter into public life every now and then to a chorus of people screaming “go away”? For this is the strange afterlife of Tony Blair: adviser to dictators; property magnate.

His latest pronouncements about compelling immigrants to integrate more have been met with contempt. This intervention, made in a report by the Institute for Global Change, is more subtle than it sounds because it talks about schools needing to reflect the diversity of the local population. White flight occurs in more ways than one, and it can certainly lead to serious segregation in schools. So Blair may have a point here, but he is undoubtedly the worst person to make it. Can he never see himself?

Likewise his henchman, Alastair Campbell, he of the sexed-up dossier and constant bullying of the BBC, who is never off our screens now, telling us to remain in the EU. The absolute dishonesty of much media management lies at his feet; a legacy of pure spin. The weapons of mass destruction did not exist, lies were told, Greg Dyke had to leave the BBC ultimately as a result of Campbell’s bullishness. Who does he represent, this freelance ego?

And who takes these guys seriously but themselves? Can’t they just go and do some public service quietly and let go of the grandiosity? New Labour was never for me, but I am not someone who fails to accept that they did some good things. What I can’t accept is that these discredited men have anything to tell us about how to heal a divided country. They sowed division. The party is over. They got huge party bags of dosh, columns, book deals, institutes. Isn’t that enough? Now go.