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Albireo Double
Albireo Double
6 months ago

A fairly poor attempt to defend the indefensible. And as for this:
“…Unfortunately, for a decade party members took the quixotic view that the only reason voters elected increasingly Right-wing Tory governments…” 
Well, I must have missed all those Tory governments, as the only Tory governments I have seen since 2010 have been green / liberal left-of-centre carbon-copies, faithfully carrying on Blair’s ghastly policies. And that includes this government – led by someone who radiates a noxious miasma of half-truths and general untrustworthiness – just as did Mr Blair.

Last edited 6 months ago by Albireo Double
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
6 months ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

‘the indefensible’ = policies you don’t agree with, but get massively outvoted on!

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

“A cheap shot”. A content-free, thought-free, negative, and largely pointless comment.
When the UK population awarded Johnson and Co. a landslide victory, I think that they realised that they were voting in a PM of dubious ethics and moral standing, with a uniquely tenuous relationship with the concept of honesty. But, wanting Brexit, they had no choice, and probably didn’t mind the idea too much anyhow, after 25 years of sleazy left-of centre mis-governance..
But they were certainly not voting for £100bn elitist train sets, £trillion-loss “green” insanity, increased inward migration, uncontrolled borders, and continuing unbridled elitist social liberalism. These are the indefensible policies founded by Blair, and continued to this day by his spiritual heirs in the now completely mis-named “Conservative Party”. Wouldn’t you agree?

Last edited 6 months ago by Albireo Double
Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
6 months ago

So the legacy, in reality, is a series of irreversible giveaways to keep New Labour in power. Many of which are embedded in government spending and have to be repeated annually to avoid accusations of “Austerity”. All on an inheritance of a decent set of books from the previous Government and massive tax boosts annually from Bank profits. Good luck Starmer in repeating that trick, whilst funding UK’s role in the next Global conflict that gets pulled out of a USA president’s backside.
Even the one thing I have usually given Blair credit for, getting the Good Friday Agreement over the line, has turned into a nightmare where Sinn Fein will rein supreme over North and South, whilst UK’s servicemen are harassed in their old age by ambulance-chasing lawyers. Meanwhile, the electorate can’t even take a decision on the EU without getting hobbled by the GFA. All from a position of strength. Great, thanks Tony.
I am sure to be reading next weekend about how voters in the local council elections have provided a resounding rejection of “increasingly Right-Wing Tory governments”. Plus we’re upset about cakes and porn. Or maybe that’s what the National media want us to think?
Because in reality, the embedding of his secret army of placemen in British media and other institutions to protect his legacy remains Blair’s greatest achievement. No wonder Starmer need to keep him onside.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
6 months ago

Tony Blair is a despicable human being.

He illegally took our country into a war that cost hundreds of British lives.

He ran up a level of national debt that will impoverish generations to come.

He expanded the civil service to obscene proportions and filled it with his unelected left-wing chums – thereby making it both impossible for subsequent governments to achieve anything using the levers of power and to do so without the sign off from people indebted to him or his toxic ideology.

This man shouldn’t be listened to or roll-modelled by anyone.

He should be in jail.

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve Jobs
ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jobs

Well said Sir!

Last edited 6 months ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jobs

Yes, well, I don’t think we can exactly really on you for a balanced assessment.

The Iraq war, many things to say but how quickly we forget. The Tories supported it even more strongly. By the way, people serving in the armed forces do run the risk of being killed!

As a centre left government, New Labour spent modestly, even under Tory spending plans, with two big exceptions later. One they increased spending on the NHS to the European average (Blair rather jumped Brown into it). Two, we did also have this small thing called the financial crash, in response to which most western governments pumped huge amounts of money into the system. It probably prevented a 1930s like depression, but had long term baleful consequences but redistributing wealth to asset owners. National debt by the way has continued growing consistently under both the subsequent Coalition and Conservative governments.

And they did indeed put a lot of ‘their sort’ of people into running public and cultural institutions. Instead of whining about that, why doesn’t our current useless government DO something about it?

Last edited 6 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Former Guardian Reader
Former Guardian Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

New Labour did put a lot of their sort of people into public institutions. Those sort of people helped create the “grooming gang” scandal by treating underage girls who had been plied with drink and drugs, raped, forced into prostitution and threatened as prostitutes rather than victims of organised crime. Instead of fulfilling their legal duty of protecting children people working in social services, education and health and corrupt police officers chose to protect the New Labour government which knew what was happening in Rotherham, Keighley and Huddersfield because it was repeatedly told in the early 2000s but didn’t want the general public to know about it.
Those sort of people also helped create scandals in the NHS such as at Stafford Hospital (where “appalling” standards of care led to at least 400 avoidable deaths between 2005 and 2008), Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals (at least 210 avoidable deaths in the maternity department between 2003 and the present day) and Morecambe Bay (at least 12 avoidable deaths in the maternity department between 2004 and 2013).
New Labour promised to provide high quality public services but in some cases where the quality of service was substandard there were people employed in the public services who acted to protect the New Labour government, not the public. The public were fobbed off, whistleblowers were ignored or threatened, regulators failed and MPs who should have asked difficult questions on behalf of their constituents were more interested in fighting the Tories or fiddling their expenses. New Labour’s sort of people were principle-free Guardian-reading prole-hating self-serving back-stabbing money-grabbers.
Remember that New Labour were the party of Peter Mandelson, Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon, Patricia Hewitt, Charles Clarke, Denis MacShane and David Blunkett who, based on what I have read from reputable news sources, is one of the worst politicians of his generation who at the very least should not have any place in public life and who should have been sent to prison for misconduct in public office. There were no depths to which some in the Labour Party (and especially New Labour) would not sink in order to protect the party.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
6 months ago

Incredible – even those around Blair are still trying to justify the unjustifiable with blatant dishonest and misleading statements. Not even a mention of mass immigration leading to Brexit or the financial crash permanently reducing living standards of millions or cheap credit making housing unaffordable for most young people. As for the GFA being weighed against the Iraq war lies – words fail me!

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
6 months ago
Reply to  Neil Ross

You support Brexit do you? The irony is that it would not have actually happened without that immigration!

As for Iraq war ‘lies’, that is massively overstating it; the case for war was over-egged. Almost all informed opinion and intelligence at the time, including the UN Rapporteur Hans Blix, considered Saddam DID have weapons of mass destruction. And of course the Tories were even more gung-ho about the war than Blair.

Last edited 6 months ago by Andrew Fisher
frank teague
frank teague
6 months ago

I am a 62 year old who is enjoying this series reflecting on New Labour/ Blair. As a nurses and parent to a profoundly disabled child my experience of living under New Labour was fairly positive in many respects.
I do wish they had reversed the sale of council houses and put in place rent control.
I always find it difficult to read the comments section where people q up to say how dreadful Blair was. Whilst I share some of that view myself especially with the money he and Cherie made out of property and of course the Iraq war I continue to struggle to understand why the benefits of time under a Labour government in Britain are so heatedly hated , as if the devil had been in charge.
I wouldn’t mind seeing a Labour government again before I die.

Last edited 6 months ago by frankfrank.teague
Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
6 months ago
Reply to  frank teague

You are not alone.Thanks for this.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
6 months ago
Reply to  frank teague

Maybe because Blair put in place policies that ultimately helped to bankrupt the nation or at least well and truly got the ball rolling. And that was just one of his minor sins. Any benefits that you saw under Blair’s Labour party came at a very big price and sadly the same would be true of a Starmer Labour government.

frank teague
frank teague
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

Please remember that prior to Blair there was a longstanding Conservative government that kept getting re elected and had privatised everything in sight ..
The benefits that I and many others received ( proper funding of NHS for first time in my adult life,DLA for children over 3 with profound disabilities,no longer the dirty man of Europe, tax credits that made a bigger contribution to reducing income inequality than anything I had ever seen in my lifetime) cannot and should not be ignored.
Yes he turned to shit post office,yes it’s sickening,yes re the war and his relationship with Bush was ugly,yes the public/ private partnership was a rip off yes it was ugly to see Labour get into bed with Murdoch…but ……it was the best government I have seen in my lifetime as far as benefiting the poor,the sick ,the disabled.
I fail to understand,to grasp as I said earlier why that period of Labour government is seen as the worst of times.Have a look around the current government.Would a Labour government not be preferable to this as far as benefiting the NHS,the poor and the disabled?.Not perfect but better than what we have got by a long shot surely? In the words of a popstar of my childhood,Alice Cooper’ I wannabe [ see a Labour Government] elected’
Ps it was the follow up single to Schools Out by Alice Cooper .I was around 10.

Last edited 6 months ago by frankfrank.teague
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

He actually didn’t, sticking to Tory spending plans for several years. We did then have the financial crash, where almost every western government printed vast amounts of money.

Former Guardian Reader
Former Guardian Reader
6 months ago

There is one aspect of New Labour’s legacy which has finally become clear which hasn’t been mentioned in this article or any other article about the 25th anniversary of New Labour’s election victory on this website or anywhere else I’ve looked. After Tony Blair became Labour leader when in opposition he promised that New Labour would be “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, its policies were set out in its 1997 election manifesto and after New Labour won Tony Blair promised that the party which had been elected as New Labour would govern as New Labour. It is now clear that “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” was a lie and the proof is the mass rape of underage girls in places such as Rotherham, Rochdale, Keighley, Huddersfield and Oxford, to name a few.
The scale of the scandal of the so-called “grooming gangs” only started to become apparent in the early 2010s thanks to the reporting of Andrew Norfolk in The Times which led to the Jay report and prosecutions of some of the rapists in Rotherham. More of what happened in Rotherham and elsewhere has been uncovered since then and there are three more official enquiries due to be published shortly and three large cases are going through the courts in one county (one set of trials should be in progress now but would be covered by reporting restrictions and two more haven’t reached trial yet). Many of those convicted at more than 50 trials committed their offences during the New Labour era but most of those trials took place after New Labour left office and at some of those trials the prosecution, witnesses and judges have spoken about how the police, social services and politicians were told what was happening but failed the victims.
For decades journalists and politicians have named scandals using the suffix “-gate”. The “grooming gangs” scandal is far bigger than Watergate but the media has not done the story justice: the established news outlets haven’t reported or investigated it enough (and at least one has tried to help New Labour cover it up), the established current affairs magazines haven’t discussed it enough and the new generation of opinion websites haven’t discussed it enough. UnHerd should and could have published a series of “deep dive” articles about the “grooming gangs” scandal but it hasn’t but has published a series of articles about the 25th anniversary of New Labour’s election victory which have mentioned the misogyny suffered by Cherie Blair, The Catherine Tate Show and Shakira. That’s not good enough.
The media hasn’t done the story justice because it hasn’t treated the “grooming gangs” scandal as a political story. Talking about the mass rape of underage girls in the late 1990s and the 2000s without mentioning New Labour is like talking about mass unemployment in the 1980s and the early 1990s without mentioning the Conservatives: both happened because politicians made the political choice to allow them to happen.

NIck Brown
NIck Brown
5 months ago

 the tragedy of the 7/7 bombings”? Shouldn’t that be “the terrorist outrage of the 7/7 bombings”? We know there was tragedy but it wasn’t an accident, you know.


Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
4 months ago
Reply to  NIck Brown

Shhh! You must not utilise truth in religious bloodletting. Words matter. Do and say nothing that could raise questions as to community integration, discrimination, radical proliferation or affiliation. Do not call it what it is otherwise ppl will need to stop fostering the evil amongst us. We must do nothing to hinder their brand of good ol’ multiculturalism.