This article was first published on The Commentator.
Yes, it’s Tony Blair – back despite popular demand. The former Prime Minister has once again hinted at creating a new movement aimed at blocking Brexit, although the British people will at least be relieved to hear he has ruled out an attempt to return to Parliament.
Considering how a YouGov poll in October said Blair would perform even worse than Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader these days, his decision to stay away from elections might be wise.
Blair’s lack of self-awareness, however, remains staggering. It is stunning how, after a decade away from politics in a lucrative career giving after-dinner speeches and advising tyrants, he cannot recognise his presence would actively harm the anti-Brexit movement.
Virtually everybody, with the possible exception of Blair himself, realises Blair is a toxic brand. He is one of the most widely-loathed politicians in the country. Yet he still seems to believe in his own almost Messianic ability to bend the British people to his will. He may be the last person in the country to think so.
With typical arrogance, Blair has gone beyond even the normal anti-democratic stance of demanding a second EU Referendum. He is not content just to revert to the classic Eurocrat tactic of asking the British people again and again until they come up with the ‘right’ answer. He has instead suggested Brexit could simply be blocked by a vote in Parliament – a travesty of democracy, where a caste of politicians would overturn the clearly-expressed will of the people.
Blair’s contempt for democracy is plain for all to see. Perhaps this should not surprise us. After all, Blair has spent much of his time since leaving office advising brutal dictators like Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev and Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev.
Needless to say, in these countries the people never get in the way of the will of the politicians. Any unwanted voting results, if they ever see the light of day, are simply ignored or overturned, and extremely unpopular politicians are accountable to nobody.
Maybe Blair has spent so long advising these countries’ rulers, he just needs some time to adjust to British politics again.
Here’s a brief rundown for him. In Britain, we have a democratic Government, and a freely and fairly elected Parliament. The people’s will is respected.
Our government was elected in 2015 on the promise of holding an EU Referendum, having been forced into this by Nigel Farage and UKIP. Our Parliament then voted to hold such a Referendum, in which we freely and fairly voted for Brexit last year on June 23rd.
Then the Government committed itself to making our will a reality, and in March Parliament voted to respect the result and invoke Article 50. This is real democracy, Mr Blair. He might have forgotten what it means, but the Great British Public certainly have not.
Some of Blair’s few remaining supporters insist the anti-Blair comments of Brexiteers prove we are ‘scared’ of him. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, probably the only people who actually want Blair back are Brexit supporters, who cannot wait for him to sabotage the anti-Brexit movement by his sheer unpopularity.
Nobody is scared of Blair, except perhaps Remoaners who rightly worry he will derail their campaign. People just do not want him back. He deserves to be called out for his arrogance. The Great British Public are tired of him and the weak, anti-democratic arguments he makes.
Blair might do well to listen to the words of one of his old friends, Bernie Ecclestone. On Brexit, Bernie said “I think it’s the best thing. We should be ruling ourselves.”
He painted a positive picture of post-Brexit Britain, saying “If we’ve got something to sell, and it’s a good product at the right price, people will buy whether they are Chinese, Italian or German.”
As we Get Britain Out of the European Union, perhaps Blair should give up on his anti-Brexit crusade, and seek Bernie’s help in getting over the referendum result.