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4th March 2011
As if by some unlikely congruence two ‘stars’ in the political firmament have been seen as little more than dust clouds of confusion. One repelled by, the other attracted by the real shining star of today’s politics – Tony Blair. Yes, I did say “today’s” politics. Yes, I did say “Tony Blair”.
First there’s the ABUSER – Ed Miliband.
You must remember him? He is the Labour leader who is Not Tony Blair.
Then there’s the USER – David Cameron.
He’s the Conservative leader, current prime minister, who wishes he were Tony Blair. To be fair he keeps trying, without much success so far.
The Daily Mail reported on a Peter Mandelson interview with – “Mandelson launches scathing attack on Ed Miliband: ‘He doesn’t know what he wants… and BLAIR could have won election’”
‘Lord Mandelson today launched a searing attack on Ed Miliband and warned he could lose Labour the next election.
The former business secretary, who taunted the party leader in his memoirs, also condemned him for being too quick to ‘criticise his own side’ and said he had still not set out what he stood for.
Meanwhile, he suggested Tony Blair could have won last year’s General Election, had he been at the helm, rather than Gordon Brown.
He warned the Labour leader not to cede the centre ground to the Tories and risk suffering defeat when the country next goes to the polls.’
‘And what we are seeing now is Cameron and his lot trying desperately hard to be like New Labour, to be centrist, to be moderate, to marginalise their Right-wing, although I think a lot of their policies are tilting in a different direction.’
He added: ‘If we continue to cede that ground to Cameron and the Tories then we are going to be in trouble at the next election.’
Lord Mandelson’s latest remarks follow a scathing attack made last month during which he suggested Mr Miliband risked making his party as unelectable as it was in the days of Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock.’
Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak (watch here), Lord Mandelson said:
“I like Ed Miliband […] “He’s so quick to say he’s not New Labour, he’s not Tony Blair and the rest. Well, it’s fine to be something different but you’ve also got to make clear what that something else is, and I don’t think he’s done so yet.”
Too right, Lord Mandelson. I’ve forgotten all about Miliband Jnr already, which means I’ve forgotten we had a third party. Oh, yes, despite having been the first party since 1997, Labour is now the third party in terms of importance. A quiet revolution hit us on Tony Blair’s birthday last year and it was not a wanted gift for or even from Tony Blair.
In the 8-minute Daybreak interview Mandelson also says he doesn’t think Cameron will be picking his brains over Libya. Not that he needs to. He has been picking the brains of a man who has been far closer to the ground regarding Gaddafi and Libya and the Middle East. You’ve got it –
The USER of Tony Blair
I know I should be pleased that Cameron has been picking Blair’s brains on Libya and Gaddafi. [See Daily Mail report – ‘Cameron’s Secret Libya Crisis Talks to Blair’.] At least Cameron knows where to go in a crisis.
But following his traducement of Blair, via the semi-opaque remarks the other day on Labour’s ‘mistakes’ over Gaddafi, I am not feeling all that warm towards Mr Cameron.
I wrote a comparative honesty post here – Major c/w Cameron on Cameron’s press-directed language regarding Blair & Gaddafi. Cameron actually agreed that Blair was right to do the ‘deal in the desert’ but he chose to give the impression that he didn’t approve of anything to do with (New) Labour’s actions on anything to do with Libya.
I find that disingenuous, particularly unfair treatment of Mr Blair considering Cameron’s REAL thoughts and above all it is disgraceful SPIN.
But it’s even worse than just political spin. Our ever-so-straight, ever-so-tough, ever-so-foot-in-mouthy prime minister Cameron, has been consulting Tony Blair on the Libya crisis!
David Cameron has been secretly consulting Tony Blair about Libya despite publicly criticising his links with Colonel Gaddafi.
Senior officials say the Prime Minister has held at least two conversations in the past fortnight with the former Labour premier, now a Middle East peace envoy.
Mr Cameron has consulted Mr Blair about the Libyan dictator’s state of mind and sought advice about how to make him quit.
But yesterday the Prime Minister continued his public condemnation of Blairite links to Libya, telling MPs that Lord Mandelson, Baroness Symons and former defence minister Adam Ingram should refer themselves to the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which vets jobs of former ministers.
It is understood the two men spoke just before the Prime Minister’s ill-fated trip to Egypt and the Gulf, during which he asked Mr Blair’s advice about Arab leaders. Mr Cameron has also consulted Mr Blair since the former prime minister spoke to Colonel Gaddafi twice last Friday.
A senior Whitehall official said Mr Blair’s office warned Downing Street he was planning to talk to the Libyan despot, telling him it was time to go.
‘Then Blair got in touch again to say that he had spoken to Gaddafi and said he was going to speak to him again.’
Since then, Mr Cameron has discussed the situation personally with Mr Blair. A second senior source said: ‘It’s not a case of Cameron using him as a conduit to Gaddafi, it’s a case of picking his brains.’
Picking his brains? No chance, Mr Cameron. Like your political nous, you’re stuck with your own.
Mr Blair wouldn’t do it, as he is too honest a man and the issues are too big. But the thought crosses my spinning mind. How’s about providing Cameron with some disinformation? The kind of disinformation Cameron provides for the rest of us? [Read more from the Daily Mail]
It shouldn’t be glossed over that Lord Mandelson also suggested that Labour may have won the last year’s election if Tony Blair had still been at the helm of the party rather than Gordon Brown.
Asked if Mr Blair could have won the election he replied: “I think it’s a possibility that he would have done, but he thought it was time to move on and he was fairly well pushed out of government in 2007.”
I wonder how many in Labour are ruing the day they let the knives sink deep into their record-breaking winner while they averted their eyes?
And I wonder how many of them have read the historical facts on how long it took Labour to find a winning leader? Forget 18 Wilderness Years. It was 33 years. [Read the unpalatable truth here.] Thirty three long years from their last elected winning leader Harold Wilson in 1964 until 1997 when Blair arrived to light up the political cosmos.
So there you go Superstar, Ed M. You’re no doubt elated that your candidate won in the Barnsley Central by-election. In fact if your party had lost this by-election in one of your safest seats it would have been more of a shock than the Liberal Democrat coming in 6th and losing his deposit.
The next general election will be a whole different ball game.
You’ve only got to beat the man who admires the man you don’t: your party’s most successful ever election winner. Tony Blair.
Easy-peasy. You can do it – in less than 33 years, I’m sure.
- Mandelson’s remarks also reported at the Independent
- Jim Murphy, Labour former minister on Labour and interventionism
- Blair (from Times interview) defends deal with Gaddafi and says he urged him to step down
- Mandelson – “Cameron is shooting from the hip on Libya”
- Top US lawmaker meets Tony Blair on Israel/Palestinian issues
- Blair defends bringing Gaddafi in from the cold
- Matthew d’Ancona – Blair was right to meet Gaddafi when he did
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)