spiked | What’s worse than Blair? His critics
Today, Blair-bashing – which is indulged by many of those who bowed and scraped before Blair 10 years ago – is driven by cynicism and frustration. It has become fashionable, a sign of respectability, to say that you don’t like Blair.
From Labour government ministers to Labour Party members, from the commentariat to the ranks of the anti-war movement, Hating Blair is the new Loving Blair. Yet it is a contentless, shallow and gesture opposition. It is not about properly analysing what ‘Blairism’ means and why it is a problem; it is simply about saying ‘I blame Blair for everything!’
Cynicism with politics, and fatalism towards the idea that we might really change things for the better, is now expressed in the sentiment that Blair’s continuing presence in parliamentary politics is the cause of all the nation’s problems. Blair is now discussed as a ‘boil’ on the Labour Party’s record, or a ‘blot on the British political landscape’, who must be squeezed and drained and Tcleared away before things can get back to normal.
Anti-Blairism is an emotional spasm rather than a political critique, and often it is driven by petty and envious inter-Labour rivalries. It is the lowest form of politics.