Beware Bewildered Blairites 147

The Guardian/Observer remains the house journal of the Blairites, and while they have temporarily turned down the volume on the Corbyn hate, it is a good place to assess how the right wing forces in Labour are planning to reassert themselves. And the answer is in part that they are clutching at racism like a drowning man clutching at a straw. Andrew Rawnsley, the epitome of the Blairite journalist who exudes overpaid entitlement, quotes with endorsement Gordon Brown protégé Natascha Engel, defeated Labour ex-MP for NE Derbyshire, who states “what we need to do is reconnect with our white working class voters”.

Now ask yourself, what is the purpose of the word “white” in that sentence?

Tom Watson, in a co-ordinated interview in the same edition also much quoted by Rawnsley, does not use the word white. He employs the euphemism “traditional”. He talks of the need to “give greater reassurance to our traditional working class voters.”

But we know exactly what the Labour right mean when they talk about reassuring the “white working class” or the “traditional working class”. They mean that Labour should mimic UKIP and the Tories and pander to popular anti-immigration racism.

Rawnsley reports:

“Deborah Mattinson, the strategy director of Britain Thinks, was involved in her first Labour campaign in 1987. She can’t be dismissed as a Tory stooge. After conducting extensive focus groups with swing voters in six marginal seats, she reports: “There were as many who voted Labour in spite of Corbyn as did because of Corbyn.”
That chimes with the views of the many Labour MPs who are still Corbyn-sceptics. They are keeping their heads down at the moment for fear of being monstered by Momentum activists and targeted for deselection, but their secret view is that the election result was not proof of a resounding endorsement of Corbynism. “Given that no one thought Labour could possibly win, it was a massive protest vote,” says one of their number.”

Mattinson certainly can be, and ought to be, dismissed as a Tory stooge – Britain Thinks is closely connected to right wing entryist group Progress. But all of this speaks to a determination by the right to continue to argue that only right wing policies can win votes. You have to be against immigration, for Trident, for military action abroad, for privatisation, or you can’t win votes.

The truth is that Corbyn got more votes than New Labour ever did, except once in 1997 – and in 1997 Labour fought on a left wing manifesto (which Blair then betrayed). But the re-assertion of the myth of the unelectability of the left is the only weapon in the Blairite arsenal. All of which hinges on a portrayal of the “traditional working class” as Alf Garnett.

It is worth noting – and is a symptom of the Labour right’s hopeless state – that the immigrant knocking plan is at odds with the Chukka single market plan, which entails freedom of movement. It is also extremely peculiar that the sixty MPs who defied the whip to vote for the single market correlate very closely with the MPs who voted to launch bombing and destruction on Syria. You need a warped mind to reconcile those views.

Rather than being grateful for the very well paid job the Labour Party has landed them, Labour MPs remain convinced it is they who are important and they should have a key role in determining party policy. Years of determined Blairite/Progress activity has given them a firm grip on party machinery. Most of the party’s paid staff are very right wing indeed. Jeremy Corbyn, at the moment. is in a much more powerful position within the party than he was six months ago. But the right will be digging relentlessly to undermine him again, starting now. Corbyn and his supporters need now to show a ruthless streak in purging their party structure of the Blairites, asserting membership control of policy and executive power, and of course introducing compulsory deselection and reselection of MPs. Otherwise, I predict this Corbyn phenomenon will be looked back on as a brief spark of hope, soon snuffed out.

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147 thoughts on “Beware Bewildered Blairites

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  • Dave

    Saying “White” helped Trump get elected and breaks the PC taboo that illustrates the years of occupation government, considering the term BAME is used all the time.

  • Emanuel

    I don’t see anyone calling a spade a spade. Blair was a tool of the ‘elite’. The ‘elite’ don’t like Corbyn because he is too ethical and is a threat to their grand designs, period. They know that he will not readily provide cannon fodder for their wars and will not rest even if their lackeys are now a tiny majority in Labour ranks. Corbyn’s hand was strengthened by the recent election. Therefore, he can afford to deal with the remaining Blairites firmly on a once and for all basis.

    • John

      Meh. Imho, Corbyn is also an elite tool.

      Maybe you don’t remember the wild enthusiasm (manufactured) for Blair in his early days ?

  • Alan Roberts

    ” You need a warped mind to reconcile those views.” (i.e. single market & bombing of Syria.) The view that ties those two policies together is the view from the Israel lobby’s window and is promoted by the Labour Friends of Israel faction. Israel already has its friends inside the EU structure and their influence might counter any pro-BDS activism from a UK Labour government under Corbyn. Of course Israel is already bombing Syria to protect its Golan Heights occupation and possibly with an eye to acquire more territory beyond that. Brits who say that Israel has no dog in the UK electoral race or who say that the Israel lobby would have insignificant effect on any outcome are very, very mistaken.

  • Alistair Granham

    I think the Guardian has a mix of staff pretty similar to the Labour Party, and those on the left are emboldened by the election result (or, like Owen Jones, have recovered their faith). There is much that is good – See this important article criticising ‘Blairite’ Harringay Council’s appalling housing privatisation plans:

  • Ba'al Zevul

    “what we need to do is reconnect with our white working class voters”.

    Now ask yourself, what is the purpose of the word “white” in that sentence?

    I did. And maybe it could equally be interpreted as meaning that ‘we’ don’t need to reconnect with ‘our’ non-white working-class voters, which is probably true bearing in mind that Blair enabled unrestricted mass immigration in the first place. And ‘we’ certainly don’t need to reconnect with ‘our’ EU Gastarbeiter as they don’t have a vote here anyway.

    What I am getting from this ongoing and unpleasant characterisation of Leavers as racists is that you yourself are trying to make this a colour issue. Much harder to call a Caucasian a racist if he objects (as is often the case) to an influx of other Caucasians, and only slightly easier in the case of Slavs. The Grauniad may be ‘the house organ of the Blairites’ (though it seems to be more and more the house organ of feminist Liberals with strange tastes in food) – but you yourself are singing from the same Remain hymnsheet as -not only Blair himself – but that champion of all snowflakes* everywhere, Polly Toynbee.

    You are, in other words, becoming a superb politician.

    *Gwaaan. Object to the word. I know you want to.

  • Dave

    The General Election did reveal May’s leadership shortcomings. I.e. If the campaign tactics were her idea, she’s a fool, and if they were her advisors ideas and she just agreed with them, then she’s still a fool. And it does appear the tactics were a coup by Remainers to destroy the Conservative campaign. But nevertheless she still won with many more seats than Labour and a very big share of the vote.

    And overall the outcome was a very good result for the country, because it secures Brexit, ends austerity and reduces the prospect of WWIII with Russia.

    However the myth is the Labour result was due to a good campaign. I’m not saying they did or didn’t have a good campaign/manifesto, but it was the attempt by the deep state (how complicit was May?) to demonize Corbyn, like Trump, on the back of the staged events that delivered the improved Labour vote.

    The ‘terror’ coverage was so over the top, Corbyn merely had to appear as Uncle Jeremy saying make love not war and all the non-conservative, anti-establishment and anti-war vote said he doesn’t seem that bad to me and rallied to the underdog.

    I don’t know if the deep state thought Remainers would all vote Lib Dem, but ironically by bolstering Corbyn they have strengthened Brexit, because Corbyn is now an emboldened Bennite and supports Brexit as part of Labour’s anti-austerity agenda.

    • Dave

      Also did you see the report about a former Irish ambassador saying Ireland should leave the EU due to its special relationship with UK? Great stuff!

    • SA

      I think Corbyn would be stepping into a big trap if he was to support a second referendum as this would be a rallying call for those who wish to call him anti democratic. Corbyn can only go along with Brexit but insist that it is watered down by fighting to remain in some of the institutions of the EU.

  • David Knopfler

    The elephant though is still Brexit. The forty year old virus that split the Conservative Party now has deep fault lines running through the Labour Party. Who is going to stop us committing harikari because 52% of the electorate thought they wanted it 13 months ago based on a mountain of elephant shit dumped by far right opportunists?

    • Dave

      Brexit is a great opportunity to reform UK and grow the economy now austerity is no longer needed to join the Euro.

    • John

      Goodness knows what makes you think you know what my vote was based on, David. Psychism ? Telepathy ?

  • John

    “You need a warped mind to reconcile those views”.

    Or an atrophied conscience and the desire to become rich.

  • 1234

    The referendum debate seemed to be reduced to “are you a racist or not?” and the focus was all about immigration – it was rubbish on both sides. What I don’t remember hearing was any remainer telling us about all the positive things we had gained by being a member of the EU. I voted to leave and am not a racist. I have traveled in Europe and love the places and people of Europe but I don’t like the EU, fairly simple really. I wish CM and others would get over this and move on.

  • Sharp Ears

    Establishment stooge Sir John Chilcot revises his £ multi-million ‘inquiry’ whitewash of BLiar and the Iraq War.

    Tony Blair ‘not straight’ with UK over Iraq, says Chilcot

    Video and photos within the link plus a transcript of the interview and a full version of Ms Kuenssberg’s ‘analysis’. Full welly job.

    No mention of the dodgy dossier, the missing WMD and the murder of Dr Kelly in this ‘exclusive’ interview with our Laura.

    The papers relating to his death were locked away for 70 years by another establishment stooge, Lord Hutton.
    Hutton inquiry closed David Kelly medical reports for 70 years

  • Dave

    Although the remit of an enquiry is deliberately set to limit what is investigated and disclosed, its a mistake to describe them as cover-ups when the Judges don’t convict Government people like Blair in their conclusions, because its a public enquiry report not a summing up in a court action.

    The fact is the enquiries do convict in their content but not their conclusions, because by convention its the judges duty to provide the information and the peoples duty to convict. A convention based on the fact the Government is Her Majesty’s Government and judges swear an oath of allegiance to the Monarch. Therefore its not for Judges but for Parliament to convict Her Majesty’s Government through elections. The content of the reports has the information on which to make up your minds irrespective of what the conclusions says, but of course this allows as guilty as hell Blair to falsely say “he’s been cleared”.

    And the problem with convicting a PM, past Government is it undermines democracy because democracy only works on the peaceful transfer of power, which Governments/Parties will be reluctant to do if it means suffering the consequences of their crimes. Hence why Blair walks free.

      • Dave

        All governments have blood on their hands, it goes with the territory, but in a democracy, and for it to work, its Parliaments duty, not a Judges duty to convict Her Majesty’s Government in Parliament. The Judges duty in an enquiry into government, within the remit permitted, is to provide the electorate with the information on which to cast their vote.

        • Sharp Ears

          A government stooge as I said.

          Ref inquiries. See Hillsborough 28 years ago. Inquiries etc. Finally the CPS bring charges and a court of law awaits.

          The public schoolboy Blair, the warmonger with bloodied hands, (Fettes and St John’s College Oxford) will have his day of reckoning, sooner or later, it matters not.

          Pugface Chilcot (Brighton College and Pembroke College, Cambridge) can go to blazes with his bucket of whitewash and distemper brush.

          Ruling granting Tony Blair immunity from prosecution over Iraq war to be reviewed
          Last year’s ruling to block a private criminal prosecution against the former PM revisited by Lord Chief Justice
          5 July 2017

          • Dave

            No a democrat, who recognises that hanging the previous government will act against the peaceful transfer of power.

            Hillsborough, “a court of law awaits”, yes but not for the guilty party. Neither the fans nor the Police were responsible for the Hillsborough disaster and the long running blame game between the two was part of the cover-up. The responsibility belongs to those who erected the fence and that was a range of agencies, but would have been signed off by a Government Minister. Those responsible for the fence are to blame, because its a crime to block a fire exit. Without the fence there wouldn’t have been a disaster.

          • Sharp Ears

            Chilcot was a director of ABRAXA Ltd, an ‘Other business support service activities n.e.c. – Financial intermediation’ company with a registered address in Edinburgh along with Sir Malcolm Rifkind et al. The company was dissolved.
            Last accounts 2008

            He was also a director of an EDF windfarm company on the Scottish borders which is still active.

            Otherwise, he held 8 directorships in Building and Civil Engineering Holdings Ltd and their associated companies.

          • Sharp Ears

            Will Tony Blair Finally Stand Trial for his Part in the “Supreme International Crime
            Felicity Arbuthnot / July 8th, 2017

            # I think most people who have dealt with me, think I’m a pretty straight sort of guy, and I am.# Tony Blair, BBC “On the Record”, 16th November 1997.

            On 30th November last year, Michael Gove, currently UK Environment Minister, pretty well unloved by swathes of the population whatever Ministry he heads, declared at the post-Chilcot Inquiry debate in Parliament regarding Tony Blair’s role in dragging the UK into a monumental tragedy for which history will not forgive: “History, I think will judge him less harshly than some in this House do.” Deciding whether or not to illegally invade Iraq was a “finely balanced act”, fantasized Gove.

            It was not. It was a pack of lies, many of which came from the Blair regime, as confirmed by Colin Powell’s delusionary address to the UN on 5th February 2003, in subsequently unearthed correspondence and, of course, the Chilcot Inquiry.

            On 15th September 2004, the then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in an interview with the BBC World Service, when asked if the invasion was illegal, stated: “Yes, if you wish.” He continued without caveat: “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view and from the Charter point of view it was illegal.”


            The piece concludes ‘Perhaps, at last, justice may have a chance, one which might set a precedent and also deter any politician or leader from embarking on the “supreme international crime”, ever again. Here’s fervently hoping.’

            I concur with that.

  • SA

    The big debate about Brexit is not that the main focus was immigration with its susceptibility to racist undertones but the complete lack of discussion of the serious economic consequences. Nobody addressed the horror of undoing economic industrial and legal structures built over several decades that had to be undone or redone.

    • Dave

      Yes and think how difficult it would be if UK had already joined the Euro which would have happened if Remain had won.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      A little unfair, considering the complete lack of debate about the changes to economic etc, patently necessary to make this country functional within the EU. Do you recall a ‘discussion’ about ‘the serious economic consequences’ of writing a blank cheque for the banks when the global market in funny money went tits-up in 2007? I don’t. Leave plan: we’ll get out and muddle through somehow. Remain plan: we’ll stay in and keep on muddling through.

      • SA

        You are quite right. It seems that policy is made on the hoof whilst we are being told that the economy is planned. Ans as we all know, austerity itself is a political choice not a necessity

  • Sharp Ears

    Here’s a very bewildered Blairite. Yvette Cooper, defending La Kuenssberg, says she’s fed up to the back teeth with the attacks on her!

    ‘The Labour MP Yvette Cooper has launched a staunch defence of the BBC political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, as she called on Labour to be a “broad-based party” and its supporters to stop engaging in “vitriolic abuse” online.

    Cooper defended Kuenssberg, regularly under fire for perceived political bias, as she set out a potential strategy to put Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street and attacked the US president, Donald Trump.’


      • Dave

        New Labour was a Marxist creed, hence why it was reviled by other Marxist groups, more than they reviled the Tories. But it replaced class Marxism with the social Marxism of gender, minority-identity politics that served the globalist and corporate interests, like the EU. True they conned many to begin with by waving the Union Flag and removing the symbolic Clause 4, but people eventually saw through the relentless lies and explains why Blair has managed to be reviled by everyone, but clearly not neo-con Gove who said “he loved Tony Blair”! A love explained by Kenneth Clark who said Gove as PM would start 4 wars in the first days in office.

  • nevermind

    Blairite’s, failing to swear on clause 4, should be physically removed from the NEC and the Labour party if they use the media and their calamitous connections to undermine the day to day running of the Labour party with more personal attacks.

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