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By Richard Eskow

If Tony Blair’s op-ed on Brexit is mournful and even elegiac in tone, that’s understandable. Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was, after all, a repudiation of his legacy as prime minister. And if it isn’t as mournful as it might have been – well, Blair has done quite well for himself since leaving office, which must provide some consolation for his errors. The people of Great Britain won’t be so lucky.

Neither will Americans, if they follow the British path.

One thing is clear: Although Tony Blair laments the failure of the “political center,” this didn’t happen because he and his colleagues failed. It happened because they succeeded.

[…]

Like Blair, [Bill] Clinton is unable to distinguish between irrational hatred and a wish to see the law enforced evenhandedly against bankers. But then Clinton, like Blair, has made a lot of money from bankers. [clarification by The Secular Jurist]

Both men employed social liberalism and personal charm to turn their parties rightward and expand the power of the global financial sector. They and their associates shared a common inclination to dismiss the left – once the heart and soul of their own parties – as the vestige of a dead age, a nest of shrill and clueless extremists no better than the right.

Continue reading:  Dear Tony Blair: It’s Not the Pitch, It’s the Product.

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5 thoughts on “Dear Tony Blair: It’s Not the Pitch, It’s the Product.

  1. More from the article:

    “Undeterred, Blair frets that ‘the political center has lost its power to persuade and its essential means of connection to the people it seeks to represent.’

    But the problem isn’t the sales pitch, Mr. Blair. The problem is the product.

    The ‘centrists’ in Tony Blair’s New Labor and Bill Clinton’s New Democrats might disagree with their electoral opponents about certain policies, but they agreed with them on some key principles: the power of free markets, the privatization of government services, and a global economic order that emphasized corporate control over trade.

    This shared ideology led to bank deregulation, weakened unions, stagnant wages, soaring inequality, personality-driven elections and the undermining of the social contract – all executed with ‘bipartisan’ comity.

    The public is tasting the fruit of these centrist successes now. Turns out they don’t much care for it.”

  2. I would like to see our whole country and in truth all political parties shift to a progressive mode. Sadly I think the republicans are more regressive now. It seems they are trying very hard to turn us back to less progressive times. Sadly it seems the progressives are so busy fighting an defensive war, trying so hard not to lose ground, that they can’t make head way and move the country more progressive and enlightening the population. I feel that I am somewhat angry at what I see as the total unfair stonewalling of attempts to even keep what rights people have and the sliding back to what I think of as dismal times. The very concept of democracy requires cooperation from the parties, yet we have a small minority in the one party who refuse any co-operation, preferring to only have their way, attempting to force their agenda on a population that is against their effort and doesn’t support their attempts. I often say the current administration is not a left leaning one, but was willing to be more right of center to try to hammer out compromises, however the other part felt compromise meant they got ALL they wanted and the other side got nothing. Without being a majority but with the most vocal and dedicated supporters, they a whole country of the majority to back their limited minority actions. Like the recent gun regulations fight.
    I have to say I am sad and disillusioned. I served in our countries military and in other jobs after tried to uphold order. Yet I find that at my age I find the actions of the didactic manner of the minority to unwelcome at best and infuriating in any other way. I had thought that when I got to be 53 I would be living in a country that cared greatly for ALL its people. Health care would have been fixed, people would have reasonable housing and those like me who have lost abilities, I took for granted that I would not face homelessness, hunger, discouragement, and fear. I want the hope that I use to have back, I want the joy of moving forward in discoveries of things that can help people live better lives. I want….. but I don’t see the retrogressive people giving any ground, but instead digging in and acting more thuggish and immovable. I simply don’t see how to move fully forward without someone tough enough to use the back room type deals, who knows the skeletons of other lawmakers, who can put pressure on the opposition and use their own actions against them. I believe Hillary Clinton is the one who can do that. I think she is realistic enough to know their is a limit right now to how far things can be bent to the progressive side, and has the steel and fortitude, the connections to make progress happen and turn back the tide of regression. Thanks, be well and hugs.

    • Good words and sentiments to which I wholeheartedly agree.

      Still, we differ on Hillary. I don’t think she’s a progressive at all, but rather a neoliberal technocrat. Furthermore, I believe backroom deal-making is an affront to open democracy, and causes many more problems than it solves.

      • In a perfect utopian world I agree wholeheartedly with you. However like our politicians I must deal with the world I have than the one I dream of. Yes we should work towards making the government transparent, we should work for many of the things we want in an enlightened world. To get what we want, to achieve the things we strive for will take many steps, many small achievements and those will require back room deals. At Least at first. See that is why I did not support Senator Sanders, because he insists on jumping from point A to point Z with no steps between. Instant health care for all. Free shooling for all. Heck we can’t get partial health care for some, and we are seeing public schools cut to the bone and deeper by the opposition. I support universal single payer health care. I have been in countries where it works great. I have canadian relatives that love the system they have. But there is NO way to go from what we have to the end product without a lot of steps in between and arguably much deal making. That is just a sad fact of the reality we have. And no the supports fever for Sanders will not gain and remain. Like all heros he will tarnish and fade, people will figure they did their bit or simply grow tired. Bill Clinton was asked why he did the don’t ask don’t tell deal. He said in response because the people did not support him. He tried to open the military to gay people, but the American public did not support him, they did not call or write the congress opposition, they did not come out in numbers to force the politicians to agree to it. Instead he was forced to back down and accept the best deal he could get. Be well and hugs

  3. Pingback: Irreconcilable Differences: How the Dems’ Clinton/Sanders split looks like a messy divorce | The Secular Jurist

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