Totally discredited ex Tory Prime Minister Thatcher was reported to have said that her greatest legacy was Tony Blair. This was because he was, in effect, pursuing pretty much the same political agenda as her, being, perhaps, even more vehemently right wing.
Since Starmer has said that Labour Party supporters should be proud of Blair’s legacy, logically, he is paving the way for a Thatcherite future for the Party.
What is the legacy that Blair left behind? To Socialists, it reads like the menu of the Devil’s disciple :-
Firstly, there was the legacy of the War in Iraq. Britain was dragged into an illegal war under a barrage of lies including ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and the threat of missiles from Iraq arriving in 45 minutes. Masses of the British population took to the streets to protest, all to no avail. The World and the Middle East is still suffering from this disgraceful war.
Blair was an enthusiast for abolishing any hinderances on the ability of Big Business and the Banks to make huge exploitative tax avoiding profits at the expense of the overwhelming majority of the population. The mantra was that Labour’s leadership were completely ‘comfortable’ with people becoming ‘obscenely wealthy’ (with no restrictions on how this wealth should be accrued).
We can, today, see the awful outcomes on inequality in society and also the horrific effects both on people and the environment from such beliefs. Anti trade union legislation continued to be stepped up in Parliament and British workers’ rights to protest were further eroded.
Another legacy of Blair’s regime was the continued and accelerated privatisation of the NHS and the introduction of PFI contracts. As a result, the big City financiers are still to this day raking in huge incomes from exorbitant rates of interest charged for building often substandard and decrepit hospital buildings and other second class so-called facilities (often obsolete before they were completed). It wasn’t only the NHS where such PFI schemes were used to fleece the British public (e.g with building in the sphere of education).
There was also the ‘cosying up’ to America in foreign policy and the further deep political integration into the undemocratic EU that formed the basis of much of Blair’s horrible legacy.
Blair, of course, relied upon a political ’spin machine’ that Goebbels would have been proud of in order to cover up his mischief. He was successful, however, in amassing great personal wealth for his family and his ‘toadying up’ to American interests has been extremely well rewarded over the years.
With the mainstream British media loving every ultra capitalist move that he made, he was given a very ‘fair wind’ by them during his time in office. Indeed, he still manages to obtain extremely widespread coverage of his smarmy, discreditable utterances.
If the dwindling Labour Party supporters want even more of this carnage to their lives and to the planet, then they should indeed support a Starmer led Labour Party with pictures of Thatcher adorning their political meetings.
To us in the Socialist Labour Party, Blair is but one in a long line of Labour Party leaders that have been the enemy of the British working class.
Rob J. Hawkins 6/08/2021