This article is worth reading, not because it has any positive merits, but because it condenses the sheer malevolence of Blair’s role in public life. No constructive ideas, just a remorseless drive to smash and wreck any progressive political force on behalf of his paymasters. 1/
Labour under Corbyn bucked this trend, increasing its vote share by 10% in 2017. Its 2019 performance was still vastly better than recent elections for the SPD, which averaged nearly 41% of the vote from 1994 to 2005, or the PS, which won the presidency as recently as 2012. 2/ Image
Blair can acknowledge the difficulties now Corbyn has been ousted. But he implies the SPD lost support for being too radical after serving in government with the main conservative party for 12 of the last 16 years. He won’t even mention the name “Renzi” when it comes to Italy. 3/ Image
“Centre-ground” voters may have considered Trump “uniquely strange and unacceptable,” but Blair certainly didn’t. He urged US liberals not to offer “flat-out opposition” to Trump: “If something happens that is good, then don’t disagree with it just because of its author.” 4/ Image
Speaking to Alastair Campbell in 2017, Blair spelled out where he thought Trump could do “good”: by forging an alliance between Israel and Blair’s Saudi funders to wage a cold war—and perhaps a hot one—against Iran. His appetite for destruction is insatiable. 5/ Image
Hundreds and hundreds of words, but not a single policy proposal, just pure negativity—opposition to public ownership, regulation of business, or services funded by taxation and allocated on the basis of need, washed down with empty verbiage about technological change. 6/ Image
A lot of words, not a single example of what he’s talking about, but anyone familiar with British public discourse can read between the lines: Blair wants statues of slave profiteers left unmolested and the crimes of the British Empire swept under the carpet. 7/ Image
When Gordon Brown was Blair’s Chancellor, he urged people to celebrate the Empire:

“The days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over.”

When did they ever begin? 8/…
When Blair says “they” here, he means “I”. He’s laying down a marker: no matter how many scandals and abuses there are, you are not permitted to draw any general conclusions about the British security services. It’s always an unfortunate accident, never a systemic problem. 9/ Image
When Blair talks about “supporting the armed forces,” he means supporting aggressive wars and atrocities against civilians, not helping homeless veterans with PTSD. The people who actually fought Blair's wars are yesterday's news for him. 10/…
The “worst defeat since 1935” line is tiresome and disingenuous, focusing on seats without mentioning votes—2019 wasn’t even Labour’s worst (or second-worst) vote share since 2010. But “the worst defeat in the party’s history” is a barefaced lie by a pathological conman. 11/ Image
Labour's worst defeat was in 1931, when it lost 80% of its seats. Blair wouldn’t like to recall that, since he resembles no Labour leader more than Ramsay MacDonald, a man who smashed up his party to impose welfare cuts on the unemployed in the midst of the Great Depression. 12/ Image
Translation: we sold Starmer to the Labour membership with promises of “electability.” Now that he’s signally failed to deliver that, we have to eliminate the party’s democratic structures and the influence of trade unions to ensure there’s no channel for the backlash. 13/ Image
After a decade of punitive austerity that cut Britain’s public services to the bone, Blair scoffs at the very idea that spending on those services might be increased. He used politics to become a fabulously wealthy man and now wants to defend the privileges of his class. 14/ Image
Blair’s choice of names here is no accident: a professional apologist for Tory racism and darling of the right-wing press; a shill for the Prevent programme that targets Muslim communities; and a wealthy crank who shares his hostility to the left. 15/ Image
This is the role that Trevor Phillips plays in British politics—one that he’s fully conscious of. The Murdoch press wheels him out to run interference on behalf of another apologist, spiced up with a preposterous lie about journalists using the phrase “Mandingo fighting.” 16/ Image
Blair will go to the mat in defence of figures like Phillips and Khan because he firmly supports racist policies and needs someone to provide a fig leaf. There's a straight line from his government to the Tory "hostile environment" for immigrants. 17/…
The reference to Keynes and Beveridge here is especially shameless, when Blair is staunchly opposed to Keynesian economics and ambitious social programmes. If they were alive today, Blair would casually dismiss their arguments as a call to “spend more.” 18/ Image
We reach the end without a single constructive proposal, just grinding negativity towards the ideas drawn up by better men and women than Blair, and ill-concealed injunctions to soft-soap racism. This isn’t a manifesto—it’s a hand reaching out from the crypt. 19/ Image
This is the essence of “Blairism” in 2021, not 1997: implacable hostility to progressive politicians like Corbyn or Bernie Sanders, an open hand for Trump, Salvini or Mohammed bin Salman, so long as there’s a few quid in it or the chance of another war before he croaks. 20/ Image

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More from @DanFinn95

17 May
Latest Long Reads podcast is up now, with Paul Buhle talking about the life and work of C. L. R. James (and a few clips from James himself talking about cricket, Haiti, Marxism and more):…
Great interview with James by Studs Terkel from 1970 here:

And another between James and Edward Thompson here:

Read 4 tweets
2 May
There's a steady trickle of these unverifiable anecdotes before the Hartlepool by-election has even happened, getting their excuses in early, but no discussion of what this "breach of trust" actually was—and certainly no mention of Labour's change of line on Brexit after 2017.
Hartlepool voted 70% Leave in 2016. The following year, Labour pledged to accept the referendum result and increased its vote by 17%, two years into Corbyn's leadership. When Labour promised a second referendum in 2019, its vote dropped by 15%.…
Lewis Goodall looked at the impact of Labour's change of line on Brexit in an excellent article the week before the 2019 election that accurately predicted what would happen on polling day. You can't talk about "trust" without acknowledging this.…
Read 5 tweets
31 Mar
He's right, of course. But I can't help recall that Sanghera signed an open letter telling people not to vote for Labour because of alleged concerns about antisemitism in 2019. It said nothing at all about the racism of Johnson or the Tories, and several Tories signed it.
The implicit but unmistakable message of this letter was: a vote for Johnson is morally permissible in a way that a vote for Corbyn is not. No wonder the likes of Tony Parsons, Frederick Forsyth and indefatigable Saudi apologist Ghanem Nuseibeh signed it.…
The hypocrisy was breathtaking: the signatories demanded to know "which other community's concerns are disposable", while giving a green light to the party of Windrush and the "hostile environment". Tellingly, the only other factor they could think of was Brexit.
Read 4 tweets
11 Mar
I came across this piece for the first time the other day, from the height of pre-election madness in 2019, and it's quite a good summary of the sheer dross that passes for commentary on world affairs in the British media—always geared towards having a pop at the left. 1/
The claims of "serious irregularities" and "clear manipulation" from the OAS were complete bunk, as was clear at the time, not merely in hindsight. 2/…
Within days of this article appearing, the coup regime had massacred those protesting against the ousting of Morales by the Bolivian army. But hey, don't call it a coup guys: that "doesn't cut it." 3/…
Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
This is a very good and depressing piece, and really drives home the point that Uber isn't so much a company as a latter-day version of the Pinkertons, lavishly subsidized by venture capital through its multi-billion losses to smash up workers' rights.…
With opponents like these, who needs friends?

"Despite signing the bill [to regulate Uber], Newsom was still trying to negotiate an agreement that would ultimately shield them from it."
Another would-be foe: “The goal of the matter is for everyone to walk away equally unhappy”—the centrist credo really, how inspiring! Can't imagine how Uber has been able to roll over the opposition to its schemes like a tank.
Read 10 tweets
12 Feb
This interview with one of Starmer’s aides, whiny and petulant as it is, is still worth looking at properly to see how inane and vacuous their political vision is. 1/…
Harris says that she cries when she thinks about Labour MPs who lost their seats in 2019 (not about the people who have already suffered and will continue suffering under a Conservative government). But why did they lose those seats? 2/ Image
The MPs she mentions all represented Leave-voting constituencies (margins ranging from 9 to 16%). They all gained votes under Corbyn in 2017 but lost in 2019. 3/…
Read 6 tweets

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