Are we really going to see the Second Coming of St Tony?

by Kevin Meagher

Tony Blair always struck me as an unlikely convert to Catholicism. He is much too messianic. He would have made a great evangelical though, or even a cult leader. The Branch Tonyians, perhaps?

The idea of him returning to British domestic politics, descending from the skies as the clouds part to lead us once again in His Second Coming, is fantastically absurd.

Yet that is precisely what the Sunday Times reported yesterday.

‘Labour sources say Blairites have abandoned hope that Starmer can save the party and a small group is trying to convince Blair to return to the Commons.

‘The Labour peer, Andrew Adonis is at the heart of a network of Blairites who believe he is the only leader who could win a Labour majority…’


Its the kind of story the papers run on April 1 – a spoof with just enough in it to hoodwink readers that have overlooked the date.

Don’t get me wrong, Tony Blair had a good run, serving as prime minister for a decade, winning three thumping elections along the way, but he is now past tense. Seeking to disinter him from his political sarcophagus, like Dracula in a Hammer horror film, is proper death cultist stuff.

Granted, there is a very funny mood in Labourland this week ahead of the Batley and Spen by-election, where there is a strong prospect of the party losing the seat, and even some siren voices predicting it could crash to third place behind George Galloway.

People are jittery and there are clearly figures in the party like Adonis that do not believe Keir Starmer is on the path to winning ways, yet the suggestion that a better way forward is to bring back Blair – fourteen years after he quit as PM – is demented. A comical absurdity.

The serious point is that it is a silly distraction from the work of shaping a new political project that can succeed in radically different times to those that Blair – and Adonis – governed in.

And what of Mr. Blair, you ask?

The Sunday Times report added: ‘His spokeswoman said: “His view is that he is not considering doing this.”

So that’s not a no, then?

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Uncut

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18 Responses to “Are we really going to see the Second Coming of St Tony?”

  1. Anne says:

    Are come backs ever successful- we hear phrases like ‘rising from the ashes’ etc but the answer is generally not. As in sport most successful sports people have their time and the same for politicians. However, it is helpful, at times to have previous politicians to have opinions on current situations, and Blair and Brown still contribute well to this platform. Lord Adonis is wanting to rejoin the EU – this is not sensible at the moment. The important thing at the moment is to get behind Starmer – it is the divisions in the party which are loosing us support. The Tories are laughing like crazy at our stupidity. Bratley and Spen is a very typical example – George Galloway is doing the work for The Tories. It is Labour’s own fault, and bye the way a change of leader will not change this. Until the division have stopped (if ever) we will not win – so please do not even think of changing the leader but support the one we have and work together. We have the worse Government in living memory- yes a really terrible Government. Please stop this division in The Labour Party. In fact I am very much in favour of a progressive alliance with the LDs and The Greens and you know what I think the country would welcome this alliance.

  2. RobinM says:

    Don’t the bulk of the PLP already have a project–to cling to their jobs at all costs, the country be damned?

  3. Ann Onnimus says:

    When they say “Andrew Adonis is at the heart of a network”, what they mean is that this “network” consists of Andrew Adonis and absolutely no one else.

  4. A.J. says:

    Odd to think of it now but I remember being quite impressed by Blair in 1993 (possibly even before), when he was still young and looked unlike your average Labour MP (think – George Brown? Callaghan? Foot?). Others – mostly Conservative voters – felt the same way about him. The media began trying to sell him as a Tory/Conservative/Thatcherite and my second wife, then still very much on the Centre Left, distrusted him immensely (but now mentions his election victories etc. etc.). I had taken against him well before 1997 – and not just him but all his lying, spinning tribe.
    Yet where then lay the alternative? John Smith was dead so Blair seemed the obvious choice, smashing so-called ‘Conservatives’ one after the other. But did the rot really set in with him?
    Adonis is an idiot, one of the Remain/Rejoin gang, waffling out of his arse at every possible opportunity, doubtless exchanging ‘ideas’ with the likes of Campbell and Mandelson. And yet that might be the way Labour is heading once again: ‘Tory-Lite’ as Alf would put it. What might that amount to? I would suggest – a puff of wind cloaked by smoke and mirrors.

  5. A.J. says:

    By the way, Nick Tyrone (is it?), writing in ‘The Spectator’, still imagines Labour will win the next election and that Starmer will walk whistling into Downing Street (having crossed Andrew Burnham off his Christmas card list).

  6. The problem for Blair is he is so toxic. He is pure Marmite. Will enough of those who were adults during the Iraq war die off and enough young people be convinced he is a new Messiah for him to win an election. Somehow I don’t think the Labour base will ever be convinced.

  7. richard mackinnon says:

    The Labour Party. Just when you thought the farce could not get any more ridiculous another twist in the plot makes the audience gasp.
    The unelected, yet aptly named Lord Adonis (a beautiful youth loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone) returns (yet again) to the stage. He has a declaration. “The Party is on the edge of a dark precipice and can only be saved by one man. A great leader from the past. The ex commander in chief, the one with the unspeakable truths that can never be repeated.
    Who is that masked man? Mr. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair”. For it is he.

  8. john P Ried says:

    Even if there hadn’t been iraq or mass immigration or making police too scared to arrest minorities when they commit crime through the fear of being called racist, sop anti white racism by black people or muslim grooming gangs flourished

    theres one thing wrong Yes labour had its worse ever defeat in 2019 due to Corbynism, but the idea that Balirism and corbynism are the 2 opposite things over looks the fact they’re both middle class guardian remain voting london liberals into identity politics, who both hold socially conservative leave voting working class labour voters outside of london in contempt falslely accusing them of racism

  9. Tafia says:

    Blair won’t be making a comeback, but Blairism will have to if Labour are to win over middle England and the crucial top half of the C2, and the C1 vote.

    Realistically, Labour will need to find an ‘heir to Blair’ who is a Blairist – ie slightly left of centre socially, right of centre economically. (Thats left and right of the current political spectrum, not left and right internally within the Labour party) with low tax, pro-business policies. That is definately not Starmer. Probably someone such as Dan Jarvis, Ben Bradhaw, Rachel Reeves, Yvette Cooper or possibly even a comeback for Caroline Flint, ( who should have been brought back for Batley & Spen – she would have won that easily) or even Ed Balls or David Miliband.

    But first, Labour needs to rid itself of the looney left – which includes the likes of Angela Rayner, Dawn Butler, Richard Burgon etc etc.

  10. Anne says:

    Mark Wallace (Conservative Home) has written an article stating that Starmer needs an angle. Now, I don’t normally agree with Mark but maybe he has a point. People are saying that don’t know what Labour stands for. Well, what is Government for but to run the country – that is its job. Rather than make up a slogan why not say what Government is for. People are fed up with the behaviour of the present Ministers. No accountability- rewards bullying behaviour, contracts given to pals. Is this good practice? No, of course not. Most large organisations have Human Resources departments – it is their job to manage events which affect their workforce. Stsrmer’s angle should be ‘good governance’. That is what Starmer should stand for. Developing good, sound, reliable government. This is what the country is crying out for.

  11. wg says:

    For some reason I have automatically assumed that Blair and Mandelson were already running New, New Labour via Starmer.
    I hasten to add that I am not of the Jezza cult, nor do I actually think that Keir is aware of whatever direction he is supposed to be facing.
    If this article is put up to evaluate how people now feel about Blair, and should he come back – No, not in a million years.
    Bury him head down, surround the grave with garlic and put a crucifix on top.
    Stake the beast through the heart.
    He did more harm to the UK’s working class than Thatcher, IMHO.

  12. A.J. says:

    It would be invigorating, wouldn’t it – nay, splendid – to be able to greet an entirely new generation of immigrants to wash cars in freezing weather, rush around in vans delivering parcels to furloughed ‘workers’ and open more of their lovely shops offering ‘European’ food. The Blair-Adonis vision of paradise: rubbing the noses of the Right in ‘cultural diversity’. In actual fact, of course, rubbing up the wrong way those who never before considered themselves as ‘right wing’ but as friendly, tolerant and open-minded.
    My Sikh chum, I am happy to say, was an even more convinced Brexiteer than my dear wife. And that’s going it some.

  13. A.J. says:

    Talking of the deeply absurd Andrew Burnham, I was interested to hear Gorgeous George apparently giving him the thumbs-up in an interview with a ‘Daily Telegraph’ journalist. (At least I assume that’s what he was, rather than a college student on work experience). That, mark you, was after Gorgeous jumping and stamping all over ‘The Labour Party’ and Keir Starmer and after one of his supporters – apparently a member of the aforesaid Labour Party – declaring himself in favour of a ‘Conservative’ MP (some tosser the journalist caught up with at a Batley market stall, who looked as if he needed a shave before he began flogging secondhand goods to the local Muslims. Also – as always seems to be the case with these types now, he’d forgotten to put his tie on, a la ‘Call Me Tony’ and ‘Call Me Dave’).
    We already have a party that is ‘Tory-Lite’. It calls itself ‘the government’ and apparently keeps Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones awake at night.
    Oh, yes, no-one on the Labour side in Batley seemed keen to talk or even be photographed. The DT people apparently saw someone called Chris Bryant, but he vanished into thin air (or so it seemed).
    Yes. Bring back Tony. Bring back Gordon. Bring back Gillian Duffy. Let’s all have a giggle.

  14. Tafia says:

    A new YouGov poll for Sky News makes grim reading for poor sir Keir Mackrel. 40% of Labour members want Keir Starmer to resign immediately if he loses tomorrow’s by-election in Batley & Spen, a result which is looking increasingly likely.

    The struggling Labour leader has a net approval rating of just 7% with Labour Party members. Instead seven in ten Labour members hope to replace Starmer with Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, who they believe would be a better leader. Burnham isn’t even a member of parliament.

    Most embarrassingly 65% of Labour members believe Labour is on course to lose the next general election.

  15. Tafia says:

    Simon Fletcher – Labour adviser of eight years who has quit, has gone public slamming Starmer’s Labour Party for not standing for anything. Fletcher has accused Starmer of fracturing the party over various whipping decisions.

    Fletcher served under Miliband, Corbyn and Starmer, acting as the Starmer’s Strategic Advisor during the leadership campaign, before being given responsibility for campaigns and election planning. He also says Starmer and his inner circle are not paying any attention whatsoever to what any of the party strategy advisors are saying, being more concerned with identity and cultural politics and metropolitan middleclass values to the detriment of more traditional Labour voting groups.

  16. Tafia says:

    Final shop betting odds on the night before the polls open for Batley:-

    Con: 1/7 to win
    Lab: 5/1 to hold
    WP: 22/1 to win (Galloway)
    200/1 bar

  17. Vern says:

    As a double act with Bercow that would really put the tin hat on things for the last of the Labour party supporters. The party is in its final death throes, Blair would essentially be turning off the life support.

  18. John P Reid says:

    Aj and tafias comments spot in , Vern made me laugh
    And yes the loony lefts the problem
    And Mandleson is running the operation
    And labour will lose the next election even worse than 2019

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