Tony Blair is pulling off his biggest subversion of our democracy yet │ George Santos
Tony Blair is a notorious liar and spinner. He’s always happy to lie his way out of a situation that he lied his way into. His favourite phrase is “Let me be straight with you.”
All his lies couldn’t quite save his reputation after his 45-minute claim, though they did get him out of trouble with the Inquiries that looked into it.
With his public reputation shattered he has moved to the shadows and now pulls the strings of the People’s Vote campaign from there. Bizarrely it is now his former Shadow Master Alistair Campbell who is more frequently a public face of the campaign. Fortunately, Blair still gives the occasional public interview so we can ascertain his strategy.
It’s a pretty simple strategy. Create a public campaign for a referendum backed by millions of pounds from your city friends. Destroy any chance of a Soft Brexit that Remainers would be happy with. Get the Labour Party to support a second referendum. Keep scaring people about No Deal. Force a referendum. Win that referendum with lies, devious tricks and scaremongering.
The first step of Blair’s plan was his most ingenious. He framed the vote for Brexit, not as a vote for Brexit as the 2016 ballot said. But as a split vote for many different types of things. Therefore, it wasn’t clear what voters ‘really wanted.’
This is an argument he first made back in 2017 and it has now become the word of God amongst Remoaners, though most of them consider it their own original thought. Tony Blair stated it in the form of having decided to move house but not having decided which house you’ll move to so you might want to think again. But now it can be found in all varieties from restaurants, to types of pizza, to holiday destinations.
Gone is any critical evaluation when making this argument. Of course some Brexiters wanted one thing and others wanted another. That’s always the case with voting. But most were happy with the range of options that Brexit produces. Many Remainers wanted different things too, some wanting a Federal State, others wanting nothing more than a trade area.
Blair uses this argument for two purposes. The first is to make out that Brexit was not a decision, but a buffet of possible choices (whilst, of course Remain is just one thing) and therefore it’s right to ask people what particular thing they wanted. (Or course, at the same time we might as well ask them if they want to Remain again as well, no ulterior motive here!)
The second purpose is to clarify and destroy the idea of a Soft Brexit. He continually refers to Soft Brexit as ’pointless’ and rams home his argument that Brexiters wouldn’t be happy with it. His point is that whilst Remainers would be able to live with Soft Brexit Brexiteers wouldn’t like it so there’s no point doing it. Therefore, friendly Remainer, don’t even bother. Just screw those Brexit voters. (This kind of contradicts the idea that Brexiteers all want different things of course, but there is no need for consistency in propaganda land.)
There are different degrees of Soft Brexit, from Canada, to Norway to May’s Deal. The truth is that different amounts of Brexiters would be happy with different degrees of Brexit. Nigel won’t be happy with anything other than Canada, sure. But Nigel isn’t everyone. And whilst Brexiters wouldn’t be happy with May’s Deal that is not anywhere near the apoplectic rage we would rightfully feel if our democratic vote was removed entirely.
Does anyone really think that if May’s Deal had gone through and we’d left the EU in March The Brexit Party would currently be polling at 18% in the General Election polls? I certainly don’t. Brexiteers are not extremists. We managed for decades in the EU without losing our rag. We’re actually perfectly capable of compromise and realise that you don’t always get exactly what you want.
To say that Brexiters want too much so we must remove their natural born voting rights as British citizen is a point of view bordering on the sociopathic. Well, it is Blair we’re talking about.
Needless to say Blair has been very successful with this first step. If you are a Remainer, May’s Deal is objectively amazing. It keeps us in the EU Customs Union, there will virtually be no economic change. All the economic scare stories of the referendum will be totally moot. So why haven’t Remainer MPs grasped it with open arms? Because Blair has convinced them and the party not to.
Meanwhile, outside Parliament Blair has been working with the People’s Vote campaign and Best For Britain to create the grassroots pressure for a second referendum. The big marches through London and petitions and the like.
The most notable place this pressure has been felt is in the Labour Party. People’s Vote supporters routinely get emails telling them to email their MPs and pressure them on Brexit. Within the span of just one year Blair has moved the Labour Party from a hard Brexit position, to a Brexit that contains a Custom Union, to considering the option of a second referendum, to being entirely for a second referendum.
One of the most entertaining parts of this was watching May bring back a deal that contained a Customs Union, – exactly Labour policy almost word for word – and having Labour reject it because of reasons.
The recent ’negotiations’ between May and Corbyn must have been ridiculous.
Corbyn: We want a Customs Union.
May: But it has a Customs Union.
Corbyn: Well, what do you want me to do go back and tell my MPs that?
May: Well yes.
[Note: A Customs Union with the EU makes little sense anyway. It gives them power over our trade policy with the rest of the world in exchange for very little. Probably the reason no other country in the world is in a Customs Union with the EU apart from Turkey, who have started cheating on it.]
The formation of The Independent Group was certainly a part of this strategy to pressure Labour. And it worked. Corbyn stemmed defections from his party by moving more towards a second referendum.
More recently whilst watching the European Election coverage on TV it was shocking to see Shadow Cabinet Minister Emily Thornberry directly calling for the parties policy to become more pro second referendum on live TV. In effect she was daring Corbyn to move the policy in her direction or fire her. Alistair Campbell admitted to having voted LibDem on the same program for the same purpose. This was coordinated pressure and it was successful.
Now Blair has every party in Parliament apart from the DUP and most of the Conservative Party on his side. That’s a majority of MPs that prefer a second referendum to No Deal or even to Brexit itself.
But now Blair has another way to win entirely. The LibDems were never going to win the next General Election whatever happens. But Labour could. Now that Labour are a fully fledged Remoaner party they could easily campaign on a manifesto to stop Brexit without a second referendum. You can see the bullshit arguments from here. ‘Too much time has passed.’ ’This election is the second referendum.’ ‘The people are allowed to change their minds.’ Etc.
Even if Labour promised in their manifesto to have a second referendum there are a million ways they could fudge it. Going back to Brussels and arranging an even worse deal, keeping No Deal off the ballot, allowing the 3 million EU citizens to vote, allowing 16 year olds to vote, spending hundreds of millions on government propaganda. This is the man who lied to get us to go to war remember, nothing is beneath him.
And Labour wouldn’t even have to win outright to stop Brexit. With every other party in Parliament on Tony’s team only a combined Tory + Brexit Party majority could stop them. The Brexit Party vote will be very strong in any election before Brexit takes place. If the Conservatives and Nigel Farage do not have a proper formal pact and not run against each other they will knock each other out. The maths just don’t work. 20% + 20% do not beat 35% in a First Past the Post System. They equal next to nothing.
A formal pact Is the only thing that would save our country from a Communist Prime Minister pulled by the puppet strings of a war mongering wannabe dictator.
The Conservatives should run in all the seats they currently have and in some select urban seats and Scotland. The Brexit Party should run everywhere else. They have a great chance of picking up seats in rural areas, towns, suburbs and Wales. The beauty of such a formal pact is that it would not require Farage and his party to trust the Tories. It would allow them to pick up 50 or so seats and probably make them the king maker in Parliament. If the Tories decided to rat on the country once again, Farage can take his MPs and walk away. By forming a non aggression pact both parties can win in a First Past The Post system that rarely rewards parties with similar goals.
In the short term the fight goes back to Parliament. Thanks to the wisdom of its membership the Tories will no doubt elect a Brexiter as their next leader. And the Remoaners in Parliament will continue their fight to subvert our democracy. I’m not exactly sure what their next move will be. Possibly they will go for an election. Possibly they will push for a Bill for a second referendum. Or maybe they will go for another extension. But with a slim majority of Parliament against him the next Prime Minister is in for a bumpy ride. Let’s hope he’s up to the job. He will need to be.