Labour Leader Starmer: Party Should Be ‘Proud’ of Tony Blair’s Record

Keir
STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP via Getty Images

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the party must be “proud” of Tony Blair’s “record in government”, and no longer keep the Iraq War architect’s legacy at “arm’s length”.

Sir Keir, a supposedly moderate successor to old-fashioned socialist Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, made the remarks in an interview with the establishment Financial Times.

“Many Labour activists despise Blair, notably because of his support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq,” the FT noted, putting Blair’s instrumental role in that war rather mildly:

In 2011 they booed his name at the Labour conference. But Starmer said: “We have to be proud of that record in government and not be arm’s length or distant about it.”

Elsewhere in his FT interview, Sir Keir stressed that his party had to “get real”, chastising “members and supporters [who] think winning an internal argument in the Labour party is changing the world — it isn’t.”

Sir Keir’s idea of what “getting real” might look like is unclear, however. The FT did not mention him discussing walking back the party’s wholesale embrace of mass immigration or his own unpopular promotion of figures such as Naseem ‘Naz’ Shah MP, who once liked and shared a tweet suggesting grooming gang victims “need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity”.

Instead, he seems to have been focused on modish issues such as climate change — a left-ish cause Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson has already embraced with enthusiasm.

The arch-Remainer — the key Brexit spokesman in the shadow administration of now-banished predecessor Jeremy Corbyn — also seems to think that there is a public appetite for re-opening the wounds of 2016, telling the FT: “Yes, I think there’s space to talk about Brexit and the Brexit deal.”

Sir Keir has previously revealed a package of BLM-inspired policies a Starmer administration would implement, including a Race Equality Act to appoint ethnic minorities to more positions of institutional power and Black History lessons throughout the school year to achieve a “balanced understanding” of British history

“I think the country needs bringing together,” Sir Keir concluded, with no originality.

“The best part of a decade has been defined by division. What I want to do and what the Labour party seeks to do is find the points of unity,” he claimed.

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