How ironic his June 24, 2016 op-ed contribution is titled "Brexit's Stunning Coup", while savaging Labour's Jeremy Corbyn and no doubt catalyzing en masse resignations from his ministers and MPs. New Labour, Old Labour, Post-Modern Labour. If it gets in the way of globalization, get out of the way.
The larger the purported crisis, the greater he can act elder statesman. Tony trots out: "The right attacks immigrants while the left rails at bankers, but the spirit of insurgency, the venting of anger at those in power and the addiction to simple, demagogic answers to complex problems are the same for both extremes. Underlying it all is a shared hostility to globalization."
Our poster boy is of course sensibly somewhere in the middle, neither at the right nor the left, and with no addictions. Please don't hate him for being one of the few with the depth to deal with "complex problems" - even if he contributed to those problems in the first place.
He identifies the hostility to globalization, but it's like it has nothing to do with him. The man's ability to compartmentalize is extraordinary, a case study for DSM edition six. He can't see himself or give an honest assessment of his own behavior. This is a man who has received untold millions from banks, hedge funds and defense companies. His contributions to refugees, immigrants? The elites' answer to this "complex" problem has been to Put Them Over There. Out of Sight. We Want Them Here But Just Not In Our Neighborhoods. Such arrogance and hypocrisy is galling, and is exactly why the EU referendum was called in the first place. Here's a modest proposal for the "complexity" of immigration: let's set up refugee camps in Hampstead Heath and the Blairs' country pile.
Blair bemoans the fear tactics employed during the Brexit campaign, but then sharpens his own rhetoric on "the economic fallout." He confuses the real economy of goods and services, with the financial markets throughout. If you were one of the hedge funds or currency traders who bought pound sterling at 1.50 against the dollar during the early vote tallies, convinced that the electorate would vote Remain (and many investment analysts and economists thought just that), then maybe sterling's unprecedented 17-figure decline was catastrophic and I won't be surprised to hear about a few fund casualties. However, it's doubtful that the average person will be immediately affected in an apocalyptic way. Markets are doing what they do, pricing in the future. Like the humans they are made up of, they loathe uncertainty and when faced with it, become erratic and act temperamentally.
Also, we are talking about sterling. The UK never adopted the euro currency. It was Blair's own Chancellor Gordon Brown who retained the 1,200-year-old pound sterling as the UK's national currency. Even after the credit crisis and banking meltdown in 2008, when EU apparatchiks were dangling their euro as a beacon of yet more investment flow into the UK, London didn't budge. It was Blair's successor who imposed the "five economic tests" to make sure the UK was worthy of the young currency. What a great delay tactic and how comical in hindsight. Sterling is not just the world's oldest currency, but has consistently been the most sought after currency, and certainly buffered the UK during the Greek debt imbroglio. This is one aspect of the EU we haven't been a part of and so one less bureaucratic nightmare to negotiate. No messy disentanglement here, no pulling euros out of circulation or re-issuing pounds, no disruption to transactions in the real economy of goods and services. But you won't hear any of this from our poster boy, who "believed completely that Britain's future lay in Europe", not to mention his own.
(Note: "The New York Times" overnight removed the quote, cited in my blog above, in its online edition without a correction or editor's note. Times editors deleted Blair's point that hostility about globalization on both the right and left was the reason for "Brexit's Stunning Coup". Instead, he is now quoted as saying the right-far right-immigration issue was the reason. There is now absolutely no mention of the left-banks-hostility-globalization, as referred to in the quote below. It's so telling how the mainstream media, in particular the "paper of record", does wholesale rewrites and revisions after original publication for their online editions.)