30 March 2010

The return of Tony Blair

The story goes that during Tony Blair's final speech to the Labour conference, George Osborne text his colleagues: “Thank God he’s going”.  Not for the first time, the Shadow Chancellor spoke too early.  Later today, the three-time election-winner returns to the hustings:

In a speech at the Trimdon Labour Club in Sedgefield, his former constituency, Blair will say that in his opinion the Tories have not been through the fundamental rethink of their policies that marked Labour in opposition.

Blair is reported not to be planning a personal attack on David Cameron, partly because he feels that is not the appropriate way for a former prime minister to behave, and partly because he feels that it would detract from his central message on the economy.

Labour will be hoping that Blair’s persuasive communications skills can, once again, capture the votes of middle England .  However, if he becomes the story, or if Iraq raises its head, then Labour will have to decide if he continues to play a role in the campaign.

Presumably, it’s for those reasons, he being given a dry run this week.

Gordon Brown, more than anyone else, will be hoping that Blair's return can make up for his own obvious shortfalls.

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  1. wonderfulforhisageMarch 30, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Mandelson, Campbell & Blair v Hilton, Coulson & Cameron. Time to nip over to Betfair and have a punt on Labour methinks.

  2. the man is the devil

    evil vain snake

    shame on you all

  3. I read somehwere that the former Dear Leader only took questions after journalists had been removed.

    His words of wisdom, reminiscent of David Icke, will only be heard directly by the Chosen in the hall - in Sedgefield or wherever else. All others will have to rely on reportage. If 'they' are stopping journos from quizzing the Sainted One, then that will colour their reporting, to say the very least. It will be mocking, gentle mocking if he is lucky.

    I think this will backfire, given the way the Iraq Inquiry has reopened old wounds and inflamed old angers. We forget how disliked Blair was in 2005, how Brown's intervention changed the campaign...strangely, Brown is in this position relying upon Alastair Darling as his human shield.

    There are the awkward issues of Iraq, Blair's mega-millions and tax status, and bizarre commercial interests such as trying to flog formaldehyde on behalf of Azerbaijan.

    Also, the times have moved on and nothing is more detested than the recent past...it takes 15 years for the nostalgia effect!