POLITICS

Tony Blair Says Jeremy Corbyn A 'Tragedy' For Labour

09/12/2015 09:23 GMT | Updated 09/12/2015 12:59 GMT
Van Tine Dennis/ABACA USA
Tony Blair delivers a speech at the National September 11 Memorial Museum Auditorium in New York City, NY, USA, October 6, 2015. Blair said that while the essence of Islam is peaceful and compassionate, there is an ideology based on a perversion of Islam which threatens global security and that this ideology, as well as the violence which it often leads to, must be defeated. Photo by Dennis Van Tine/ABACAPRESS.COM

Tony Blair has warned Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour is a "tragedy" as the party does not look like it will win power.

Writing in The Spectator on Wednesday, the former prime minister said: "Right now we’re in danger of not asking the right questions never mind failing to get the right answers."

"All wings of the Labour Party which support the notion of the Labour Party as a Party aspiring to govern, rather than as a fringe protest movement agree on the tragedy of the Labour Party’s current position."

In a swipe at some supporters of Corbyn, he added: "significant elements of the Party saw the process of governing with all its compromises, pragmatism and embrace of changing times as implicit betrayal of our principles.

"Many – especially in today’s Labour Party – felt we lost our way in Government. I feel we found it. But I accept in the process we failed to convince enough people that the true progressives are always the modernisers, not because they discard principle but because they have the courage to adhere to it when confronted with reality."

He made the comments in an article titled "in defence of Blairism" - in which he defended the record of New Labour in office.

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Blair's criticism of the current state of the Labour Party is not a surprise as he made several interventions during its recent leadership election. In a last ditch attempt to prevent Corbyn being elected leader, Blair warned Labour faced "annihilation" if moved to the left.

But he acknowledged his attempts to persuade Labour members not to choose Corbyn appeared to always backfire. "So when people like me come forward and say elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader and it will be an electoral disaster, his enthusiastic new supporters roll their eyes. Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown and I have collectively around 150 years of Labour party membership. We’re very different. We disagree on certain things. But on this we’re agreed. Anyone listening? Nope. In fact, the opposite. It actually makes them more likely to support him."

At the time, Corbyn said: "We’re the one putting forward ideas, so I don’t do personal, I don’t do reaction, I don’t do abuse. Life is too short and it devalues the political process. I think we should try and enhance the democratic life of this country, not reduce it to that level."