Thursday, 2 March 2017

'Blair is right about Brexit'

Alex Massie wrote an excellent piece about Brexit and Tony Blair the other day which deserves to be widely read.

All the more so after the Government's defeat in the House of Lords where they have just lost a vote over guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK after Brexit - by 358 votes to 256.

The truth is that their 'lordships' are putting up a better fight over Brexit than Jeremy Corbyn and Company in the House of Commons.

So it comes as no surprise to hear that Labour whips have been pressurising Labour MPs and Labour peers to vote with the Conservative Government.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from Alex Massie's article attacking the pomposity and false patriotism of the Brexiteeers, but read the full article via the link below to The Spectator and decide for yourself.

"Perhaps Brexit really will offer a path to the sunlit uplands of greater prosperity. Let us hope so. But what if it doesn’t? What if the present trend of encouraging economic data peters out as Brexit actually happens? All Blair has done today is suggest that those who think Brexit sub-optimal should continue to make their case so that, should public opinion change, a new course could be contemplated. There should be nothing terribly controversial about this, not even when it's suggested by someone like Tony Blair.

"The chutzpah of the Leavers knows no bounds, however. Before the referendum Farage made it clear that a narrow defeat – by, say, four points – would not end the matter. It would just be a staging post on the road to another referendum. Does anyone think Farage was the only Brexiteer to think this? Come on. If your life’s work were dedicated to removing Britain from the EU why should anything as minor as a referendum defeat cause you to fold your tent and retire? In like fashion, the SNP’s commitment to another Scottish referendum might be tiresome but it’s hardly disreputable. They have their right to make their argument."

Read the full piece in the link below to The Spectator.


Tony Blair is right about Brexit

By Alex Massie - The Spectator

I don’t know about you but if I were to make a speech arguing that democracy should be abandoned, I probably wouldn’t begin by saying ‘I want to be explicit. Yes, the British people voted to leave Europe. And I agree the will of the people should prevail.’

That’s just me, however. When Tony Blair says this, he apparently means to encourage an anti-democratic insurrection. Which, I suppose, makes sense if you still suffer from an acute case of Blair Derangement Syndrome. Plenty of people evidently do.

If Blair is really as toxic and irrelevant as his critics aver, there’d be no need for all this fury. Blood vessels could remain unburst and eyes unpopped. The reaction to Blair’s speech suggests something else. It suggests that he must have a point. The very virulence of the manner in which his speech has been traduced hints at some dark but gnawing fear deep within the Brexit psyche: the fear of being found out. Because if that weren’t the case you could just greet Blair’s remarks with a shrug.

Evidently, that’s impossible. Special marks, by the way, are awarded to the foreign secretary who, despite being an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq War, responded to Blair’s speech by suggesting it could and should be ignored because Blair took the UK to war in Iraq.

Be that as it may, hear this: some things can be true even when they are said by Anthony Charles Lynton Blair. For instance:’How hideously, in this debate, is the mantle of patriotism abused’. How, seriously, can anyone sensibly disagree with this? Brexiteer rhetoric condemns 48 percent of the electorate as nothing more than lickspittle sell-outs. Craven souls who lack the courage to ‘take back control’ and instead prefer to ‘talk Britain down’ whenever the opportunity arises. These people, fat on their messes of Brussels pottage, never miss an opportunity to observe that Britain is too small, too stupid and probably too poor to make a fist of things without the comforting cushion of EU membership.