Thursday, 27 April 2017

Stating the Obvious

Tony Blair speaking on Sky News

The Guardian reports that Tony Blair has refused to endorse Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister - pointing to the opinion polls as evidence that the Labour leader just doesn't have what it takes.

Here's what the former Labour leader had to say in an interview with Adam Boulton on Sky News:

"If the polls are right. We know who is going to be prime minister on June 9. That’s not the issue.

"It’ll be Theresa May. If the polls are right.

"I don’t think [who becomes prime minister is] the real issue in this campaign. I think the real issue is blank cheque. It’s what mandate does she claim, both on Brexit and on the health service, education and all the other things. And I think the most powerful argument for Labour in this election, because of the way the polls are and the way the opinion polls are on the leadership issue, the most powerful argument for Labour is to say it is important for our democracy that the government is held properly to account and that she needs a strong opposition.

"I think the big missing question that has got to be there is a question that might sound extraordinarily technical but is absolutely fundamental to the future prosperity of this country, which is in the Brexit negotiation, are we taking membership of the single market and the customs union off the table, which I think we probably are.

"If we are and we’re going for a free trade agreement, rather than membership of the single market, that’s a massive for the prosperity of the British economy. That’s why our currency is down 15% ...

"What the Tories have done very cleverly is give people the national interest reason for voting Tory.

"What they’ve said is, the patriotic thing irrespective of your politics is to vote Conservative because she needs a strong hand in the negotiation, which is a very persuasive argument, until you realise that she’s tied her hands in the negotiation, the prime minister, by saying I’m not going to put the single market on the table.

"People have really got to understand the difference between the single market and a free trade agreement. One’s the Champion’s League, the other’s League One."

In refusing to endorse Corbyn he's just stating the obvious, but if you ask me Blair's comments about the Champion's League versus League One are spot on.