Monday, June 24, 2024
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Democracy in Decay: The return of Blair


IN THIS series we have concentrated so far on the dolorous outcomes that our atrophied and dysfunctional system of ‘Unrepresentative Shamocracy’ have meant for the United Kingdom and its people. To a degree, we have sought to explain the cause of the decline in British democracy as the consequence of long-term societal or cultural shifts, such as the rise of the new highly interconnected, globally focused elites that have more in common with each other than with the mass of people beneath them that they have become increasingly decoupled from.

However, in contrast to the view of history as a series of great tides or currents that sweep helpless humanity along is the ‘Great Man’ theory of history: namely that unique individuals in the right time and place can pivot the entire fate of nations or even civilisations by their decisions for good – or ill.

One such individual in recent British history is the decidedly malign figure of Tony Blair. Although Blair continues to be remembered mostly for his catastrophic backing of the American decision to go to war in Iraq, it is only now really recognised just how profoundly he sought to change the nature of the United Kingdom and its already ailing democracy during his time in office.

Blair was gripped by a year-zero mentality, arrogance and monumental vanity so typical of radicals of his generation. Although supposedly a practising Christian, his total lack of humility led him to behave in a manner similar to a dangerous Messianic cult leader who believed himself directly anointed by God. Unsurprisingly, such a man of destiny was, and is, profoundly anti-democratic in his instincts. To an extent, Blair merely rode the wave of existing anti-democratic trends such as Britain’s enmeshing into the European Union and the rise of the Quango state. However, as David Starkey brilliantly outlines here, his constitutional innovations – the Supreme Court, botched Devolution, the Human Rights and Equality Acts – were deeply destructive. Added to that is the disgrace of mass postal voting, hugely entrenching the power of the legacy parties. Finally and most damaging of all there was a deliberate intention of changing the country’s culture much against its wishes through mass immigration.

It doesn’t stop there: to that baleful list we can add the politicisation of the civil service and the deliberate and prolonged demonisation of conservatism as a low status, racist political philosophy. The endless lies and smears that Blair and his noxious spinmasters heaped on his political opponents were designed to convince the Tories that only by following New Labour could they ever hope to return to power or be approved in polite society. (It is important to remember here that Blair’s father had aspired to be a Tory MP and Blair came from what might be considered a classic Tory background. Arguably, he understood the Tory Party and its weaknesses better than it understood itself – its sense of entitlement, cynicism, thirst for high office and above all else obsession with social status.)

In all this Blair was enormously successful: one and half decades after the fact, Blairism is the lodestar of the entire British establishment, including both our main political parties. No doubt had Blair never become Labour leader (we can but dream), other radicals within his party would have achieved some of the above during Labour’s time in office, but it is highly doubtful that they would have had Blair’s unique combination of political skills, vision and psychotic levels of ruthlessness that he used to such malignant effect.

All this matters because with the expected return of Labour to power, Blair and his extremely well-funded institute are waiting in the wings. Blair, like most of the metropolitan liberal establishment, was devastated by Brexit and saw it as an enormous threat (illusory under the Tories, as it turned out) to everything that had been achieved. Moreover, Brexit was arguably the only real personal defeat in his long and – from his viewpoint – glittering career: hitherto undefeated as a three-time election winner, feted by elites abroad and now enormously rich, he saw his dream of being President of Europe snatched away for ever. Yet again showing his contempt for democracy, he vigorously campaigned to reverse the result of the 2016 Referendum, thankfully unsuccessfully.

If the original incarnation of Blair the Prime Minister was bad enough, we can expect no quarter in his return as Blair the Master Puppeteer: no doubt he sees in the vacuous Sir Keir Starmer’s premiership a chance both for revenge and to lock Britain irreversibly in to his globalist, Liberal vision. Nothing will be left to chance this time. Obviously, we can expect mass migration and cultural replacement to continue at least at the terrifying pace it has been going for years, but added to that is the slow creep back into the EU’s orbit and the outrageous proposals to give votes to 16-year-olds and foreign nationals. Who knows what other ideas will be manifest from the serpent’s bosom?

We can be sure that, just as no one really understood the New Labour project in 1997, we cannot yet see the full, dark consequences for what passes for our democracy and way of life.

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John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe (pseudonym) is a political analyst.

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