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17 February 2017

Tony Blair reminded the world of his existence with a pathetic speech on Brexit.

Disgraced former Prime Minister Tony Blair entered the public eye again today when he made a whining speech about Brexit for the Remoaner organisation Open Britain. A legacy organisation created from the battered remains of the official Remain campaign, Open Britain had until now struck a moderate tone calling for a soft Brexit but otherwise respecting the will of the British people. Blair threw that approach to the side and made a strident speech calling on Britain to change course and remain trapped in the crumbling European Union.

Tired lines

Much of the speech was a dull repetition of the same tired lines and worn out lies that led the Remain campaign to a resounding defeat in June’s referendum. He spoke a lot of outdated guff about the importance of geography in a world where communications technology is making it increasingly irrelevant, condemning Britain to mere “[cooperation] based on proxminity”. He continued to spew nonsense about the threat to business and trade that has already been refuted by months of data and evidence.

He also understated the controls on immigration we’ll be able to exercise outside of the European Union, mistaking the government’s lack of willpower for the full potential of Brexit to reshape our migration policy and talking down a significant cut in immigration. “The practical impact of Brexit on immigration is on analysis less than 12% of the immigration total”. It’s a start, isn’t it?

A delusional ambition

But Blair’s purpose wasn’t to merely repeat the comforting but false Remainer lines that we heard so often during June’s referendum. His speech was also a sad call to arms, demanding that the referendum’s many losers “rise up” and change the minds of the British people.

Unfortunately for Blair, much of the polling since last year shows continued resolve among the public to pull Britain out of the failing European Union. A Sky News poll in January showed that only 39% of Brits opposed leaving the single market, down from the 48% who backed EU membership in June.

And a serious statistical analysis of polling in the run-up to the vote showed a systematic underrepresentation of Leave voters throughout the campaign and a constant lead for national independence. Contrary to the claims of the Remoaner minority, Brexit has been a majority opinion consistently and there’s no clear reason why that would change.

A legacy of failure

The June 23 referendum was an historic moment for the United Kingdom. Millions of ordinary people had been ignored for too long and they came together to reject the European project that Blair backed for most of his political career.

They wanted a different, brighter future for the UK – one that addressed their concerns and preserved the country they loved. They wanted control of their borders, control of criminal justice, and control of huge sums of money that were frittered away in European budgets. And they wanted an end to career politicians like Tony Blair – a pathological liar and war criminal who left office in disgrace.

Maybe Blair should step back for a moment and stop indulging himself. Rather than crying impotently into the wind about his grand but vague ambitions to win the hearts of people who have made up their minds, he should listen hard and reflect on his own failure.