Australian Labor doesn’t have the same problems as Britain’s Labour Party, but it should heed some of the former UK prime minister’s words of warning.
Depending on who you ask, former UK prime minister Tony Blair is either a ghoulish neoliberal hypocrite with blood on his hands over Iraq, or a political genius who returned British Labour from the wilderness, presiding over a period of stability, growth and optimism that now feels very foreign.
Either way, Blair is not going quietly. Last week he fired a rocket-launcher at the smouldering rubble of the party he once led in the form of a 3000-word article published by the New Statesman. Labour and centre-left parties around the Western world were in danger of dying out. Dominated by “radical” voices increasingly obsessed with identity politics, moderates were being silenced, and Labour’s traditional blue-collar base was being turned away in droves.
“The progressive problem is that in an era where people want change in a changing world … the radical progressives aren’t sensible and the sensible aren’t radical,” he said.
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