One of the many subplots running in this general election campaign is whether Brexit might trigger a realignment, whether Labour moderates might seek some kind of merger or alliance with Liberal Democrats. Tony Blair personally tried to do such a deal with Paddy Ashdown ahead of the 1997 general election (which, in the end, was not needed due to Labour’s stonking majority). It looks like Blair is, now, just as keen on signing up Mr Farron . This might explain the suspicious activity we’re seeing from Blair, Peter Mandelson etc at the moment: that they’re on manoeuvres. Might they be using Brexit as a pretext for creating a new New Labour, a reverse takeover of the Liberal Democrats? Stranger things have certainly happened.
“Several months ago I met with Tony Blair at his request. I thought it was only courteous to do so. I have many on the record disagreements with Tony Blair not least over the illegal and counterproductive war in Iraq. But I do admire Tony Blair for one thing in particular, and that is his ability to put together a small-c coalition that was able to win a general election and defeat the Conservatives in 1997. I admire progressives – and he is, broadly a progressive – who are able to win elections. If you cannot win, you cannot change people’s lives.”
PS I was reviewing the papers on Marr with Owen Jones and Rachel Johnson – who was posing, below, with the leader of her newly adopted party.