He has held secret meetings with the Conservative Party, with which he is collaborating as an advisor on the strategy against the pandemic
His intention is to clean up his tainted reputation after a decade as Labor Prime Minister, according to some British media
His figure continues to generate division in the country due to his decision to invade Iraq together with George W. Bush in 2003 without the support of international organizations.
Tony Blair would be considering returning to the first political line thirteen years later to leave the post of prime minister, the longest-serving Labor man in office. Blair would have had secret meetings with the Conservative Party, according to the ‘Sunday Times’. Blair has been collaborating as an advisor to the Johnson government in defining the strategy in the fight against coronavirus. He has met several times with Health Minister Matt Hancock, with the head of the virus monitoring program, Baroness Harding, and with former Labor adviser and now a member of the government think tank, Steve Bates.
His figure has reappeared in the media in recent months as a reference for the strategy in the face of the pandemic. He has converted the research center he created four years ago, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, in a covid-19 study laboratory and has offered its services to the government. Since the beginning of the pandemic, opted for the extension of the tests, for the use of masks, for mass vaccination and more recently for postponing the second dose of vaccines and using it to try to immunize as many citizens as possible.
Many of these strategies have been adopted by the Johnson administration. Even published a document referring to the massive tests as ‘Moonshot’, term that Johnson would later coined to refer to the operation to test the entire population. Asked about his alleged meetings with Blair, Hancock neither confirmed nor denied them. He said that he met with a lot of people and that he was open to everyone. A friend of Blair’s explained to the ‘Sunday Times’ that Blair wanted to return to politics to clean up the stained image he had left as prime minister.
The most charismatic prime minister
Tony Blair became the youngest prime minister since the 19th century when he swept the 1997 elections with an absolute majority. He was then 43 years old and had an extraordinary charisma. He had returned Labor to power after eighteen years in ostracism with what he, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell called New Labor. It was a mixture of capitalism and socialism based on the theory of the Third Way of the sociologist Anthony Giddens, who bet on the combination of the liberation of the economy and social reforms.
He got the support of the British middle and upper class. He enjoyed the highest popularity ratings of a prime minister. In a short time in office managed to close the peace accords in Northern Ireland that ended 40 years of armed conflict in the region, and initiated the return of the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, a decision that has recently been criticized by Boris Johnson. It peaked after Diana’s death, when had to convince the queen to show herself to the citizens, who were very furious with the monarchy. He won again by an absolute majority in the 2001 elections.
However, everything went wrong in 2003 with George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq together with the United States despite not have the support of NATO, the UN Security Council, or the European Union. The reason he gave was Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction which later did not exist. The author of the government report justifying the invasion, David Kelly, committed suicide after leaking that he had exaggerated the report. Foreign Minister Robin Cook and other members of his government resigned and the largest anti-war demonstrations in the country were organized.
The ghost of the Iraq war
All his prestige fell apart. Despite this, it still managed to prevail in its third elections, those of 2005, although with a relative majority. Two years later, in 2007, he handed over his position to his faithful finance minister, Gordon Brown. And he retired from politics. He was appointed special envoy of the UN Quartet in the Middle East and created his own company through which he gave lectures and advised governments around the world. It was made of gold. Blair’s friend explained to the ‘Sunday Times’ that Blair “he has no money problems and all he wants is to restore his reputation”.
This is not the first time that Blair expresses his opinion publicly and engages with current affairs. So did in his party’s primaries to oppose Jeremy Corbyn and the left turn by the Labor Party. Blair said it was a mistake, that they were wasted years, that the only way for Labor to get back to power was by turning to the center as he did with New Labor. He also got involved in Brexit. He campaigned for the UK to stay in the European Union along with former Conservative Prime Minister John Major.
A return to the De Gaulle style
In everything he’s done after being prime minister the ghost of the Iraq war has accompanied him, of chemical weapons that did not exist and of a decision that divided the country and that still hurts many people. The mere mention of his name provokes division of opinions. Now you want to clean up that stain on your resume. “Tony [Blair] he thinks he left office [de primer ministro] at the peak of his power, ”Blair’s friend confessed. Has improved over time and, ten years later, he has a burning feeling that the British government is not the right one and he feels he has the determination and the ideas to change this. ”
He said he wanted to go back to the Charles De Gaulle style. General de Gaulle was the provisional president of France in the last two years of World War II and in 1946 he left politics. Thirteen years later, in 1959, at 66, he returned and was elected French president. Blair is 67. It has not been specified with which party he intends to return to politics. Meanwhile, he continues as an advisor on COVID matters for the Conservative government.