FORMER politicians have tendencies.
Those four words pretty much summarise why the planet is in the mess it is in, but in this case the tendency is towards making unrequested yet weighty pronouncements on current affairs.
Tony Blair has taken a break from playing Cupid between big business and tyrannical regimes to lecture more contemporary assassins of the nations’ reputation on how to deal with the Brexit aftermath.
Penning his thoughts (and making his real political allegiances clear) in a Daily Telegraph column, Blair warned that “our nation is in peril” following the referendum and that negotiations of “extraordinary complexity” would require “serious statesmanship”.
The former prime minister, who led his party to three consecutive general election victories and the army into a bloody foreign adventure, argued that the responsibility lay with Conservative contenders as the Labour party was “effectively disabled”.
“There is going to be a negotiation of extraordinary complexity where there are a thousand devils in every detail. Those we used to call ‘our European partners’ are, unsurprisingly, divided and uncertain themselves.”
“The psychology of the other 27 countries is crucial to feel and shape: they could decide that other secessionist movements should be deterred and so be disinclined to flexibility; or they could decide that the British view – especially on immigration – reflects something strong across Europeand have a measured response which tries to accommodate that sentiment.”
“Our nation is in peril. To allow us to come safely through this we need to be adult in our politics, to proceed with calm, maturity and without bitterness; because our future as a nation in the world and as the UK itself is at stake.”
Blair also cautioned Conservatives against a partnership with Nigel Farage, criticising his antics at the European parliament as detrimental to Britain’s reputation in the chamber, which will have to stamp its seal of approval on any future Brexit deal.