What is a Blairite?

John Rentoul

Blair 1 225x300 What is a Blairite?My esteemed colleague Steve Richards, writing in a rival newspaper, says that Blairites “do not exist”. I was ready to text him with a polite “ahem”, when I realised that he had specifically included me (and Tony Blair) in the category of non-existent Blairites.

I am thus forced to set out my rather inadequate definition of Blairism:

A Blairite wants to win as broad as possible a coalition of support on the centre and left to make the country fairer, whereas the non-Blairite left think you can go faster towards equality without the centre because such change will generate its own support, and the non-Blairite right don’t care about equality.

It was notable that Steve didn’t mention public service reform, but, really, you need to read the book.

Update. Thanks to Alex Doel ‏for a more succinct definition: “Blairite n. an individual who stubbornly refuses to make the Labour Party unelectable.”

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  • mightymark

    “The perception that those in the “know” (city types, executives, “others” etc) are leap-frogging the tax mechanism of (wealth) redistribution becomes a political dynamic and intervention a solution.”

    Can you explain this pse?

  • greggf

    Well mighty, there’s examples on this page and others:a recent perception of excessive profits, excessive rewards in business, zero or very small taxes paid by UK businesses, a need to tax the rich more, tax avoidance and the free ride immigrants and some Brits seem to get from tax-payer-funded services. Couple this with Treasury claims that tax revenue is falling and voila…!
    Support for the freeze on energy prices and comments above by JJ & JR are examples of “intervention is a solution”.

  • porkfright

    I can help with a definition. A Blairite is a species of dead parrot, largely blue in colour. Beautiful plumage!

  • JDSixsmith

    Really always seemed to me that Tony Blair had far more in common with some Conservatives than he ever did with democratic socialists… perhaps the reason Blair never considered himself Conservative was primarily semantic – he always thought of himself as “progressive” rather than wedded to fantasy ideals of some bygone age that desperately needed to be conserved. “Blairite” or “Brownite” economic policies appeared to me to be pretty indistinguishable from Cameron’s (maybe the reason Dave had his party gave Tony a standing ovation when he left the House), only the rhetoric differed. Maybe “the centre” is just a thin line, Blair stepped to the right of it far more often than he did to the left.

    & his guff about the feeling “the hand of destiny on his shoulder”… really? For anybody who genuinely believes in God then “destiny” is inextricably linked to God’s will, isn’t it? & if you genuinely believe God is guiding you, how can you ever doubt what you do might be wrong? Why would God do that to you? To me that always seemed to be far more of a psychological flaw than Gordon Brown ever had. Monstrous egotism. Maybe that’s what Blairite is?

  • Pingback: Definition of Blairite, part III | John Rentoul | Independent Eagle Eye Blogs

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