Ordinary people from every corner of the country flocked to ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair’s comeback speech last Friday morning at Bloomberg in London.
Though a diverse bunch, the gathered crowd were united in their fervent admiration for Blair’s inspiring political vision, as well as in their awe of the Blair government’s monumental and era-defining accomplishments.
Steve, a first-year student who’d travelled all the way from Newcastle to hear his idol speak, told Gen Y Bother that his childhood dream of embarking on an academic career could be traced back to the Blair administration’s higher education reforms. “When Tony introduced tuition fees, I was ecstatic. What could be more inspiring to the enquiring young mind than being able to reduce the value of any educational experience to a precise monetary figure measurable in pounds and pence? Knowing that my geography degree was a commodity worth precisely £3225 a year, my mind was made up and my heart was set. If only Tony could lead us back to that heavenly land of costly-but-not-too-costly commodified and marketised higher education; there, truly, is a political vision worth caring about.”
For Susan from Sussex, meanwhile, it was Blair’s public sector reforms which had ensured there was a special place in her heart for the former Labour leader. “As a nurse, the Blair policy which meant the most to me personally was the setting up of a commercial directorate in the Department of Health. Of course, I care deeply about the wellbeing of my patients; but I also care about the poor Richard Bransons of this world, who before Tony’s reforms could hardly squeeze a penny out of our health service! No matter how bad conditions in the NHS get under this callous Conservative government, I’ll sleep a lot easier knowing that, thanks in no small part to Tony, someone, somewhere will be making a profit out of it.”
Finally, Sophie from Cornwall saw Blair on a personal level as simply epitomising the values she held dear. “At the heart of Tony’s politics is a simple empathy and compassion for the oppressed, the downtrodden, the exploited of this world. With the Labour Party now totally fixated on its loony left ideals, who on earth is there to represent those luckless plutocrats who obviously don’t desire anything as outlandish as a meaningful redistribution of power and resources in favour of the many, yet don’t want to have to deal with the guilt and inconvenience that comes with being a Tory? And now, in our hour of greatest need, our white knight has come riding back to save us. I just couldn’t be happier.”
The mood was summed up by one of the gaggle of ecstatic noughties spin doctors gathered at the very front of Blair’s stage. “Come on, everybody; we have a beleaguered Left there for the bashing and an increasingly fascistic centre ground there for the slavishly chasing. Let’s Make Great Britain Blair’s Again!”