Former Prime Ministers are massive, great loose cannons. Blair is no different. Gordon Brown must be relieved that his predecessor is in the Middle East, away from awkward media questions.
John Major was less fortunate. Margaret Thatcher’s departure from Number Ten was unexpected. There was no time to arrange something for her to do, and any suggestions seemed inappropriate. Instead her looming presence helped to keep the Conservatives out of power.
After comments from ‘Blair’s people’ hit the Sunday papers, I was wondering if Tony Blair could have the same fatal legacy?
He probably could. He could criticise directly, or more damaging, he could let Blairites do it for him. That said, Labour members assure me that their party doesn’t do infighting. Whereas Conservatives are self-involved, self-interested careerists, who were shameless enough to knife Margaret Thatcher, Labour members are the opposite.
Nevertheless, Blairite comments last weekend were well timed for the Conservatives. Only a few days after Cameron had told the Commons that Brown has no vision, Blair’s people claimed that the former PM was worried about Brown’s lack of direction.
It’s improbable, but just as Blair created New Labour he could destroy it. Equally, just as he sent Conservatism into crisis he could save it. Think of that.