Tony Blair wonders what’s gone wrong with politics. How sad he can’t see it | Owen Jones

Photo of Tony Blair wonders what’s gone wrong with politics. How sad he can’t see it | Owen Jones

He oversaw the Iraq war and calamitous financial deregulation, and did lucrative work for foreign tyrants. No wonder faith in the centre-left has evaporated

If Tony Blair is the answer, then the question is high on illicit substances. He is reported to be launching an organisation to examine why the “centre left” has been overwhelmed by the forces of populism. It’s as though he’s a spectator, a passive commentator, a bystander, rather than a leading contributor to this age of political calamity. Someone who should be in the dock is electing himself chief prosecutor.

Just consider this. In July, Tony Blair was damned by an official inquiry for his role in a war that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of human beings, including 179 British service personnel, and which contributed to the rise of fanatical Islamist terrorism. That’s before we even mention Blair’s lucrative service for foreign tyrants. If normal rules applied to men of power, he would retire from active political life in disgrace. And yet, less than five months later, here he is, plotting a return to the frontline of politics. His career is like the T-1000 at the end of Terminator 2: it just will not die. If Blair wants material for his vanity project – “why are people so disillusioned with establishment politics?” – then how about starting with politicians who face no penalties for their colossal misdeeds, and continue to exert huge power and influence without any apparent shame or even penitence?

Even before the Chilcot report was published, polls showed that more than half the population would never forgive him

Related: Tony Blair aims to fight resurgent populism with centre-ground campaign

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