At 63, Tony Blair hints at a return to political life in a new interview. Blame it on Brexit or the fact that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is running for the highest office in the land again. Mr. Blair has the urge to get back in the game.
Blair has been actively involved in politics since 1983; his career highlights include serving as the leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and becoming the prime minister of the United Kingdom in 1997. He retired in 2007 and was replaced by Gordon Brown, also from the Labour Party.
Britons are not exactly in love with Blair because of his decision to follow former President George W. Bush into Iraq. After leaving office, Blair and his wife, Cherie Booth, worked to earn a fortune of more than $72 million via an array of luxury homes and paid speeches.
This week, Blair did a lengthy interview with Esquire magazine where he enumerated all that is wrong with the UK and shared a few solutions. He said that he is disappointed to see the United Kingdom turn into a “one-party state.” He slammed his own party for taking the country backward.
Blair said he longed for the days when the Labour Party was a center-left party. He called out Jeremy Corbyn, who was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2015 for pushing an “ultra-left” culture. The former prime minister said:
“In the UK at the moment you’ve got a one party state. When you put it all together [taking into account that the Conservative leader wasn’t elected], there’s something seriously wrong.”
“Frankly, it’s a tragedy for British politics if the choice before the country is a Conservative government going for a hard Brexit and an ultra-left Labour Party that believes in a set of policies that takes us back to the Sixties.”
Mr. Blair had the following to say about Corbyn:
“This is not about Jeremy Corbyn. It’s about two different cultures in one organism.
One culture is the culture of the Labour Party as a party of government. And that, historically, is why Labour was formed: to win representation in Parliament and ultimately to influence and to be the government of the country.”
He went on to reveal:
“The other culture is the ultra-Left, which believes that the action on the street is as important as the action in Parliament. That culture has now taken the leadership of the Labour Party.”
When asked if he will run for office again, he said:
“I don’t know if there’s a role for me … There’s a limit to what I want to say about my own position at this moment.All I can say is that this is where politics is at. Do I feel strongly about it? Yes, I do. Am I very motivated by that? Yes. Where do I go from here? What exactly do I do? That’s an open question.”
Blair has refused to reveal to the publication how much he has made since leaving office and instead pivoted to the millions that he has given to charity. He also said that he should have never worked with dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan.
Blair plans to be less present in his business to do more charitable work – that is a big sign that he is preparing to run for office, experts say.