Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has reappeared since his public shaming at the hands of Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq Inquiry last month to defend his record on mass immigration and ponder whether his own views on politics have hit the rocks.
Speaking ahead of the publication of the latest UK immigration figures, Blair told Politico magazine that although there is a need for “rules and not prejudices,” immigration could be “good for a country.”
“It [immigration] brings fresh energy. It lowers the age of the workforce,” he said.
In the extensive interview he also questioned whether his own centrist Thatcherite politics have had their day.
“One thing I’m not sure of – and it’s a very open question – is whether the type of politics that I represent really has had its day or not,” he said.
“Now I obviously believe passionately it hasn’t, that it’s still the answer and not the problem, and you know, the evidence points both ways.”
Blair lamented that the reestablishment of socialist ideas in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn appeared to leave right-wingers ostracized.
“It’s an attitude of mind that says that I’m a Labour politician, but, you know, I can see decent Tories with good ideas. Now, you say that to parts of the Labour Party today, and they’d say, ‘Well, you’re a traitor,’” the former PM said.
Blair has been largely off the radar since the Iraq War Inquiry strongly criticized his conduct before, during and after the 2003 invasion.
Families of some of the soldiers killed in the war have exceeded their own £150,000 (about US$200,000) target to hire a legal team to scour the two-million-word report in order to find actionable evidence to sue Blair.
Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed serving in Iraq, told RT that any money raised in a civil case by military families against Blair will be donated to the Iraqi people to improve their lives.
Matthew Bacon, a British Army major, was killed by a roadside bomb while traveling in a lightly-armored Snatch vehicle in Iraq in 2005.
His bereaved father described his awe at the staggering success of the Iraq War Families Campaign’s crowdfunding drive to fund a full legal examination of the Chilcot report for evidence challenging the legality of the war.