Blairism is about delivering results for communities through pragmatic center politics not worrying what side of the political divide a policy comes from but focusing on the outcomes and results that can be achieved. In 2012 I believe that the party that best represents this approach is the modern Conservative Party.
Tony Blair joined the Labour Party at a point in history where his particular political views and ethical values could not sit along side that of a social conservative and historically old fashioned Conservative Party, that was in much need for reform. Attitudes on sexuality, gender, race and other areas of social policy were completely at odds with his own. As social reformer and leader he needed a political vehicle he felt he could mold and shape to help deliver a fairer Britian, whilst at the same time continuing the economical progress that had been made under Thatcher in terms of the transformation of our economy.
Tony Blair created "New Labour" to lead on social reforms, continue the economical transformation and to pull politics away from its polorised past to one where polices were implemented on the basis of "right and wrong not left and right".
During the Blair years we saw the continuation of Thatchers policy of taking people from the Mines and heavy industry and focusing on the development of a strong service and financial sector recognising the changing nature of our globalised economy and focusing on our economic strengths. We saw the introduction of private investment into our public services showing the benefits of marketisation and competition whilst still guaranteeing the level of coverage and provision, We saw the creation of academies the evolution of grammar schools that before inspire pupils to succeed and deliver world class facilities to enable them to do so and we saw New Labour holding the center ground for over a decade keeping the conservatives out of power by taking the best of conservative policy and implementing it themselves.
However Blair was held back by the left of his party, stopping adequate reforms to welfare and the introduction of universal credit, limiting the role out of academies, fighting the introduction of private investment into any public services and continuing a luddite attitude that it would be better that people were dying in the mines than making money in canary wharf.....
Since Gordon Brown took over as Labour leader, Labour have shown that far from the Blair years resulting in a transformation within the Labour Party from a party of hard left socialism to a party of realism and social action, Blair was merely a detour on route to where the tireless core of the party wish them to go back to a socialist tribal and left wing agenda (albeit an agenda that will drive them into the ground).
The election of Ed Miliband instead of his blairite brother and the booing of Tony Blair at Labour Party Conference in 2011 sealed the nail in the coffin for many Blairites in Labour and thats why so many have decided to leave and join the new reformed and progressive conservative party myself included.
Today Tony Blair wouldn't have the problems he faced in the past of the Conservative Party's "social attitudes" not matching with his values and perspective on social policy, because we have a very different conservative party to the one he faced in the 1980s.
Modern conservatives are socially liberal and economically conservative we believe in protecting peoples rights to be themselves and supporting aspiration and business success to help grow the economy. These are both values that Tony Blair championed and supports.
Policies in 2012 that can be seen as the conservatives demonstrating this are clear:
- Expanding his visionary School Academies program
- developing his idea of "real" choice in the NHS and making private investment
- Making NHS Trusts to be more independent and accountable to local communities through the expansion of NHS Foundation Trusts and Clinical Commissioner Groups
- Introducing universal credit and welfare reforms all mooted by Tony Blair
- Increasing the minimum wage
- Increasing apprenticeships
- Increasing financial support for poorest at University Increasing access
- Leading on Equal Marriage
- Introduced first transgender action plan
- Seperate themselves from "New Labour"
- Promise to reverse choice and private investment in the NHS Policies Blair introduced
- Opposed academies being rolled out nationwide (Academies which Tony Blair launched)
- Provided no viable alternative to increase financial support for those from poorest backgrounds at university
- Attacked big business and promised high taxes and ethical attack on capitalism
Tony Blair is a member of the Labour Party because he is its most successful leader of all time and has lead his whole career from the parties benches and trying to deliver fundamental reforms to a party clinging on to its socialist past. This is Tony Blair's biggest failure because while he achieved many good things while in office he did not systematically change the party he lead and when he left he took the vison drive and realism that New Labour brought to the table and we were all left with the stale Labour Party we see today.
If Tony Blair was a young politico coming into politics today looking for a party to shape, mold, steer and lead based on his values and aspirations of success, fairness, support for business and a liberal social approach there is only one party that would be the obvious choice and that is the conservatives. No longer would there be any barriers that would stop him from viewing the party as a viable political vehicle for his goals, no longer would Labour seem closer to him and the center ground which he strives for in fact the anti business, anti choice and anti forward thinking from Ed milibands "next" Labour would leave any good blairite (Tony Blair included) feeling rather cold and rather BLUE.
There has been a seismic shift of the political landscape over the last few years and one thing is now very clear Conservatives now hold the center ground in UK politics and Blue Blairism is here and here to stay.