Tony Blair was the Basil Fawlty of British politics
Letter published in Sunday Times September 20, 2015
It was gracious of Peter Mandelson to admit that New Labour bears some responsibility for Jeremy Corbyn’s victory. [His article September 13, “I’m partly to blame for this mess but let’s fight back to win back Labour”]
Tony Blair led the Labour party the way Basil Fawlty ran his hotel on Gourmet Night, insulting and abusing the long-stay residents in the hope of attracting a better clientèle. He and his acolytes maintained this approach in a decade of unbroken arrogance and condescension towards party critics. Our doubts were dismissed as childish or spiteful. We were told repeatedly that New Labour’s outlook and policies were the only possible path for Labour in government and the only alternative to the Hard Left nincompoopery and electoral carnage of the 1980s.
It is especially galling to be lectured in this way by people who left frontline British politics to make money.
The guests in Fawlty Towers eventually revolted. Labour supporters have done the same.