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December 18, 2019 12:02 pm

Former British PM Blair Blasts Corbyn-Led Labour Party as ‘Glorified Protest Movement With Cult Trimmings’ After Electoral Drubbing

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair blasted his own Labour party on Wednesday, saying that the takeover of it in recent years by its far-left wing — led by Jeremy Corbyn — was responsible for its electoral debacle last week.

Many observers are at least partly attributing Labour’s decisive loss to its culture of institutionalized antisemitism.

Polls showed an overwhelming majority of British Jews considered Corbyn to be personally antisemitic.

Blair, whose decade-long stint as prime minister came to an end in 2007, was quoted by The Guardian as saying, “The takeover of the Labour party by the far left turned it into a glorified protest movement with cult trimmings, utterly incapable of being a credible government.”

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“The result has brought shame on us,” he declared.

“The choice for Labour is to renew itself as the serious, progressive, non-Conservative competitor for power in British politics, or retreat from such an ambition, in which case over time it will be replaced,” Blair added.

Turning to Corbyn himself, Blair said, “He personified politically an idea, a brand, of quasi-revolutionary socialism, mixing far-left economic policy with deep hostility to western foreign policy.”

The 66-year-old Blair noted that such an ideology “never has appealed to traditional Labour voters, never will appeal to them, and represented for them a combination of misguided ideology and terminal ineptitude that they found insulting.”

Blair described Corbyn’s movement as “essentially a cry of rage against the system.”

“It’s not a program for government,” he asserted. “To win power we need self-discipline, not self-indulgence.”

Following the election results, Corbyn announced he would step down as party leader early next year. This has set off a scramble to find a successor, and a civil war within the party is brewing between Corbyn’s far-left acolytes and what his followers derogatorily call “Blairites” — the party’s more moderate members who view Blair’s electoral successes as a model to emulate.

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