Tony Blair talks Jeremy Corbyn, George Bush’s humility and the failed standup career

Tony Blair, November 2012 by Chatham House

The shadow of Tony Blair is longer than that of any living British politician, the two-and-a-half term Labour prime minister now one of the most reviled and admired characters in Westminster and beyond.

But with much debate about him linked to his disputed status as a “war criminal”, it is fascinating to hear a different side of him in this interview with the comedian Matt Forde, a former Labour aide.

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Gordon Brown conveniently forgets Corbyn, backs Cooper

Gordon Brown, World Economic Forum January 2009, by Monika Flueckiger

Former prime minister Gordon Brown will back Yvette Cooper, wife of his political protégé Ed Balls, at a “sold-out” event at the Edinburgh Book Festival this weekend.

In a further dig at Jeremy Corbyn, the hard left candidate now favourite to win, the leader of Labour between 2007 and 2010 will claim he put Cooper as his first choice, with leftish candidate Andy Burnham second and Blairite Liz Kendall third.

Previously Brown laid into Corbyn, albeit without naming him, at a speech on August 16th in which he told Labour not to be “a party of protest”, whilst also scoffing at the notion of a global alliance involving “Hamas, and Hezbollah, and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia” – a dig at Corbyn’s foreign policy.

In this same vein Brown released a statement on his website where he still refused to name Corbyn directly:

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is due to speak at the Edinburgh Book Festival this weekend and will say he has voted in Labour’s leadership election for Yvette Cooper as No1, Andy Burnham No2 and Liz Kendall No3.
Mr Brown is to deliver a speech on the future of Scotland and will be interviewed by author Alistair Moffat during the sold-out event in the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre on Sunday, August 30, at 3.15pm.

In this he keeps to his commitment in that earlier speech not to “attack any individual candidate”. Keep it classy, Gordo.

Image Credit – Gordon Brown, World Economic Forum January 2009, by Monika Flueckiger