The SNP has a reactionary, caveman ideology, Tony Blair says

The former PM says Labour must take the nationalists 'head-on'

Jon Stone@joncstone
Wednesday 22 July 2015 15:53
Tony Blair
Tony Blair

The Scottish National Party has a “reactionary” ideology similar to that of a caveman, Tony Blair has argued.

The former prime minister said the SNP was “blaming someone else” for Scotland’s problems and that Labour had to criticize the Scottish Government head-on to regain power.

“Nationalism is not a new phenomenon. When they talk about it being new politics: it’s the oldest politics in the world,” he said.

Tony Blair said the SNP was 'blaming someone else' for Scotland's problems

“It’s the politics of the first caveman council when he pointed with his club across the forest and said ‘they’re the problem, over there, that’s the problem’.

“It’s blaming someone else: however you dress it up, it’s a reactionary political philosophy.”

Mr Blair said he was reticent to give advice to Scottish Labour on how to beat the SNP and that he felt like he was someone giving advice to a soldier that had “just come back from four years at the battle of the Somme … saying ‘I’ll tell you what I would have done’.”

He added that despite the nationalists’ popularity in Scotland he did not think Labour would die out there.

The intervention comes after the SNP argued it was the “official opposition” at Westminster after Labour decided not to oppose key welfare cuts proposed by the Conservatives.

The former Labour leader was speaking at the think-tank Progress in central London on Wednesday morning.

Once dominant north of the border, Labour lost all but one of its seats in Scotland in May’s general election under its leader Jim Murphy.

The party has been through four leaders since 2012 and polls for next year’s Holyrood elections show its rivals the Scottish National Party are on course to secure another majority.

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