All these years later, we still see the Left blaming many of the problems of the UK on Margaret Thatcher. It does not really work so well now, but they have had an entire generation making-up stories to tell themselves and ignoring facts.
However, I am beginning to feel sympathy for their plight. Not because they were right about anything, Thatcher remains the best Prime Minister since Churchill by some distance.
No, I have sympathy because I feel the same way about Tony Blair. I was educating my kids the other day about why we have ended up in such a polarised policitcal situation in 2020 and I realised That it is basically entirely Blair's fault. I will try to be succint in explaining why.
1) Winning the Middle class for Labour - Blair in the 1990's realised Labour needed middle class votes to win an election. To do this, he switched away from the unions and traditional Labour support and focused on first world problems. One such idea was to put more people through University, from around 20% of the population, up to 50%. He did this by making courses free and getting the state to pay. The Universities, always left-wing, were delighted beyond belief. But we did not see a rise in hard and useful STEM courses, no we saw a rise in media studies and psychology.
As as result we now have very Left-Wing univerities and two generations inthe workforce with pointless and unneeded degrees. Of course, later on the Tories had to introduce tution fees as the cost of Labour's plans was too high a burden and it was hoped this might end the proliferation of Madonna Studies and Kite-Flying. Which it did, but only at the cost of making more generations angry at the Tories.
It has also left a huge number of people feeling the world is not fair. University education was supposed to be their route to a nice middle-class life. But with the economy growing at normal rates, we now see lots of people over-quailfied for jobs and really their University tution fees were not worth it. They are angry people and also they have been indoctrinated into Left-Wing thinking at Uni and by their feeling of grievance. Man have a point, if you graduated with a psychology degree in 2009 your prospects were not good for your career.
Not only this, often referrred to as Elite Overproduction, but future Labour leaders have continued their obsession with Middle Class issues - which has meant in the last decade an obsession with identity politics, green issues etc. This has led to the loss of the working class voters, abandoned by the Middle Class chasing Labour party, more of this later.
2- EU & Immigration - Blair of course opened the door to Eastern European immigrants, hoping to get both new voters and a boosted economy. He also was passionate about the EU, signing up to treaties and handing back the rebates won by Thatcher.
This enraged the working class and a huge section (around 40% of the Country, as we have since seen at every election) of people who had never wanted mass immigration and the change it brought about - whatever the supposed economic benefits. Amazingly, Blair came up with the most anti-working class strategy of any Government since the Victorian era - whilst leading the Labour party.
What we have seen since his time then is the pressure rocket for a referendum, said referendum then won by the anti-EU people (now disdainfully called populists for pursuing policy which has a majority backing) and eventually the end of the red wall with Working class voters flocking to the Tories.
3- Culture wars - These are more post-Blair but the two point above have created this situation, along with changes across the West and the rise of Chine economically and politically. We have a Middle Class steeped in a new kind of class hatred, that of identities and anti-patriotic who vote Labour and even some of the Upper Class, champagne socialists like Keir Starmer, join in, but only in the big cities. Blair was a key started in this by defining those opposed to mass immigration as racists.
Thus began the twisting of merging policy and morality opposition into the single venemous brew that we see today on the Left.
4- Economic disaster - Gordon Brown of course wrecked the economy which as left us right up the creek ever since and now Covid-19 has dropped on top of this. Blair was happy to ratchet state spending to try to salve middle class issues. He did not really care or understand much about economics, his focus was elections. Of course, when the 2008 crash came we were woefully ill-prepared and also a population had become hooked on middle class tax breaks and benefits, like child benefit for all, which it has proved almost impossible to row back from even over a decade later.
Meanwhile everyone else in England votes Tory to avoid the lunacy of Corbyn and to make sure the EU is left and hopefully immigration brought back to a sustainable level. In the regions those disliking both Westminster rule ad Labour have found nationalist parties to vote for. (I could say devolution is point five, hastening the rise of the SNP and potential break-up of the UK - one success Cameron did have against the tidal flow caused by Blair)
But overall May and Cameron were only ever passengers on the torrent of change wrought by the above. Both tried to balance the anti-EU sentinement and remain sentiment (which we saw of course became an identity thing for the Left - hence FBPE on twitter and other such extremism). Both failed miserably and ended their terms in ignominy.
So there you have it, blame Blair, so clever that he did not know what he was doing.