Labour members’ welcome booklet celebrates 2017 election loss but ignores Tony Blair wins
A Twitter user has posted a picture of a page from the booklet which lists major achievements in the Labour Party’s history. This begins with the creation of the NHS in 1948, as well as the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in 1999 and the Human Rights Act a year later. But there is then a 16-year gap until 2016, where the party’s membership passed half-a-million.
For 2017, the booklet says “general election sees us make gains in every region and nation” – despite Labour suffering defeat to the Conservative Party in that national poll as well.
But significantly, there is no mention of Tony Blair, who became party’s first Prime Minister since Harold Wilson in 1974 when he defeated John Major in the 1997 general election.
He then led Labour to another huge win in the 2001 general election by a margin of 413 seats to 165 over the Conservatives led by William Hague, and again four years later in 2005 by a gap of 413 seats to 165 when the Tories were led by Michael Howard.
He resigned in June 2007 when his popularity plummeted as he was accused of misleading Parliament over the war in Iraq.
But his decade-long tenure meant he was Labour’s longest-serving Prime Minister, as well as the first and only person to date to lead the party to three general election victories.
One Twitter user commented on the omission of Mr Blair: “It’s tragic really.
“Better to be moaning about others and not having the responsibility of power, than winning the argument and being in power, actually doing stuff that makes a difference.
“Blair airbrushed out of history, the only winner they’ve had in 45 years.”
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Another person wrote: “They absolutely loathe Blair, their most successful leader in 100 years who won three consecutive general elections.
“This half-wit Labour Party are still in total denial.”
A third person commented: “If a party won’t celebrate its achievements then it does the opposition’s job for them.
“Ludicrous for @UKLabour to ignore the landslide of 97 and Blair’s hat-trick, to instead favour Corbyn “not losing as badly as we thought he would”.”
The achievements page also hasn’t been updated to mention Labour’s humiliation in last month’s general election, simply saying under that year: “You joined us!”
Labour had talked up its chances during weeks on the campaign trail, but suffered huge embarrassment after winning just 203 seats – the party’s worst general election performance since 1935.
Jeremy Corbyn will step down as leader over the coming weeks, with a scramble now taking place between Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry to succeed him on April 4.
Following the general election humiliation, several of the party’s members blamed Mr Corbyn for the humiliating defeat, from his failure to eradicate anti-Semitism from the party to his huge spending plans which would have cost UK taxpayers an estimated £83billion.
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