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If I’m atop it in my trademark Fedora people immediately “get it”. If I’m not, it could get dodgy: some don’t complete the double take and immediately conclude it’s some madman out campaigning for Tony Blair!
There are of course many politicians campaigning for Tony Blair but they keep the iconography indoors for private worship. Most of those are in the Labour Party. But not all.
Most of the others are in the mainstream media, where a more or less perfectly preserved set of ghouls and Zombies have the virtually uncontested run of the place.
Marr, Peston, Dimbleby, Lying Laura on TV Freedland and the cast of the Pantomime Horse that used to be the Guardian, more or less the entire staff of the Times, the Today programme, Newsnight… one long nightmare of unreconstructed Blairism.
They don’t all wear the badge of course and some would deny it. But Blairism as defined as neo-liberal economics, neo-conservative foreign policy, a fetish for NATO and the EU plus a soaking of social liberalism is in fact virtually hegemonic in the British media.
The vast majority of Labour MPs are in the same gunboat of course. They sally forth each day at Westminster against their own captain before retiring to their private devotions to the Prince across the water. They have sought a pretender, Wally-Smith was the last to walk the plank, but it is achingly obvious that nobody does it better than Tony.
I will pass quickly over the for now small band of Liberal Democrats who make no pretence about their absolute devotion to the cause.
And I know too little about the Tory Party in Parliament today to be able to calibrate the strength of the competing world views. But my suspicion is that they didn’t choose Theresa May for nothing. They hoped, may still hope that some semblance of embroilment with the soured EU dream continues to be possible even as the hour grows late.
Enough at least of them to make a Blair bloc come true in the House(s) of Parliament at some crucial point over the next two years…
And yet as I reported last, down on the streets of Manchester- astoundingly the Official Child Poverty Capital of the country – the alleged 60% support for the EU is as visible as an honest MP.Last time I described my campaigning in the two Gorton Wards of the constituency. I faithfully reported that I found not a single Remainer or Regretter in a whole day of politicking.
Cynics put that down to the large number white English people in those two wards (itself a stunningly telling alibi).
Yesterday a huge crowd of mainly strangers came to the official opening of my campaign HQ. I filmed the speech and the audiences reaction and livestreamed it on Facebook.
It was an almost suspiciously perfect cross section of the Gorton constituency.
Black, white, Asian, young and old, poor and rich, men and women.
I dealt with my reasons for being a Brexiteer. They were cheered to the echo. As can be clearly heard.
My opponent – it is already a two-horse race – has as an MEP millions of good reasons for loving the monster that is the EU. His campaign initially thought my Brexit record might be my Achilles Heel. I suspect he now knows and with more than 30 days to go, that like with so much else inside the bubble, that is the opposite of the truth.