Other than leadership of the Labour party, what do these two Labour figures have in common?
Tony Blair led the Labour party from 1994 – 2007, winning three general elections and moving his party decisively towards the centre during his time in power. Almost a decade later, Jeremy Corbyn came from nowhere to win the Labour leadership in 2015, beat Owen Smith to keep it in 2016 and gained seats in the 2017 general election to deprive the prime minister of a majority. However, compared to Tony Blair, Jeremy Corbyn has swung his party to the left, as shown by his party’s 2017 election manifesto, which promised the renationalisation of the key industries and significant increases in the minimum wage.
Both are on the “broad” left, although they have significantly different approaches to tackle the big issues in politics.
However, one phrase unites them. Jeremy Corbyn’s catchphrase during the 2017 election campaign was “for the many, not the few”. It was central to the party’s message, and helped them tell voters what they actually stood for.
It is this phrase that links the two leaders further. Tony Blair’s Institute for Global Change, which aims to promote the political centre-ground, has a clear mission statement:
“The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change aims to help make globalisation work for the many, not the few. We do this by helping countries, their people, and their governments address some of the most difficult challenges in the world today.”
Blair’s institute wants to make globalisation work for the many, not the few. The Telegraph noted this similarity last year.
The pair come from the same party, but are ideologically very different, especially on economics and EU.
However, the shared phrase serves to remind us that while politicians on the whole have the same aims to make a better society and economy, they disagree on how to do it.