Blair: Brexit is bad doesn't stop Muslim immigration

Blair: Brexit is bad doesn't stop Muslim immigration
3 min read
17 Feb, 2017
Reading between the lines: Tony Blair wants to fight Brexit because, as he suggests, it stops the wrong kind of immigrants and does nothing about the real undesirables.
The former British prime minister has been accused of Islamophobia over his views [Getty]
Each time one thinks "oh Tony Blair isn't all bad, or all that bad", a la Polly Toynbee, one soon realises "hang on, no, the man is the devil incarnate". Trump may be in the competetion for the title, but he's more of a second-rate comic-book villain, really.

The devil is especially in the details of the seemingly good thing he's about to do.

On Thursday, Blair called for rising up - or as one Arabic newspaper headlined it, an intifada - against Brexit, as part of his political comeback.

But part of his agenda, judging by his own words, seems to be either racist or Islamophobic, or maybe both.

Yes, the former New Labour British PM, co-architect of the Iraq War and alleged top adviser to dodgy leaders and corporations around the world, wants to persuade the British populace to change their minds and stay in the EU.

In a speech hosted by the pro-EU platform Open Britain, he made a rallying call to those who want to remain in the EU, to fight against Brexit.

"I don't know if we can succeed. But I do know we will suffer a rancorous verdict from future generations if we do not try. This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair, but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe."

Well, many in and outside Britain welcome the prospect of maintaining the UK as a nation tolerant and open, which can hardly be achieved with the inwardly looking, insular Brexit movement and its starkly anti-immigrant agenda. 

Yet tackling this particular issue, immigration, Blair showed his true colours.

He said: "There is, in some parts of the country, a genuine concern about numbers from Europe - real pressures on services and wages. But for many people, the core of the immigration question... is immigration from non-European countries, especially when from different cultures in which assimilation and potential security threats can be an issue."

A-ha! Whom does Blair mean? Brown people? Muslims?

Blair continued: "Nonetheless, we have moved in a few months from a debate about what sort of Brexit, involving a balanced consideration of all the different possibilities, to the primacy of one consideration - namely controlling immigration from the EU - without any real discussion as to why and when Brexit doesn't affect the immigration people most care about."

Let's translate that from Blairese, shall we?

Translation: "The British people were deceived about Brexit. They were told it would stop immigration, but in reality, it stops the wrong kind of immigration. It stops Europeans coming in, when the issue should be stopping Muslims and other brown people coming in, and Brexit doesn't do much to address this."

Maybe, Mr Blair, you could just suggest that a Muslim ban is in order for Britain, too.

Follow Karim Traboulsi on Twitter: @kareemios