Tony Blair has admitted he knows he’ll get hit by “a bucket of wotsit” for rejoining the world of politics.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror marking the 20th anniversary of Labour’s landslide General Election victory, the former prime minister said he was willing to get his hands dirty once more.
He told the paper: “I know the moment I stick my head out the door I’ll get a bucket of wotsit poured all over me, but I really do feel passionate about this.
“I don’t want to be in the situation where we pass through this moment of history and I hadn’t said anything because that would mean I didn’t care about this country. I do.”
Tony Blair is rejoining the world of politics
Blair said he would be going back out on the road to reconnect with voters around the country, adding he wanted to take an “active part in trying to shape the policy debate” in the run-up to Brexit.
He told the magazine: “Yep, it’s hard. It’s all about coming to terms with the fact that when you’re running for power you can be all things to all people.
“But when you achieve power you have to make decisions and when that happens, and the process of government is your life, you become less popular.”
The former PM said he should have communicated more after he left power because his silence had allowed others to portray him in a bad light.
“That was definitely a mistake. If you read about what I have been doing these last 10 years you’d think I have just been going round the world making money when I have spent the vast bulk of my time in the Middle East, in Africa, on the things I believe in.”
Blair arrives at Downing Street after the history landslide victory in 1997
Blair, who has been widely criticised over the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, described the current situation in Syria as a “hideous blot” on Western foreign policy, the Press Association reported.
“When the Arab Spring began, what I said to people was be very careful because you have been through a situation in Iraq and Afghanistan where you have removed a dictatorship but then the problems begin.
“So, if you can evolve a transition, do that. My view on Syria and Libya was it would have been better to have agreed a process of transition, so if you could cut a deal, which I think you could have, with Gaddafi, or Assad, for transition, that would be better.
“Then having said you wanted them to go, you had to get them out. And the problem with what we have done in Syria is that we have insisted he go, but then not made him go. And the inevitability therefore of a civil war as a result of that was, I’m afraid, very clear.
“He was going to fight to stay and then the Russians and the Iranians came in on his side and propped him up. But what has happened in Syria in my view is a hideous blot on Western foreign policy.”
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