Mr Campbell, former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s communications director, commented on that assessment when interviewed by Catherine Salmond, editor of The Herald, tonight.
Ms Salmond quizzed the former Labor top spindoctor during his appearance at the ‘Aye Write’ book festival at the City Halls in Merchant City, Glasgow, where he discussed his latest book ‘But What Can I Do?’. Why politics got so much wrong and how you can help fix it.
When asked if he believed Scotland would become independent within his lifetime, Mr Campbell first asked the audience for their opinion (with the audience being divided on whether Scotland would be independent in such a timeframe, and also a mixture out of support for independence and the Union).
Part of the audience, pictured at City Hall tonight.
Then he said, “I think the dial has moved backwards. I don’t think we will.”
Opening the conversation with Ms Salmond, Mr Campbell said he believed the narrative at the next general election, expected before the end of next year, should be to get rid of “the worst government this country has ever had” and in Scotland didn’t he agree? I think it would be about independence.
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Ms Salmond noted that in his book he expressed understanding of why some Scots were pro-independence and she asked him what those pro-independence needed to do to achieve that goal.
“I think they’re going to have a hard time getting there because the scale has shifted backwards for a variety of reasons. I think if they couldn’t shift the scale significantly in the face of the twin evils of Brexit and Brexit [Boris] Johnson, I think it’s going to be tough,” he said.
Alastair Campbell plays the bagpipes at the end of his chat with Catherine Salmond at City Hall tonight.
“I think the reason why they didn’t make it to the finish line [in the 2014 referendum]…you have to have the answers to the really difficult questions.
“And I think that’s where they failed. I would say they have to develop answers to difficult questions.”
Asked if he thinks the UK would join the EU within the next decade, the impassioned remainer said “it’s possible”, citing the “rapid” pace of change in current British politics.
He said Brexit was now “a national and international joke” and that he believed Labor would revisit some issues surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU if Keir Starmer became prime minister.
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“I want them to be in the manifesto and I think they would draw in crowds of people who are having a pretty hard time at the moment,” he said.
“All they have to do is say: ‘The referendum must be respected’, but Brexit, which got through, has damaged practically every sector of the country, we have to deal with the parts that are, and this would require some renegotiation.” our European partners.”
During the call, he also said he likes Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar but “feels sorry” for SNP leader and First Minister Humza Yousaf.
He joked while referring to the police investigation into SNP finances, in which officers had seized a trailer outside the home of former SNP chief Peter Murrell’s mother.
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“Right now I really feel sorry for Humza Yousaf. It’s not an easy task when you walk in and find out that every time you walk out they ask for a camper van,” he said.
“It’s all gotten a little weird.”
Aye Write was founded in 2005 and has grown both in scope and notoriety over the years. The culmination of Glasgow’s annual program of events, visitors flock to the city from across Scotland and across the UK, making a significant contribution to the city’s economy and enhancing Glasgow’s reputation as a destination for major cultural events.
The program for this year’s festival, which began Friday and runs through May 28, includes fiction, non-fiction, biography, memoir and poetry, with a focus on nurturing writing talent and skills with workshops for new writers and master classes for more experienced writers authors.
Mr Campbell, a former political editor of the Mirror and Today, worked as Mr Blair’s spokesman and campaign manager in the opposition from 1994 to 1997 and then as Downing Street press secretary and official spokesman for the Prime Minister from 1997 to 2000.
He was the Labor Party’s campaign manager for the 2005 general election, which saw Blair’s third general election victory as Labor leader. He also served as an advisor to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband in the 2010 and 2015 general elections.
Mr. Campbell is Editor-in-Chief of the pro-Remain newspaper The New European and Chief Interviewer for GQ Magazine.
He was an adviser to the People’s Vote campaign and called for a public vote on the final Brexit deal. Since joining Mr Blair, Mr Campbell has continued to act as a freelance consultant to a number of governments and political parties, including the Prime Minister of Albania. In March 2022, he co-launched the Rest is Politics podcast with former Conservative Minister Rory Stewart.
Mr Campbell was part of Mr Blair’s core team that led the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
He has received awards from several Irish universities for his role in the peace process. He became a close friend of Martin McGuinness, among others, and attended his funeral in 2017. It turned out that McGuinness was helping Campbell with a novel that involved an active IRA service unit in the plot.