He may not have held a position of political leadership for almost 14 years now, but Tony Blair is once again on the minds of social media users.
The former Prime Minister gave an interview with ITV News’ Paul Brand yesterday (27 April), in which he said he doubts the people of Scotland want another independence referendum – even if the SNP were to win a majority in next week’s Scottish Parliamentary elections.
But it wasn’t his opinions that were garnering the interest of viewers; instead, his hair seemed to be the main focus of intrigue.
Blair sported a grey do much longer than what we’re used to seeing, swept back in a “mullet style” according to many online commenters.
"Tony Blair is slowly transforming into Doc Brown,” said one user, comparing the former Labour leader to actor Christopher Lloyd’s iconic character from the Back to the Future series of films.
That wasn’t the only lookalike comparison made, with another user calling out Blair for going “full Peter Stringfellow”.
"We have passed the Charlie Kray stage and are now stuck somewhere between famed Italian vintner and David Dickinson,” said another poster, while another noted Blair’s new prog-rock look, cheekily suggesting Blair had “huge “...and then of course punk came along and that was it for bands like us....” energy.”
What did Blair say in the interview?
Opinion polls have consistently had Nicola Sturgeon’s party leading the pack for the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May, with another vote to leave the UK once again among the hot debate topics.
Despite the SNP lead dropping in recent weeks, polling by Panelbase for the Scot Goes Pop website on Tuesday predicted Alex Salmond’s Alba Party is on course to win eight seats and help deliver a pro-independence majority of 16 seats.
Speaking to ITV News, Blair – who was the man in Number 10 when devolution was voted for in 1997 – expressed his doubts over such a campaign and the potential “disruption” it could bring.
He said: “My best bet is that in the end Scotland will vote ultimately to remain inside the UK, but I agree it’s proved to be a tougher fight than we anticipated.
“Although again you’ve got to say 2014 when we had the referendum and there was a majority for Scotland saying that ended the issue until Brexit put it back on the agenda.
“I do think one of the weaknesses of the way we approached devolution was not to build real cultural ties and emphasise the enormous things Scotland, England, or the different countries in the United Kingdom have in common.
“I’m not sure that even if the SNP wins a majority in the Scottish Parliament that it necessarily means that people want to go through the disruption of an independence campaign, I would frankly doubt that.
“Of course it becomes more difficult over time that if opinion looks as if it’s fixed, but let’s see if that’s actually the case.”
In Tuesday’s interview, Blair added: “If the Labour Party hadn’t implemented its manifesto commitment to do devolution in 1997, the union would already be in tatters.”
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