SOMETHING called the Institute for Centre Ground Politics is to be established in the UK and soon enough it will occupy the seat reserved for it on BBC’s Question Time. This new think-tank has been created by Tony Blair as his response to what he regards as the growing forces of left-wing and right-wing populism in the world.

If it ever gains any influence, it will provide more succour to the Right than it ever will to the Left. In this it will resemble the BBC’s flagship political programme where, routinely, a panel of middle-class white people, just as last week, hand down their prognoses for fixing a society already weighted in their favour.

Mr Blair offered us an insight into the philosophy that has fuelled his new project. “This new populism may differ in some respects between left and right – the Left anti-business, the Right anti-immigrant – but in others what is remarkable is the convergence between them, especially around isolationism and protectionism, in what is an essentially closed-minded approach to globalisation and its benefits and to international engagement.” It is a bland, hand-wringing endorsement of steady-as-you-go political engagement; one that will be welcome in 10 Downing Street and Conservative Central Office.

In choosing to observe equivalence between left-wing “populism” and the hard Right it fails to acknowledge that the policies of the latter have dominated UK politics for most of time democracy has existed. In affluent UK society the gap between rich and poor is among the widest in the civilised world. Such an imbalance can only be achieved in a nation that has been governed for most of that time in favour of unearned privilege and unfettered corporatism. Unless Mr Blair’s aim is merely to protect the status quo by stealth and by deflection, his new project will be akin to taking a pea-shooter to a tank battle.

Among other things Mr Blair seems to want his new project to achieve is to educate the scrofulous Left in the ways of globalisation; to accept it and to work within its structures in the hope that we can get it to behave responsibly and for the good of all humankind. He might as well invite us all to a seminar headed: “Dancing with rattlesnakes.”

To be fair to Mr Blair, his benign attitude to globalisation and its ugly sister, corporatism, has to be understood in the context of our former Prime Minister’s experiences following his decade-long stint in power. Since then, an assortment of kind corporate entities and consortiums have agreed to pay Mr Blair lots of money for the privilege of being associated with him. Others, cynical curmudgeons all, might choose to call this the practice of exploiting every ounce of material leverage from the mighty office in which you were elected to serve. Mr Blair would call it globalisation or corporatism or plain old capitalism.

If modern British political history has taught us one thing it is this: that the gaps between right-wing Conservative governments are filled by slightly paler right-wing governments run by the Labour Party. They are allowed to hold sway for a few years on the pretence that they will finally unstitch the pattern of privilege that underpins British society and begin to work in favour of the poor. Of course, it never happens and nor would it ever be allowed to happen. At the first sign of policies favouring the many at the expense of the few, the UK press barons and the men who control the BBC would ensure that the miscreants were put in the stocks. Jeremy Corbyn is experiencing that at present.

The celebrated UK film-maker Ken Loach has been aware of this for many years. Most of his films shine a torch on the inequality and unfairness that have led to so many people in this rich country becoming impoverished. Mr Blair would never have Mr Loach anywhere near his new initiative, which might more accurately be known as the Foundation for Ensuring that Everyone Gets to their Bed Early and Does as They are Told. Mr Loach’s most recent film, I, Daniel Blake examines the iniquities of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as it rolls out the Tories’ austerity programme through the eyes of two victims. For doing so, he has received the Jeremy Corbyn treatment.

Mr Blair has also been one of the foremost critics of Mr Corbyn, observing in his policies a rebuke to his own approach of endless acquiescence in the status quo and eternal passivity in the face of stark inequality. This rootless and self-serving approach has left its legacy in the Labour Party, where many of his acolytes reside. It has almost destroyed it. Mr Corbyn is merely trying to revive it.

If Tony Blair was genuine about wanting to restore some balance in the forces driving politics throughout the world he wouldn’t be concerning himself with the rise in populist left-wing politics as there is no evidence that this has even occurred. What we have seen, though, is the emergence of a reactionary right-wing Government at Westminster which has sworn to protect the fortunes and liberty of those whose greed and corruption led to the collapse of the banking system.

This in turn has led to our imminent departure from the EU on the back of a wave of hatred towards migrants and refugees fleeing torture and oppression. All of these are bound together by impulses of greed and selfishness; of blaming others for your ills. In this terrain the empty and morally bankrupt ideas of Conservatism will always prevail.

In America, the same fear and loathing of others have brought an extreme right-wing fanatic into power surrounded by men and women who have built their fortunes preying on those who were duped into voting for the new president. All over Europe the extreme Right is on the march, selling snake oil to the masses and telling them that their decades-long problems are all the fault of recent arrivals from foreign lands.

In the UK, meanwhile, hard-working communities who sacrificed their own in two world wars are still suffering three decades after Margaret Thatcher deemed them to be surplus to the requirements of her new, neo-Liberal state. No one lifted a finger to help when mining, steel-making and ship-building – all with years of profitability and output still left – were dismantled.

In austere, 2016 Britain, however, someone snaps their fingers and £400 million can be found to refurbish a palace belonging to a manufactured royal family that has never existed without state handouts for the past 300 years.

In a country divided by such stark social and health inequalities any party of the Left that aspires merely to the centre ground is defeated already – the outcome most desired by The Conservative Party.

It is why Mr Blair’s Institute for Centre Ground Politics will thrive in unequal and squalid Britain. It is why Labour north and south of the Border has all but died.