Ten Plus Three
He has said it all before, but he is good at finding new ways of saying it. Tony Blair spoke at a revivalist meeting in Church House at lunch time.
I remain unremittingly an advocate of third way, centre ground, progressive politics that came to be called New Labour. From 1997 to 2007 we were New Labour. In June 2007 we stopped. We didn’t become Old Labour exactly. But we lost the driving rhythm that made us different and successful. It was not a government of continuity from 1997 to 2010 pursuing the same politics. It was 10 + 3.
“Ten plus three”. Possibly the shortest, most accurate summary of the Blair-Brown governments, combined with an analysis of why Labour lost.
Some of his New Labour policies, he said “could be supported by people who don’t vote Labour”. That really should not be a controversial statement, but I suspect that for many in the party it is.
Parties of the Left have a genetic tendency, deep in their DNA, to cling to an analysis that they lose because the leadership is insufficiently committed to being left, defined in a very traditional sense. There’s always a slightly curious problem with this analysis since usually they have lost to a right-wing party. But somehow that inconvenient truth is put to the side. This analysis is grasped with relief. People are then asked to unify around it. Anything else is distraction, even an act of disloyalty. This strategy never works. Never.
Photograph: Getty ImagesTagged in: tony blair
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