Labour lost elections because it failed to change, but won in [INSERT RANDOM DATE] because it modernised and reconnected with the electorate. It argued that the need to change did not stop with election success but was a permanent necessity, progressive politics only succeeding when constantly adapting to new times.[…]Labour lost elections because it turned its back on this new constituency, ignoring the postwar rise of a newly aspirational electorate. The purpose of new Labour was to reconnect with these voters, the culmination of an arc of endeavour and ideas stretching back to the revisionism of the 1950s [1970S?] […]
Labour had to be in touch always with ordinary people, he said, “to avoid becoming small cliques of isolated doctrine-ridden fanatics, out of touch with the life of our time”: a perfect articulation of the modernising credo.[…]
Labour was almost physically feared, a dark presence impossible to vote for. The [NATIONALISTS?] dominated almost every corner of the political terrain , with Labour effectively vanquished. After the [SELECT BETWEEN 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002] election many believed that the party would never hold power again. No one for a single moment would have entertained the possibility that Labour would win three successive elections, be leading in opinion polls at the heart of a third term and be on course for a fourth election victory.
Ladies and gentlemen Blair has left the building, or at least he is fast on his way out. Papers are rife with descriptions of his hegemonic rule of Brittania for the past decade and a bit. One thing that Blair did, miraculously – in a shoestring on a dying kid sort of way – was revive a Labour party from the doldrums. He managed to change the face of a serial loser to a winning team with a winning agenda.
Like him or dislike him, like or dislike the Third Way revolution that he brought along, it worked. It bloody well did. And there’s a Labour party I know of that might do well to take a leaf or two out of his book. A party that might do well to develop a vision of its own that lies wider than that of the accolytes and the ever-suffering ‘lower classes’. A party that might want to consider the progressive side of a nation that for want of anything better calls itself liberal. A party that might start listening with an ear on the ground and purge itself from mediocre, tantrum-inspired politics that is keeping it anchored in eternal opposition.
By the way. The pieces quoted above were taken from today’s Times. One thing that I am prepared to bet is that we will never be reading a piece by Malta’s equivalent of Philip Gould showering plaudits of our very own Labour leader.
Change. It’s not as easy as it may sound.