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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Labour will miss Tony Blair when he is gone

That is the title of an article in the Guardian (via RCP) by Martin Kettle, and it is a very good piece of opinion at that, and I agree with the basic argument.

In this, as in so many other things, the parallels between Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher are almost scarily similar. Thatcher was, of course, in her way just as controversial a reformer of the Tory party as Blair has been of Labour. She was just as divisive, and remains so today. She was also basically forced out of office by Tory MPs finally fed up with her, yet her legacy remains central to understanding not just the Tory Party, but all of Britain today. In some respects it is quite proper to call the election the 7th victory of Thatcherism. I would not be at all surprised were Blairism to leave this country with a similar legacy, or for Tony Blair to remain highly controversial 15 years from now. Also, without a doubt, when the electoral wheels turn again many Labour supporters will look back the these last 8 years with misty eyes, as many Tories think wistfully back to the 1980s.

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