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Although Blairism is withering away in Britain, it drives the presidential campaign in France, as I saw during Ségolène Royal's recent visit to a local village

By Tim King   October 2006

For many in France, Blairism is a dirty word. But since France would not be France without paradox, Blairism is also the driving force behind the two principal—though as yet unofficial—candidates, left and right, for the presidential election next May. So even as Tony Blair bows out, his policies will be reborn across the channel—wrapped as something deeply, traditionally French of course.

French politicians admire Blair’s ability to win elections, and France today thinks of little else. Where Tony Blair used to campaign with the third way, Nicolas Sarkozy’s keyword is la rupture, Ségolène Royal’s la différence, but they mean…

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