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Britain after Blair

David Blunkett's book is a first shot in his leadership campaign

By Matthew D'Ancona   December 2001

When David Blunkett announced in October that the possession of cannabis would no longer be an arrestable offence, it seemed that the long march of the 1960s had drawn to a triumphant end. Out of the blue, the project of social liberalisation launched by Roy Jenkins had apparently been completed by another Labour home secretary.

Except, it quickly became clear, that wasn’t how Blunkett saw it at all. It is hard to imagine a less likely defender of the inhaling classes than this stiff-backed son of Sheffield. Jenkins had announced his reforms with the rubicund countenance of the genteel Cavalier;…

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