Latest Issue

Coming up for Blair

R W Johnson has left for South Africa after 30 years observing-and later advising-Labour politicians. Looking back to Harold Wilson and forward to Tony Blair, he reflects on the eternal cycles of British politics

By RW Johnson   October 1995

In 1964, having lived my teenage years in South Africa, I returned to England on the eve of Harold Wilson’s triumph in the October election. Now, as I settle back in South Africa, England lives in much the same expectancy of Tony Blair: again we have a Tory government, long led by a commanding figure, but now replaced by a nicer and lesser leader, a government grown stale in age, rank in scandal, ripe for the plucking: again we have a Labour party buoyant with future imaginings under a dynamic young leader, putting aside sterile years of strife to embody-once…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect