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Thatcherism’s final triumph

The complaint from the left against Blair is that he missed the chance to push Britain further leftwards. His failure to build a new consensus, plus the collapse in trust over Iraq, means the chance has now gone

By Peter Wilby   October 2006

Don’t you feel disillusioned and betrayed?” People would often ask me this during Labour’s first term, and my reply was that I had lived through Labour governments before and had also studied 20th-century history, and therefore had no expectations of a socialist Jerusalem. Besides, as has often been observed, Tony Blair had got his betrayal in before he came to power.

Could it all have been different? Could a Labour government—perhaps under a different leader or perhaps with MPs who exercised greater control over Blair—have implemented a more left-wing programme and still, unlike all its predecessors, have secured three consecutive…

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