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The absent centre

New Labour helped destroy the old politics but has not created a new one. We need partisans for moderation

By David Goodhart   July 2003

Has New Labour reached its tipping point? The moment at which, in retrospect, it will be seen to have lost its purpose and direction-still, perhaps, capable of governing, even winning another election, but no longer the coherent political force that could swat away challenges from left and right with ease.

That is the current consensus among political commentators, both sympathetic and hostile. Columnists have again been telling us how Tony Blair has finally lost his “Midas touch.” The fact that most of them have been saying this at every sign of trouble for five years cannot exclude the possibility that…

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