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The mandate man

Prime ministers with big majorities are often called presidential. The Blair government actually is-and it is rearranging the constitution to suit its benign populism

By Austin Mitchell   November 1997

Labour promised a “new politics,” but the scale of its victory, the self-confidence of its leadership and the extent of the alienation from the old party politics have combined to make the change more drastic than even its advocates had expected. This is not just another party victory on a bigger scale, but a new political system growing within the shell of the old. Tony Blair is inaugurating a populist presidency and rearranging the balance between institutions.

New Labour is more than a house-trained version of Old Labour. It is a people’s party, a national congress, a Rassemblement du Peuple…

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