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Who’s afraid of Tony?

The Labour government is run by "control freaks" who cannot effectively manage the decentralisation of Britain. This is the message with which a credible opposition should be bombarding the public. But the Tories are trapped by their past and the Liberal Democrats uncertain of their future

By Conrad Russell   October 1998

Sheriff running-more difficult.” That is the caption of a cartoon in 1066 And All That: it shows Robin Hood trying to shoot the Sheriff of Nottingham. Those who set out to oppose Tony Blair should remember this cartoon. Political generals, like military ones, are trained to attack fixed positions. As the generals discovered in Vietnam, it is much harder to attack an enemy which cannot be found.

Those who attacked Margaret Thatcher were able to attack an ideological position which had a fixed cartoon-like identity. Showing the link between an error of policy and an ideological position was not difficult.…

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