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New Labour’s Legacy

Times have changed—and there can be no going back

By Tom Quinn  

©Adam Butler/PA Archive/PA Images

On the morning of Labour’s greatest electoral triumph, 1st May 1997, Tony Blair famously declared that a new dawn had broken. With an air of expectancy and a thumping majority, Labour could finally achieve Harold Wilson’s goal of becoming the natural party of government. Yet twenty years later, Labour heads into an election staring at what could be its heaviest defeat since 1935, despite having already spent seven years in opposition. How did it come to this?

New Labour enjoyed undoubted achievements. The minimum wage,…

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