Via Tom Watson, an article in Monday's Guardian by the ex-Transport Secretary, Stephen Byers,
The way for Labour to win is to accentuate the positive. It discusses the 'winning formula' of triangulation which saw strategists
identify(ing) the polar opposites in any debate and then position yourself in the middle so that you were never divorced from the political centre groundand to begin to positively associate the party with its aspirations. Byers identifies the core values as including opportunity for all, social justice, equality and solidarity. Perhaps the hope is that 'old labour' activists, supporters and sympathisers will be persuaded to overlook the (modern, market aware, realistic) details if they can see that wider social goals are both envisaged and are being realised.
For Blair, 10 years into his leadership, the choice is stark. It is whether to advance or retreat. Wounded by Iraq he could go on the defensive and adopt a steady-as-you-go, safety-first approach as part of a process of consolidation and retrenchment. Or he can push forward with a programme of modernisation and reform that engages the electorate and leads to lasting change.
I have no doubt that the Blair I know will go for this latter course of action.
Posted by Paul in UK Labour Party Politics at July 22, 2004 03:15 AM