December 22, 2005

OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD:

Blair appeals for party support to fight challenge of resurgent Tories (George Jones, 22/12/2005, Daily Telegraph)

Tony Blair admitted yesterday that he was "battling on all fronts" as he faced a resurgent Tory Party led by David Cameron and increasing opposition from Labour MPs to his health, education and welfare reforms.

He appealed to his party not to retreat to its "political comfort zone" but to fight Mr Cameron's attempts to reclaim the centre ground which had delivered three election victories for New Labour. [...]

"What's the big idea coming from the Conservative Party? To try and become more like New Labour.

"The truth is we should be confident as New Labour in the reform programme, because whether it is on pensions, or it is on school standards, or it is choice in the NHS free at the point of use, or on anti-social behaviour, or even difficult things like Europe, we are the ones making the weather. That is why, however difficult it is, we stick with it and we carry it through."

But he signalled that he was ready to compromise on education reforms, which have run into strong opposition within the Cabinet and the Labour Party.


As Labour reverts to Old Labour the Tories can indeed seize the ground that New Labour held, just as W seized the New Democrat turf.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2005 10:08 AM
Comments

A while back you were saying the Tories should go hard right.

Posted by: Brit at December 22, 2005 10:29 AM

They should, on social and national issues--pro death penalty, anti-immigration, anti-Europe...

But they need to ape Thatcher, Gingrich, Clinton, Blair, Howard, Bush on the welfare state.

Posted by: oj at December 22, 2005 10:35 AM

But will the Blairites collapse before the Toriesa are ready?

Posted by: Mike Earl at December 22, 2005 12:26 PM
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