The end of New Labour...soul-searching for Howard
Despite having been a great fan of Mr Howard compared with his predecessor and because of my dislike for the Labour Party I feel obliged to link to this fantastically reasoned piece. I agree with practically every word.
"The Tories have what they wanted – a fatally wounded Blair still in office, his position sealed (buoyed even) by Hutton, but limping on when it comes to the meat and drink of domestic politics and vulnerable to all sorts of attacks over the failure of the public sector from Tories – and, indeed, from his own party, which smells blood.
Make no mistake, New Labour is now over. The top-up fees vote was merely a vote on the principle. Now come the votes on the details.
The Labour Party is now embarking on a prolonged civil war between the tiny guerrilla group of Blairite true believers and the bigger band of Brownites (lumped together with the rabble Campaign group types) with the vast majority sitting by on the sidelines waiting to see what happens. Blair’s authority is in tatters, and all chance of further reform across other areas is now over.
The likely outcome is Blair stays in office, wins the next election, and then disappears having done almost nothing between now and then, leaving Brown to take over and to govern as a traditional social democrat, uninterested in public sector reform.
New Labour formally ended last night."
The question is can the Tories get their act together to put the boot in in a governmental fashion. Th eir attitude has to shift from full-frontal attacks to a 'roll over Beethoven' approach of frustration at wasted time.