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It would be ironic if the Democrats learned from Blair as Blair very
intentionally learned from Clinton's campaign and from Clinton to move to
the center in some key ways and appropriate the conservative's issues.
I don't think that would be possible for Democrats now as they already did
it.


Date sent:              Sun, 8 Dec 2002 21:47:16 EST
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: OT British politics (was Thatcher)
To:                     [log in to unmask]

In a message dated 12/9/02 12:13:02 AM !!!First Boot!!!,
[log in to unmask] writes:

> I thought it very odd to see Labour called centrist and Lib-Dem not.
> Labour was traditionally the left, and Blair has very much moved it to
> the center, but not everyone in Labour agrees with him.  But it does
> matter what issue is being discussed.  The Euro is important, but it is
> not a single defining issue.  So I am still puzzled at the way you
> define the parties.
>

Yes, Labour was very much to the left before Tony Blair, and was losing
ground and election after election.  If you remember when Tony Blair first
became Prime Minister, that election was filled with the term "New
Labour." Blair didn't break from their traditional positions, but he
definititely stepped back from them.  He made it clear that Labour was no
longer a spokesperson for the unions; rather, Labour was now the
spokesperson for all of the middle class and the best interests of
Britain. He made it clear that improving their Health Service and
Educational system, and the interests of the nation as a whole, was more
important than union interests. These centrist and nationalistic positions
gave him the title of Prime Minister and his party control of the
government. As for defining issues in Britain, I never said that the Euro
was the only defining issue, but it is a huge one, and no wonder.  It
concerns their whole monetary system, and to many, their very identity.
Poll after poll has showed that if a referendum was held in the present
day, the Euro would be voted down overwhelmingly.  The Lib-Dems are now
clearly to the left of many of Blair and Labour's positions, the issue of
Europe and how intimate Britain should be in their alliance being
prominent among the issues.  Blair and and many in Labour are more
concerned about maintaining a continuing, intimate relationship with us
than with Europe.  As for everyone in Labour not agreeing with Blair, I am
quite certain that is true, particularly as of late, given his standing by
us in the war of words against Iraq, defying the UN to stand up and be
counted, but from what I hear, he is still extremely well thought of as a
leader in Britain, and unbeatable.  The Democrats, by the way, could learn
something from Blair and New Labour.