One Year On: The ‘new politics’ and Labour

What is ‘new’ Labour? What has it done during its first twelve months of government and what has it failed to do? And what are the implications of its enduring popularity for the Conservative Party?

David Selbourne shows that, behind its sub-Orwellian rhetoric, ‘new’ Labour is a Party of contradictory principles, and too often of no principles at all. And while it has done right as well as wrong, many of its actions – unlike its presentation – have been ambiguous and confused, while others pose a long-term danger to society as a whole.

So while ‘new’ Labour’s recognition of the importance of duty should be praised, so too must its mistakes of judgement, its authoritarianism, its ethical failures and its arrogance be condemned.

David Selbourne concludes that the Conservative Party is now faced with a historic opportunity. Having seen so many of its own policies adopted and even extended by ‘new’ Labour, the Tories must now rediscover their faith in civic traditions and institutions. Only then will they be able to counter the public relations success story that is ‘new’ Labour.

David Selbourne - Friday, 8th May, 1998