Monday, 21 July 2014

1994 And All That

What are you doing to mark this twentieth anniversary of Tony Blair's election as Labour Leader, and why?

On the day of the 1997 General Election, Blair added 0.7 per cent to the commanding Labour poll lead on the day before John Smith died.

0.7 per cent.

Today, Ashcroft has Labour on an eight-point lead. Enough for an overall majority of over 80.


  1. Did you vote for him in 1997?

    1. I voted for the local candidate, whom he was not, and who would have won anyway, just as Labour nationally would have done.

      You are too young to remember, but no one in their right mind, unless they had been voting Tory or something else for many decades (and often even then), would have voted any other way than Labour in 1997.

      That situation predated the emergence of Blair, and he contributed nothing to it. The only people who ever voted for him were in Sedgefield, and almost all of those would always have voted Labour.

  2. I remember you as a Labour sub-agent in 1997, getting an overall majority of the total vote on a four-way split in a traditionally Tory vote. You were not yet 20. The local party punished you for it ever afterwards, it's still punishing you for it now.

    Of course you are right, almost nobody "voted for Tony Blair", the huge Labour lead had been in place since Black Wednesday and it would have been a kind of treason to vote in any way that might have condemned this country to another four or five years of the Major non-government.

    Hence next to nobody did and even people like Simon Heffer, Richard Littlejohn and Peter Hitchens wanted Labour to win because wanting the Tories to lose can't mean anything else and they definitely wanted the Tories to lose.

    You are also right that anybody who needs to be told any of that must be too young to understand.