The second half was dominated by acts of daring radicalism that would, again in the recent past, have doomed a Labour leader to a nightmare of turmoil and fatal unpopularity.
When he challenged orthodoxy, he became such a powerful leader he was determining foreign policy and the coalition's approach to failing markets. Osborne's recent defence of his intervention in the payday loans market made the chancellor sound like a social democrat.
They stumbled because they tried so hard, in very different ways, to move with what they took to be the unyielding tides of the 1980s.
He would be foolish to assume that defensive caution should play no part in 2014 or that the media can be ignored. In my view the media is as powerful as ever.
In 2013 when he echoed the policies of the coalition, a government that itself pays too much outdated homage to the 1980s, he became fragile rather than strong.