THE STRANGE DEATH OF NEW LABOUR by Donal Kennedy

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. For a 55 year old man it was very Heaven to witness the Labour victory of May 1997, burying, as I thought the Thatcherite years, the meanest-spirited era of modern British history, and ushering in, to power, a party chock-full of able and well intentioned men.


What I didn’t know was that  Labour Ministers were not team players, but were divided into two factions at each others’ throats, that Cabinets did not meet with the Prime Minister first among equals, to discuss issues . In fact Cabinets did not meet collectively at all.

I’ve read the memoirs, and the political diaries of Chris Patten, an honest, courageous and brilliant man, who served as a junior Minister. He is a man of proven principle, as well as the least ideological. And for a Party man is trusted and liked by those of all parties.

Tony Blair was the least loyal of bosses and appointed and dismissed junior Ministers most casually. Rather than holding Cabinet around a table, he’d sit on a sofa and invite the odd Minister to discuss an idea or a whim. The first two term of his Government saw massive investment in Education and Health with the modernisation of Schools and Hospitals, and
the end of the war in Ireland which had lasted nearly 28 years. The collapse of the Soviet Union had resulted in Britain declaring it had no longer strategic requirements there. Western powers stopped propping up the Apartheid Regime in South Africa for the same reason.

The OBSERVER columnist Andrew Rawnsley  traces “The Rise and Fall of New Labour” in  “THE END OF THE PARTY”  and it describes how, after the criminal attack on the TWIN TOWERS in New York, Tony Blair and his cronies embarked on an unprovoked attack on a country that had nothing to do with the New York atrocity, and killed more than a million people, mainly civilians.

George W Bush and Dick Cheyney, the CIA and British Intelligence knew perfectly well that Iraq had no part in the New York atrocity and that Iraq posed no threat to the United States or Britain. Neither the British Labour Party nor British Public Opinion supported the preparations for the IRAQ War.

A policy of Mass Deception was launched and when the BBC , which had apparently been advised of the deception by experts, Blair’s Press Secretary, Alistair Campbell went on the warpath. A senior expert  on Weapons of Mass Production, Dr David Kelly, a Civil Servant had his name leaked to the media and his body was found shortly afterwards.


A Judicial Enquiry, conducted by Lord Hutton (whose Curriculum Vitae may be checked on Wikipedia) .found Tony Blair and his cronAndies blameless for the launching of a war on a false premise and the death of David Kelly. Alistair Campbell launched a vengeful attack on the BBC.

Andrew Rawnsley’s book has 761 pages of text and a further 130 of notes and an index.

It describes meetings of cabinet ministers, Civil Servants and Spin Doctors where the foulest of language was the normal currency and where ethics, morality and principle
were rare. Blair was charming, but shallow. He played air-guitar in University,  when other students had deeper interests, he was interested in money and in awe of those who had loads of it. At Davos he found himself seated between Bono and Bill Gates. I certainly wouldn’t sit beside Bono if the guy paid me. And  I doubt Bill Gats would be fun be around, however clever he is.

Gordon Brown and his gang who were fanatically opposed to Blair, not on matters of principle, were an equally sad lot.

Between them they discredited the Labour Party and it will not be resurrected by a return to its New Labour stunts.

Comments are closed.