LABOUR IN BLACKPOOL: `Stake' out as vogue word takes back seat in `stake' out as buzz word takes back seat

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The Independent Online
The Blair buzz word of the year, "stakeholding", virtually vanished from the face of the conference this week, with only a handful of delegates even mentioning the word.

Certainly, Tony Blair did not utter it in his speech on Tuesday, in spite of the fact that the launch of the "stakeholding" project had been heralded as a new phase in Labour's modernisation when the leader made it the centrepiece of a speech in Singapore. In a follow-up speech, he referred to the importance of companies treating their employees as partners.

While the idea of partnership remains, the word, "stakeholding" appears to have died a death. But it did emerge again yesterday when Janette Streener, a delegate from Rutland and Melton, Leicestershire, said: "This is and must remain a stakeholder party, a strong party, with strong leadership which will listen to us."

That prompted Tom Sawyer, the party's general secretary, to tell conference: "The biggest stakeholders for the party are the British people; we hold the party in trust for the people."

But as the conference ended more speakers, on more occasions, had used the word "socialism" than "stakeholding" - a subtle linguistic victory for Old Labour over the modernisers.