Letter : New Labour, old Tory, ancient Liberal

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The Independent Online
Sir: There has been much discussion in your columns suggesting that the new Labour Party is the Victorian Liberal Party reborn.

Surely Tony Blair is a latter-day 19th-century Tory, with his emphasis on paternalism towards the working classes (Shaftesbury, Disraeli) and "caring", while Margaret Thatcher and John Major are modern Gladstones pursuing stringent financial policies (low taxation, low public expenditure), free trade and unfettered market forces.

RUTH WINSTONE

London SW8

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