Letter: Tony Blair's ideology has little to do with the Labour Party

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The Independent Online
From Mr Jim Denham

Sir: Donald Macintyre ("How to revive top-quality democracy", 12 December) tells us that Tony Blair is frustrated that he has not been given credit for shaping what he (Blair) sees as "a new, coherent, three-sided ideology" for Labour.

What is this exciting new triangular ideology? Apparently it consists of (1) equipping business for "massive technological change", (2) a "one nation" approach to social policy and (3) a "new politics" which seems to boil down to increasing the powers of local government and making Prime Minister's Question Time less confrontational.

All very laudable, I am sure. But isn't describing this as an "ideology" - and a "new, coherent and three-sided" one at that - a bit pretentious? Harold Wilson pioneered (1), Edward Heath still champions (2) and Paddy Ashdown no doubt approves of (3), even though Mr Blair is still playing hard-to-get on PR.

And a final, minor point: what has any of it got to do with any conceivable definition of socialism?

Yours faithfully,

Jim Denham


12 December