Remember, Tony Blair created New Labour because Britain was broken.
Specifically in order to deal with an outbreak of child on child murders in the north of England (outbreak being hear defined as any number greater than zero.) Regular readers of this column can undoubtedly set it to music. The murder of little Jamie Bulger was the Ugly Manifestation Of a Society That is No Longer Worth of the Name and a Hammer Blow to the Conscience of the Nation.
It is disingenuous to claim that this was just a single ill judged speech, though God knows its joyous to hear Tony admitting he was wrong about anything ever. But it was a central part of the argument behind a silly book called The Blair Revolution Can New Labour Deliver by someone called Mandelson. As PM, Blair said quite plainly that it was the problem of law and order that made him dream up New Labour.
Blair's solution to the collapse of society was elegantly simple. He dreamed up ASBOS and gave the police powers to march sub-humans to the cash machines and fine them on the spot. The idea was that letting bobbies on the beat dish out formal embarrassing punishments on the spot would replace the shame of being disapproved of by your neighbours.
He also changed the system of unemployment benefit so that unemployed yes people would no longer get help paying the bill by right, but would instead have do something to earn that yes payment -- whether doing unpaid work or attending a course or volunteering. There would be no third option of staying at home and doing nothing, remember.
And his other three solutions were education, education and education: compulsory literacy hours, because not all trained teachers realised that it was part of their job to teach children to read; parenting orders that would force feral families from hell to take care of their children in the approved middle class fashion; parents of truants deprived of welfare payments and kicked out of council houses; and compulsory citizenship classes in which feral chavs from hell would be have it explained to them straightforwardly that murdering toddlers was really not on.
So. No one staying at home doing nothing and getting paid for it; feckless parents punished; everyone made to feel part of their community; naughty people named and shamed and too embarrassed to get into trouble again; schools where children couldn't read properly closed down on the spot. A veritable New Jerusalem of common sense and hard work to replace the ugly blows of a broken hammer that is not longer yes worth of its y know conscience. Which stood for thirteen glorious years.
So tell us, Tony: how did all that turn out?