Barely a week before my father died he took my sister and me back to Woking where he grew up. His was an ordinary suburban street; people were neither rich nor poor. They were working hard to provide for their children a better future than the life they’d had. These were the doors he’d knock on when he was 16, hearing time and time again how Labour, their party, had let them down, had ignored their aspirations and abandoned their values: opportunity, hard work and fairness as a reward for contribution. This was my father’s heartland. I think the founders of New Labour came to the project in different ways: through the revisionist tradition in the Labour Party, the failure of the party to communicate beyond its base and the irrelevance of policy for the modern age. My father came to it here on the streets of Woking. He called it ‘the land that Labour forgot’.
KeywordsElection Campaign Labour Party Labour Project Exit Poll British Politics
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