I n Blair & Brown: The New Labor Revolution (BBC Two), we see a picture data Tony Blair 20 years old, all teeth and no tops. He looks like everyone's worst nightmare - a half-naked public schoolboy and an aspiring badass who - when not studying law at Oxford - would choose Stairway to Heaven on a guitar to impress the ladies. The loss of rock 'n ' roll was the gain of Britain. Or disaster - depending on your stance on the Iraq war.
The stage music, Layla Pt 2 from Derek and the Dominos, embellishes the theme of the sexy rock. For me, however, that tells a different story: the same tune was used in Goodfellas on a montage of crowd hits, with a voiceover by Ray Liotta. Although therehad fewer body bags, Blair 's rise was no less ruthless.
As for Gordon Brown , it doesn 't has never been rock 'n ' roll. Against a montage of redundant factories and coal mines in east Fife, a concerned brunette of 2021 presents his young self as motivated by social justice. This self-sacrificing image is undone by images of him as the 24-year-old rector of the University of Edinburgh, basking in pomp at an official meeting on what looks like a throne . From the start, he too was obsessed with power - the upstart thane was eyeing the crown. Brown was the old story, says former Labor Home Secretary John Reid: "The prince couldn't wait for the king's death.
And yet, from 1983 to byShot of this moment, this odd pair of Caledonian Thistle and Cheshire Cat were co-conspirators, unwittingly echoing Opportunities, the Pet Shop Boys' withdrawal from Thatcherite mores. Not so much 'you've got the muscles, I've got the brains, let's make a lot of money', but rather 'I've got the teeth, you've got the post-endogenous growth theory, let's break the political mold British. "
I was suspicious of this program for its omissions. We start in 1983 with Blair and Brown elected to a parliament in which Thatcher had returned with a majority of 144 seats. Labor's disastrous defeat here is attributed to a double whammy of bad substance (its election manifesto was dubbed by Gerald Kaufman as the longest suicide note in history) and bad style (and in Michael Foot's glasses, foreshadowing those of Jeremy Corbyn around 2019, did not fit.) Really, it was a trThis is a massive blow, but the decisive bump Thatcher received from the stupid Falklands Welfare Factor is never cited. defeated in 1992. That year, Neil Kinnock had redone the data link Plowing with the help of a misguided ex-TV producer called Peter Mandelson. Mandy at least gave Labor a bit of a boost. Yes, abandoning the red flag in favor of the red rose to dissociate the party from Soviet communism may still seem to some to throw the socialist baby out with the Warsaw Pact bathwater, but as communications director he at least helped turn the party conference into something that it certainly wasn't last week - a startling spectacle.
But in 1992 the Mandy's makeover wasn't enough. The suggestion here is that the elecBritish torat still did not trust Labor to run the economy. But he omits another crucial reason: the Kinnock factor. We don't see the moment, which - 29 years later - burns my face in embarrassment, of the Labor leader at the Sheffield pre-election rally, shouting to the faithful "We're fine!" OK ! , The personification of pride before the fall. This too explained why the Tories beat Labor in 1992: much of the electorate did not want a valiant duffer at Number 10. Which is strange, when you think of who many of those same people are elected in 2019.
The biggest problem with this first episode of five, however, is something else. It's a job from within, with Labor veterans - Patricia Hewitt, Anji Hunter, Ed Balls, Alastair Campbell et al - as unreliable narrators. Brown's speechwriter Douglas Alexander, even said, "They were literally the Lennons and McCartneys of British politics." Waste. They looked more like Wham !, without George Michael and two Andrew Ridgeley.
The navel-blue insider perspective means there was not enough skepticism about the deal that Blair and Brown concocted before the 1997 election, where after Blair's second term as prime minister, he would hand over the reins of power to Brown. Today this deal seems presumptuous at best, an undemocratic sting at worst that both should have, but clearly not ashamed of.
Everything Having said that, the images of Blair's opening speech at the 1997 Labor conference make me shudder. If only Labor could bottle this youthful swagger, this sense of mission and this aura of skill, and pour it down Keir Starmer's throat.