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Harriet Harman, Margaret Beckett, Jack Straw ... where did their cabinet careers start out? This overview of Tony Blair's very first appointments was published in our May 1997 special edition of the magazine.
“I don’t believe the polls. The Tories are like ferrets in a sack, but they won’t give up the keys to Downing Street without a fight.” - Tony Blair on 21 March 1997, just weeks away from election day.
When Tony Blair addressed the 1996 Labour conference he knew he was on the verge of a big victory. By contrast, Ed Miliband arrives in Manchester with the nation facing a constitutional crisis and hatred of Westminster running high.
Ed Miliband is a very different leader from Blair and he is leading in an unrecognisably different context. But there are some lessons to be learned from the lawyerly focus Blair displayed in opposition.