It was William Hague who predicted in 1999 that the public response to Labour would go through four phases: His timing was amiss but the sentiment was correct. It’s a similar angle to the saying that all political careers end in failure.
For when I spoke to you in this hall two years ago I said that New Labour would bring first fascination, then admiration, then disillusionment and finally contempt. At that stage the admiration was running high; now the disillusionment is beginning; and mark my words, they are not so far away from contempt.”
The Tories insist that it won’t happen to them; “The difference is that Blair was a phoney,” says one.