Labourism has long been a central part of Labour's heritage but the collapse of the traditional working-class culture that sustained it means that Labour has for some time had a problem of self definition. New Labour was one way of solving this problem, with its appeal to the middle classes and accommodation to neoliberalism, but this is now seen to have failed. However there can be no return to labourism – which in any case is undesirable given its many limitations – since its historical context has gone. The development of a new post-labourist politics will require that centre-left thinkers and writers abandon their illusions about Labour and jettison any sense of romanticism and sentimentalism for its past.
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