Alastair Campbell and the Labour party
Despite being something of a divisive figure within it, the Labour Party has a lot to thank Alistair Campbell for. It had to spend many years in the political wilderness completely out of power before him. For 18 years the Conservatives had ruled the United Kingdom throughout the 1980s and for most of the 1990s. Coming from a position of a very left wing stance the Labour Party had slowly begun to move towards the centre ground of British politics. This was done initially through the work of Neil Kinnock’s policy review and was continued with the measured and statesman-like approach of John Smith. Smith’s untimely death led to a leadership contest which saw Tony Blair take over the reigns of power in the party. His success in 1997 led to a Labour landslide victory and two terms following this with considerably comfortable majorities.
Behind this charismatic young leader was a media genius. Starting out life working in a number of Fleet Street papers Alastair Campbell had honed his skills to perfection. Initially starting with the left leaning Daily Mirror he was able to see the other side of the political spectrum with a stint at the Daily Express. He then returned to the Mirror where he became its political editor.
His forthright and well directed column pieces enabled him to gain a role as senior media and policy director with the Labour Party. He still creates political comment to this day with his work on the www.theneweuropean.co.uk/contributor/alastair-campbell.