Watching the 1997 election results: the evenings TV from 1st May, 1997 had been playing all day on the Parliament Channel. First time around I was cruelly deprived from the television - somehow my parents thought I needed a whole night's sleep before my first GCSE in the morning - but this time around... all bliss. And I was able to everything knowing that I'd still be up for Portillo. (Actually, I stopped watching there, I did have better things to do than watch 14 hours of ten year old "live" news).
So much has changed. I'm not a natural Labour party supporter, but I remember that morning in School (after the exam!) everything felt "different". It was, afterall, the first change in government we'd ever seen, and there was so much chance for hope and optimism. It sounds cliched now, but it did feel like a new beginning.
10 years later, lots more grey hair, wrinkles, and of course the arrogance of power has struck the Labour party. When I look back on those recordings - Tony Blair refusing to get too excited about talk of a land slide until it was confirmed, even a cagey Alistair Campbell - it seems sad to compare it with today's Labour party where a presumption of government leads to backbiting, infighting and heaps of disdain. Take away Iraq (and whatever the views on it, had Britain *not* gone into Iraq things would hardly have been better there, we just wouldn't be seeing it on our TV screens) and the Labour government has made some good changes to the country. Even the NHS is in a better shape - yes, its in debt, but drugs are more expensive, staff are being paid more, and I've got a realistic chance of being seen in a hospital nowadays. Its so easy to get stuck into the government spin but watching the old footage did remind me of that optimism - and I don't think it was all entirely misplaced.
David Cameron though, HE'S scary. The guy seems totally unable to think for himself. William Hague talking ten years ago about Tony Blair jumping on to any old bandwagon to seem popular to whatever section of the public he was talking to felt peculialry familiar.