My column considers the plight of the post-Blair Tories a decade ago with the post-Obama Republicans:

It’s 1997. Maybe you remember the feeling. A new premier of the left: charismatic, careful to appeal to the political centre, replacing a deeply tainted, long-endured conservative brand, all with a sprinkle of fairy dust to keep the scepticism at bay. One of his core missions is keeping the right off balance – by appropriating its language and, in some cases, policies, while relentlessly draining the atmosphere of polarising rhetoric.

Barack Obama is more ambitious – much more ambitious – than Tony Blair, but he has absorbed his lessons. He is removing ideology from the discourse, gradually whittling away at the left-right divide by claiming pragmatism and seizing the public mood. And the most threatened and flummoxed of entities in America today, as in Britain a decade ago, is the political right. The Republicans in 2009 feel increasingly like the Tories of 1997: beleaguered, desperate and flailing for ways to appeal to the middle.

Last Tuesday was not a good omen.

The rest here. Yes, the spelling is English. And you wonder why I can't spell advertising.

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