The British press has unearthed something interesting: the 22-page letter that 29-year-old Tony Blair sent to the leftist Labour Party leader Michael Foot in 1982. Blair had just recently stood as the Labour candidate in a byelection in Beaconsfield, a hugely Tory seat in the London exurbs where he finished out of the money.
Foot was in the process of leading the Labour party to a record defeat in the 1983 general election. Foot was also a thoughtful intellectual, a serious and interesting student of English history, and Blair was responding to a collection of essays that Foot had published. Here is an opinion article by Julia Langdon in yesterday's Daily Telegraph on the Blair letter, and here is a news article from the Telegraph on it, (check out the photo of the young Blair with the much older Foot too). And here is the text of the letter itself. Sycophantic, perhaps; ingratiating, as one would expect; more enamored of socialism than we might think today. Overall: fascinating. Tony Blair, Prime Minister for nine yearslonger than any other Labour prime ministernow nearing the end of his term in office though he is only 53 years old this year.