Susan Dalgety: Don’t worry Britain, things can only get better

Tony Blair waves to wellwishers in  Downing Street following his election victory in 1997. Picture: AP
Tony Blair waves to wellwishers in Downing Street following his election victory in 1997. Picture: AP
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I can hardly believe it was 21 years ago today that I celebrated the election of a Labour government after 18 years of Tory rule.

Thursday, 1 May, 1997 was a glorious day. The sun shone, everyone was smiling – except the Tories. It truly felt as if a new dawn had broken, had it not?

I won’t list the many achievements of Tony Blair and his New Labour government here. There are scores on Google. Here are just three to whet your appetite: devolution, the minimum wage and peace in Northern Ireland.

Fast forward to 1 May, 2018 and it feels as if that day, and the good years that followed, were nothing but a dream.

The Labour Party is eating itself, led by a crusty old leftie who has no real idea of what he would do as Prime Minister.

READ MORE: Susan Dalgety: Sorry Jeremy, I’m not quitting Labour

We have the worst Westminster government in living memory and Scotland is still suffering the after-effects of the divisive indyref. I can’t even bring myself to mention Brexit.

Wages have flatlined since 2008, making life tough for working families. Really tough. There is a New York hustler in the White House and climate change is all too real. But, and this is where my eternal optimism kicks in. I remember, all too vividly, the disappointment of Labour losing the 1992 general election to a hapless John Major.

At the time I thought we were condemned to a life time of Tory governments, of division and greed. I began to think an electoral pact with the Lib Dems was the only pragmatic way to secure a progressive future. Five years later Tony Blair won an overall majority of 179. Things can only get better.

READ MORE: Susan Dalgety: Is Scotland a pawn in Putin’s plots?