Across the country tonight regional papers are carrying this vital news - my headline comes from today's Southport Visitor. This has been what the Labour Party has been striving for for over a century. It's a goal still to be achieved. But as news editors decide: its still news.
So it is for the content of the Labour Party's 2010 general election manifesto. I attended a meeting of the Labour Party's Clause V committee on Thursday last week. I sketched out that final stage in the process here. Brief ministerial presentations were made, points were put, possible amendments were discussed. But I have searched in vain for evidence that any points made were actually incorporated as amendments. That's a problem with having abandoned resolution driven policy making. No one is obliged to formulate a precise form of words for an amendment, put it to the vote and abide by the outcome. It's far too late to bemoan that state of affairs with only 26 days left to polling day. But it is worth putting down a marker for the future.
Thankfully there is only one reference to New Labour in the whole document and that is in the context of 1997. Though that didn't stop Party Leader Gordon Brown making use of the term both at the beginning and end of his introductory remarks at the launch in Birmingham. Quite which constituency in the country is being appealed to with those words baffles me. I encountered too many wavering voters on the doorstep in social housing off the Edgware Road in Westminster North yesterday who wanted a change from Blair - deeply etched on their minds for his warlike, privatising tendencies. So it helped when I told them that Tory leader David Cameron wanted to mimic Blair. And Gordon Brown is now prime minister.
Policy under Brown has been recalibrated - taxation is fairer (a little), better redistribution is being achieved, more homes for rent are to be built, including council house for the first time in a generation (too few), the commitment to maintaining frontline public services is paramount and genuine, bankers will be made to pay back the cost of the bailout, and better global regulation is within sight. We are out of Iraq. With a democratic president in the White House, there is a fighting chance of managed exit from Afghanistan. Climate change measures are in prospect. Investment in public infrastructure - new schools, hospital, utilities and transport has been stupendous since 1997. With recession now tamed (just) industrial policy is back. The main themes are right, and should resonate well with the electorate.
This is what Labour is about. Let's not spoil it with some tired old 'New Labour' branding.