Britain: A New Party Hits the Hustings

The Social Democrats launch a media blitz

Even though it began at an unusually early hour for late-rising Britons—8:45 a.m.—the press conference was so packed that several TV camera crews had to be turned away. But then the occasion was special: the official birth last Thursday of Britain's first new national political party in 49 years, the Social Democratic Party (S.D.P.). Fielding questions from some 500 reporters, the S.D.P.'s four founding leaders—all onetime Labor Cabinet members—pledged to occupy the middle ground that, in their view, has been abandoned by both the Labor Party and the Conservative government of Prime Minister...

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