Labour Finds a Friend

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LONDON: Evidence that just about everyone is jumping on the Tony Blair bandwagon as Thursday's elections near: The Financial Times, long a Conservative Party supporter, has given a reluctant endorsement to the Labour Party candidate. Bashing Prime Minister John Major for his lack of coherent policies toward the European Union, the paper said Blair was "the obvious answer" to produce a "constructive engagement" with Europe. The endorsement was particularly galling to Major, since both candidates take essentially the same position on the EU. The difference is mainly in mood: While Blair sounds notes of hope and confidence, Major is so uncertain that his own troops are deserting him. Still, the paper did present the endorsement with an asterisk, chiding Blair for not spelling out what "New Labour" actually stands for other than a more charismatic version of existing government policies. "The closer Mr. Blair has got to power, the less impressive he has appeared," the paper wrote. With one campaign day remaining, Blair seems close to power indeed.