John Harris

Journalist & Author

Tesco and Tony Blair: two eras brought low by hubris | John Harris

New Labour and the supermarket rose to power together and, eerily entwined, fell victim to the same delusional thinking

Decades, it is sometimes said, transcend mere numbers. According to the late historian Arthur Marwick, the long 60s stretched from 1958 to 1974. Just to make things that bit more complicated, other people think the period that is shorthanded as the 50s might actually have begun in 1945 and ended in 1962.

The long 90s perhaps commenced with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, were seriously fractured by the events of 11 September 2001, and finally came to a close circa 2007. In between, in western Europe and the US at least, there was a giddy, amazingly superficial period that still looms large, not least at Westminster: our fortysomething politicians often seem to offer the promise that once our financial problems are out of the way, we might somehow be transported back to that era.

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