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APRIL 1992: in the basement of an elegant town house, a group of university students watches the results coming in during the general election. In the early stages the atmosphere is tense; it is not clear which way the election will go. Then a great whooping cheer goes up when Basildon is called. The house is in Islington, and these are the children, barely out of their teens, of teachers, charity workers, north London liberals. The relief is not because that pea-nibbling hollow man John Major will stay in Downing Street, but because he will not make way for Neil Kinnock, still thought of then as a dangerously lightweight windbag, blowing hither and thither in his own rhetorical hot air, rather than the semi-cuddly elder he has become, safely confined in a job where his excesses are curbed by the EU bureaucracy.
Fast-forward to May 1997, and every one of us ululates again as a different result comes in. Enfield Southgate--the fall of the Thatcherite prince, Michael Portillo. The Tories are out, and I am reminded of the words of Padraig Pearse: `We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held, ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars!' But move forward to today, and it's hard for any of us to muster any enthusiasm for the New Labour government, even though we should be its core constituency.
This is why last week's BBC drama The Project struck such a chord with me. When I …