Melissa Benn, 5 February 1998
There was something unsettling about the serried ranks of New Labour women elected on 1 May last year. All those structured smiles and cheerful jackets gathered round our leader made me feel like a bad-tempered Daily Mail reader or one of those glorious man-hating feminists of myth who live in Hackney and refuse to shave their legs. What I hadn’t realised was that this unmonstrous regiment of women came much closer to representing the end of something – feminism as a natural ally of radical politics – than to representing a key moment in the long march through the institutions. Nor had I imagined that so many of them would become part of that blancmange known as one-nation politics.