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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blair's Face Beams From Party Kitsch

BRIGHTON, England -- The gift shop at a Labour Party congress this fall featured a face you won't soon forget, that of party head and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.


On plates and greeting cards, in books and videos, Blair is everywhere the hero of "new Labour."


The dinner plate for sale at just under ?10 ($16) features Blair against a Union Jack background, under the inscription "General election 1997, the winner." A quote on the back promises that "Labour will make British families better off."


Greeting cards for about ?3 show Blair hugging his wife, Cherie, in front of No. 10 Downing Street the day after their landslide victory in May, with the caption "Christmas came early this year."


For the truly converted there is "Victory," a book on the election campaign featuring a black-and-white cover photo of the Labour leader in '40s-style shirtsleeves, collar and tie, reaching out toward an unseen supporter.


His face is split by the ear-to-ear grin that has been a gift to British cartoonists.


Not forgetting those back home, Labour has edited the "Winter 97/98" catalogue that brings all this plus T-shirts, teacups, and mouse-pads to your mailbox.