The Blair blueprint always looked so attractive ten years ago.
But a decade on it had certainly lost any of its initial sparkle and appeal, making the desire for change an overwhelming force that not even Team Blair could overcome.
Little wonder, therefore, that so many questioned the decision of David Cameron to reinvent himself as a Blair clone when mounting his challenge for the Conservative leadership. What is, perhaps, more surprising is that the party faithful lapped it up so enthusiastically.
Style over substance served Tony Blair so well in breaking the Tory stranglehold on 10 Downing Street and in those early years his slick, showy performance was a welcome antidote to the stifling stuffiness of the Thatcher and Major years.
But after enduring ten years of it, the formula had become largely discredited.
Is this why David Cameron is now getting his first serious kicking as Tory leader? The fact that some of those putting the boot in are from his own party is more worrying than the negative headlines he’s currently getting.
Equally, it could explain why Gordon Brown is enjoying something of an extended honeymoon as our new Prime Minister.
His dour, pragmatic, business-like and apparently efficient response to what has been the most challenging of starts to the top job – terrorism and environmental catastrophe is a double whammy to test even the most determined and resolute of political leaders – is winning support.
The Prime Minister has tackled the bomb plots and flooding head on and even found time to “big up” ordinary folk that put the great in Britain. Little wonder that some are suggesting he’s already stolen sufficient ground from the Tory leader to secure victory in the next General Election and it is thanks to his understated but so far effective approach to the job that is paying off.
And, what’s more, Mr Brown hasn’t felt the need to comment on the type of “issues” that his former boss seemed so keen to add his name to – the Beckhams conquering Los Angeles; Harry Potter’s final adventures in print; Vera Duckworth leaving Coronation Street – or play the populist card quite so enthusiastically.
The Brown honeymoon won’t last forever, of course, and the on-going flooding disaster affecting such a large part of the country could well signal an about-turn in his fortunes in the coming days.
But one thing is clear, Gordon Brown has enjoyed the end of the Blair years far more than David Cameron.
Everything Mr Cameron does at present is being jumped on from a great height.
He will lead the Conservatives into the next General Election – surely even the Tories aren’t stupid enough to ditch him now?
But it is increasingly looking as if victory at that election is there for Brown to lose, rather than for Cameron to win.