Tucked away in the March 2002 memo from Colin Powell to George W Bush, discussing Tony Blair, was a small line which speaks volumes for New Labour.
Colin Powell writes
"We do not expect Blair to dwell on the steel decision".
The Mail on Sunday explains this brief comment:
"Loyal Blair would spare Bush's blushes by not making a public fuss about a US decision on import tariffs which had devastated Britain's steel industry."
So much for our industrial base, and so much for the steel workers who had voted Labour. Looking through Alastair Campbell's diary for the period April 5-7 2002, when he and Blair were in Crawford, Texas with President Bush, I see no reference to the steel industry. Campbell has since developed the nerve to complain that Germany supports its steel industry, and Cameron is declining to do so for ideological reasons
German govt has helped steel industry without breaking State aid laws. This government/ ideological Business Sec don't want to #redcar— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) September 28, 2015
The Colin Powell memo suggests new Labour had the chance to act itself, but did not want to make a fuss.
In Tony Blair's memoir, A Journey, the index section relating to George Bush has an enormous amount about various summits, Iraq, the embarrassment of the 'Yo Blair' incident, even sections on an HIV programme and Bush's reservations about climate change. On industrial relations between Britain and America, there is a big fat zilch.
Which may explain why we barely have a steel industry today.