Have you considered that Labour has at last realised that its authoritarian streak is not popular and have decided to get rid of the more authoritarian policies.
Nice dream! New Labour got in (in '97) by pretending to have ditched socialism. They got the confidence of industry by the starving of spending departments. When they figured it was safe, they started backtracking on prudence. Before long, they were spraying money at anything that moved - much of this money ran off into the gullies to soak away wasted and would not have even been necessary if they hadn't spend their first years in office letting everything rot in the first place. Now, they have got an unhappy mixture of high-spending socialist policies alongside PFI that has massively increased utility costs. The PFI is a sop to big business, alongside massive immigration. This has many purposes - making wage costs ever lower, driving a lot of Conservative voters to live in Spain, France, Australia and New Zealand and causing ever upward pressure on house prices. Instead of being efficient in keeping crime low they have gone on to be highly and sinisterly authoritarian and have the mother of all police states waiting in the wings to roll out after the next terrorist incident.
With their number of years in office now and the fact that for much of this they have had little effective opposition they have gone a bit mad. Blair is teetering on the brink as he knows that if Prescott is forced out, he will probably go with him. The Scotland Yard investigation into the Cabinet Office is also serious and likely to get worse. Party funding is now very difficult and attempts to persuade tax payers they should foot the bill have been shelved due to the derisive laughter they evoked.
If you read the Tom Bower biog of Brown you will discover why many in the party are not thrilled with the prospect of him taking over. Its largely about personalities and his not being one the public will buy.
New Labour are now in a serious mess and it is likely to get worse. They may be ditching authoritarian policies, but not because they are perceived as unpopular but rather because all
their policies are authoritarian, and they are having to ditch some because they no longer have the internal cohesion to manage them all at once. They kicked off too many initiatives at one time - this was obvious just after the last election. These policies may coincidentally be ones that the public don't like - but that is not the reason they are ditching them, as they don't give a flying fig what we think.
If, by some fluke, they recover from this position - and it is not out of the question - they will round on the middle classes like never before. We should be doing everything we can to smash this wretched beast into the ground before it gets up agian.