New Labour combined two fundamental elements in its energetic break with the lethargy, nostalgia and incompetence of Old Labour: emancipation and centralisation. The long struggle to modernise the left culminated in a coup, staged with exceptional discipline and determination by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. Their authoritarianism was in part a response to the equally bullying sectarianism of the left. At the same time, it drew inspiration from the audacity of the boardroom, the idea of human rights and the world of international wealth and power. New Labour's "market pluralism" offered freedom from the narrow oppressions of both the labour movement and ruling-class elitism. Along with its grasping for power, celebrity and control, there was the liberating potential for democracy and reform. But that promise has now been sacrificed to the claims of an enlightened despotism.