As Leaders go John Smith is something of a novelty. He did not campaign for the leadership as the darling of the left and then outrage his supporters by revealing himself as a man of the right.
His appeal was of a different kind. He studiously avoided any ideological commitment apart from vague phrases about a juster and more caring society. His promise was to be a shrewd and prudent managing director for British Capitalism plc. The implication was clear. This is a man you can trust. He will look after you like your family doctor. After the hysterical abrasive raving of Neil Kinnock some Labour supporters might have found relief in John Smith's more comforting message.