There has been an almost universal consensus in Europe since 1945 favouring "regulated market economy with good public services and decent welfare protection", so the distinction between social and christian democrats wasn't about whether or not they wanted this.
It was more nuanced than that, no? About where you drew the line between market and state? And surely the gang of 1998 drew it closer to where liberals would traditionally have drawn it, than to where social democrats would traditionally have drawn it?
Or to put it another way: if the "historical voting coalition" of social democratic parties was "the working class and middle-class liberals", didn't Blair, Clinton and Schroeder instinctively identify more with the latter than the former?
Now, it is true that workers often did very well during the Great Moderation overseen by these leaders, but in retrospect that achievement seems to have been at least in part based on some fairly shaky debt-fuelled ground.
And they really do have to break from the rhetoric of "we have to downsize the state/deregulate/undercut protections" in order to stay competitive in a globalised world. That is an argument the right should and does make. It's not a left-wing argument.
Instead the left should be arguing strongly for international cooperation to prevent regulatory races to the bottom. There is clearly a big potential role for the EU here, and Brexit will maybe be helpful in clarifying the issues for everyone.
And in the long run, small open economies like IRL and its 7 new allies should welcome such a development rather than view it as a risk, since it will help underpin political support for the economic openness on which their prosperity relies.