The idea of a "Third Way" is indeed old as the article quoted by Louis Proyect notes. Not only does it derive from Bernsteinian revisionism, but it was indeed the claimed position of fascism more generally, not merely that of Franco. Also Swedish social democracy and one unmentioned in the Guardian article, Islamic economics.
The problem for Blair et al is to define the bounds between which they are are a "Third Way." For most of the above it was something between full-bore socialism, perhaps along Soviet lines, and full-bore capitalism. But now, with Soviet-style socialism allegedly dead, the left bound seems to be old-style Labour Party policies or even Swedish-style social democracy. This neo-liberalism is a mush that looks the "salami effect" of the right: Keep slicing off left chunks and somebody will rush in to the "new middle" and win an election. Barkley Rosser
-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu