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Criticisms, futures, alternatives

In the late 1990s Third Way governments were in power across Europe - and beyond, in the USA and Brazil, for instance. The Third Way experiment was one that attracted attention worldwide. The changes made by Left parties in Scandinavia, Holland, France or Italy since the late 1980s are as much part of Third Way politics as those developed in Anglo-Saxon countries. Since the early 1990s welfare reform has been at the heart of the Centre-Left's search for a new political middle way between post-war social democracy and Thatcherite Conservatism. For Tony Blair, welfare reform was key to establishing his New Labour credentials - just as it was for Bill Clinton and the New Democrats in the USA. Equality has been 'the polestar of the Left', and the redefinition of this concept by Giddens and New Labour marks a significant departure from post-war social democratic goals. The most useful way of approaching the problem of the Blair Government's 'Third Way' is to apply the term to its 'operational code': the precepts, assumptions and ideas that actually inform policy choice. The choice would be the strategy of public-private partnership (PPP) or the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), as applied to health policy. New Labour is deeply influenced by the thoughts and sentiments of Amitai Etzioni and the new communitarian movement. Repoliticisation is what stands out from all the contributions of reconstructing the Third Way along more progressive lines.

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Neil McNaughton

directly ruled by the British government. Between the 1880s and 1921 there was an ongoing campaign among nationalist Irish politicians, British Liberals and the new Labour party. At the more extreme end of the nationalist movement Sinn Fein, a political party dedicated to Irish independence and the Irish Republican Army (IRA, originally the ‘Irish Volunteers’) were formed to fight for independence. The momentum for independence gradually built up to something of a crescendo when there was an IRA-led uprising in 1916 – the so-called ‘Easter Rising’. Though the revolt was

in Understanding British and European political issues
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The Conservatives in crisis
Philip Lynch and Mark Garnett

with the Ulster Unionists at Westminster. After 1997, they had no MPs in Scotland, Wales and most large cities, Conservative parliamentary representation being largely confined to its southern English heartlands. A party that had fought successfully on the electoral centre ground in the 1950s and 1960s then steered elite and (to a lesser extent) public opinion towards its political agenda under Thatcher found itself trumped by a New Labour party that managed to do both. The Conservative reputation for sound political and economic management had been shattered

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Nick Randall

. (1992) ‘The decline of class voting’, in Denver, D. and Hands, G. (eds) Issues and Controversies in British Electoral Behaviour, Hemel Hempstead Heath, A. F., Jowell, R. M. and Curtice, J. K. (2001) The Rise of New Labour. Party Policies and Voter Choices, Oxford Heath, A. F. and McDonald, S. K. (1987) ‘Social change and the future of the Left’, Political Quarterly, 58:4 Heclo, H. (1974) Modern Social Politics in Britain and Sweden, New York Heffernan, R. (1997) ‘Ideology, practical politics and political consensus: thinking about the process of political change in

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Richard Kelly

turnout prompted the Charter Movement to contest the legitimacy of the reforms (see Figure 5.1). When reflecting on the birth of The Fresh Future, the parallels with New Labour party management are almost eerie – particularly in respect of Labour’s Clause IV debate of 1994–95. There too was a tightly managed ‘consultation’ period, with members only allowed to discuss proposals drawn up by the leadership. There too was an all-party ballot to validate change. There too, members could merely ratify or reject the package on offer. And, there too, a new party leader claimed

in The Conservatives in Crisis
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Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

, reductions in income tax, the weakening of organised labour and attempts to reduce the role of the state in welfare provision were all tried in these countries, with varying degrees of success. The British ‘NewLabour Party converted to this and the rest of the liberal credo (devolution, civil rights and communitarianism) in the 1990s. Liberal attitudes to divorce, abortion and homosexuality all seemed to be generally accepted

in Understanding political ideas and movements
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Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

from the party and paving the way for the decidedly reformist ‘NewLabour Party of the late 1990s. Initial hopes that the fall of the USSR would liberate Marxism from Stalinism do not appear to have been realised, as global capitalism and liberal democracy seemed to carry all before them. This very triumph has aroused radical challenges, however, as exemplified in recent years by vigorous demonstrations against globalisation

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Rhiannon Vickers

League of Nations, on the importance of self-determination, on the dangers of the Versailles Treaty, originally came from the UDC. ‘By 1918 UDC policy had virtually become Labour Party policy – the antiwar ILP-ers had joined the UDC and the anti-war Liberals had joined the Labour Party. Both groups together dominated the new Labour Party Advisory Committee on International Questions.’98 This Committee ‘was of the utmost importance’ during the 1920s.99 Despite the divisions and contentions caused by the First World War, not only within the Labour Party but within

in The Labour Party and the world, volume 1
A national ethics committee and bioethics during the 1990s
Duncan Wilson

championed in his Reith lectures remained conspicuous by its absence. This, however, looked set to change following the May 1997 election of Tony Blair’s ‘New LabourParty. The architects of ‘New Labour’ based their policies on a strategy known as the ‘Third Way’, which they used to differentiate themselves from the Conservatives and what Blair called ‘the fundamentalist Left’.118 This involved rejecting the leftist assumption that a strong state was a vital component of civil society and the Thatcherite belief that freedom could only be achieved by ‘rolling back the

in The making of British bioethics