New Labour's Pasts: The Labour Party and Its Discontents by James E. Cronin

By James E. Cronin

Where different books are both hugely partisan dismissals or appreciations of the 3rd method, or boring sociological debts, this ebook will get at the back of the clichés to be able to exhibit simply what's left of Labour social gathering ideology and what the longer term might hold.

New Labour has replaced the face of england. tradition, type, schooling, future health, the humanities, rest, the financial system have all visible seismic shifts because the 1997 election that raised Blair to energy. The Labour that principles has distanced itself from the failed Labour of the 70s and 80s, however the middle continues to be. Labour is still gripped through its personal previous - not able and unwilling to shed its ties to the outdated Labour celebration, yet made up our minds to prevent the errors of which bring about 4 electoral defeats among 1979 and 1992. Cronin covers the entire heritage of the occasion from its publish struggle triumph via many years of shambolic management opposed to ruthless and organised competition to the resurgent New Labour of the 90s that ultimately took Britain into the hot millennium.

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Most important was the powerful legacy of achievement bequeathed to the party by the governments of 1945–51. By almost any standard, the Attlee governments were a resounding success. Labour had been elected in 1945 on a series of pledges that were fulfilled almost to the letter. The party promised to create a genuine welfare state by reorganising existing social services, by adding programmes for those previously left out, and by the establishment of the National Health Service. All this they did.

When Labour first proclaimed itself a socialist party in 1918, its socialist identity was compatible with a wide variety of beliefs about what shape the new society would take and about what policies should be pursued in the short and the long run. For many, the concept of socialism was understood as a particular ethic more than as a model of economy and society; and for very few was it linked to the notion of a revolutionary break. qxd 25/2/04 2:29 PM Page 30 NEW LABOUR’S PASTS of capitalist society, however, and with its characteristic values of competition and individual advance.

Bevan, in a strange but well-received speech at the party conference at Blackpool in 1959, gave an indication of just how deep feeling ran. He actually went so far as to assert that the Soviets had got it right in terms of the economy and they were ready now ‘to reap the material fruits of economic planning and public ownership’. Labour must therefore insist that ‘in a modern complex society it is impossible to get rational order by leaving things to private economic adventure. Therefore I am a socialist.

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