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Does The Third Way constitute a departure from or a continuation of Thatcherism?

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Introduction

200213741 Does The Third Way constitute a departure from or a continuation of Thatcherism? INTRO (500) This question attempts to tackle the long contrived argument within many political ideological spheres about the true nature of 'The Third Way' currently illustrated within 'New Labour' elected into government in 1997. For a new ideology supposedly cultivated from the left of centre of the political spectrum, analysis of their beliefs and policies shows a surprising resemblance to that of Thatcherism. To formulate a theory of this continuation, rather then a move away from Thatcherism, first of all it is important to define both ideologies as a foundation to produce constructive similarities or differences for both regimes. Define Thatcherism Bentley within 'British Politics in Focus', defines Thatcherism in a general sense as 'an attempt to establish a new political and ideological framework based on a mixture of liberal and authoritarian New Right ideas' (Bentley:1999,52) ################################################################################################################################################ Define the 3rd way 'The Third Way', similarly to Thatcherism, only came into existence actually during its political term once the Labour Party had obtained power after the landslide of 1997. Talk of a 'New Labour' which later developed into 'The Third Way' was originally believed a campaigning device to demonstrate to the sceptical electorate that the party bearing the name 'Labour' was different in every way to those who had previously failed in 1974-79. Its central notion is the idea of producing what Bentley calls 'a middle pathway which is both radical and centrist at the same time' (Bentley:1999,75). ...read more.

Middle

Relationship with cabinet Yet most writers would agree that Thatcher's personality and leadership style is a part of what is meant by 'Thatcherism' and such an evaluation has only been made post her being in power. It would be difficult to make any assumptions at this stage as to whether or not 'Blair-ism' as Driver calls it within 'Blair's Britain' (Driver:2002,23) is just around the corner. However there are some intellectuals such as Gamble within 'British Politics in Focus', who although the factor of Thatcher's degree of influence, argue that 'Thatcherism cannot be reduced to the personal project of a single individual' (Bentley:1999,52) Importance of a strong identifiable leadership Simularites of US connection PUBLIC SERVICES (3)(650) Welfare (privatisation) Economics (work/ employment related polices) Keynesian 'full employ pg20 heffern Eu Transport However.... Devolution, minimum wage, lords THEORIES (1) (650) Both Thatcherism and 'The Third Way' can be broken down into a few main concepts, which not only dictate the policies produced from each government, but at the same time greatly determines the perspective from the electorate. However, many of these core concepts appear surprisingly similar. From an early period of Thatcher coming into power it was soon realised that, as Jones illustrates within 'Politics UK', that although claiming that her policies were driven from traditional Conservative line on the rule of law, property, liberty and for the most part, foreign policy, 'she would go along with much described under other headings there would be differences - some of them crucial' (Jones:1991,123) 1. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rather it is a variant on the Thatcherite way, more acceptable in some detail, but not substantially different in its ideological impetus nor in its economic and social policies' (Bentley:1999,76). This in itself is not only a clear answer to the majority of New Labour's 'Third Way' ideology of being a continuation to those of Thatcherism, but illustrates that from an early time of this new left movement, it had already been realised that New Labour's initial intension was that of 'catch-all' policies as Driver previously illustrated and not a left wing movement of its own. However it would be wrong to say that any political movement could ever be produced inorganically from the previous, it is a different matter if such an ideology is simply re-titled and the basic fundamental policies remain the same. If political ideologies were university degree essays, then the 'New Labour' party could easily be accused of plagiarism of policies. This is not to say that all of 'New Labours' policies are exactly the same as that of Thatcherism, at least they went to the trouble of renaming some. In conclusion, this overall certainly can not be viewed on the majority as a departure from Thatcherism, more of as many rap artists claim today 'remixing', (in essence, taking a tried and tested classic, then add a modern beat on top of the exact same melodies) and unfortunately, people still have the desire to buy them. Can you really blame 'New Labour' after 18 years of opposition for trying? ...read more.

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