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Examine Changes In Ideology in Either The Labour or Conservative Party in Recent Years (1979- present).

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Introduction

Tom Chamberlin Examine Changes In Ideology in Either The Labour or Conservative Party in Recent Years (1979- present). For my examination into the changes in ideology, I have decided to look at the Labour Party. The Labour Party was formed in 1900, after the industrial revolution, by trade unions and socialist societies (such as the Fabians). The idea of the Labour party was to represent the working class in parliament and bring about social equality. In the beginning the Labour Party started as a left wing party, and we shall see that this has changed over recent years. Labour is connected with the term socialism, which a dictionary describes as: "a theory, principle, or scheme of social organisation which places means of production and distribution in the hands of the community" (Chambers Dictionary). Since the Labour Parties beginnings, they have tried to bring social equality into Britain. Most of their most important policies are fair deals for workers and unemployed people. In 1979, the Labour Party put forward in their manifesto that they wanted three way talks between trade unions, management and ministers to examine the best ways for the country to grow as an economy, which would have involved many talks about the worker's pay if they had come into office. ...read more.

Middle

Though Labour were seen to give in to union demands, which the Conservatives took advantage of, especially Margaret Thatcher, and have been a basis on the Tories propaganda on the Labour Party (i.e. 'Puppets of the Trade Unions'). Labour was very much against Europe at this time, as they believed the EU (then EEC) was putting British workers out of jobs and effecting business, again, thinking more of workers than the economy. Socialists have strong support for unilateralism, which is one country disarming its nuclear warheads without the need to sign a treaty with any country. The idea is that this would lead to Britain not being seen as a threat to other countries, and so will point their missiles away from us. This and nationalization are what Neil Kinnock believed very strongly in. Neil Kinnock, though never Prime Minister, has contributed greatly to Tony Blair's 'New Labour'. When some coal miners were asked about him, they replied that they felt that he did not have the guts to implement socialist views if he had succeeded in gaining power. Kinnock is perhaps the best example of a Socialist who has changed his ideas. He believes that capitalism should not be 'destroyed', but that it should be run well and efficiently. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also believe that it is a right to have the opportunity to succeed, but some may work harder and therefore deserve to be well off, which has helped result in Labour's much more relaxed attitude toward the better off people. Political commentators feel that they are now a meritocratic party due to this view. Tony Blair has also changed Labour so that it accepts the need for free markets and capitalism. Labour has also done quite well since being elected. They have run the economy well, which has gained them more support, apart from the slight recession after the September 11th attacks, and unemployment has decreased. Martin Jacques and Stuart Hall have criticised Tony Blair, saying, "...His principal concern is to reassure everybody that practically nothing will change under New Labour." Basically saying that New Labour is more like the Conservatives than old Labour. It is mentioned by some political commentators that the changes are just so that Labour can get into office, as there policies are now aimed at everyone, and not just the working class. Many commentators also believe that Old Labour and the trade unions are the enemies, and eventually bring down, New Labour. It remains to be seen if they go back to their more left wing views, such as unilateralism, and nationalization. ...read more.

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