• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far was New Labor influenced by Thatcher?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐History Coursework April 2013 Total Word Count: 1,810 How far was New Labour influenced by Thatcher? New Labour defines the second major ideological change within the Labour Party since the beginning of the twentieth century. Following the period of Bennite democratic socialists and the revisionist shift to towards the more moderate epoch of Old Labour came what Prime Minister Blair labelled ?The Third Way.? Following Labour?s election into office in 1997 the newly elected government had a challenging task ahead. Not only had Old Labour been defeated since 1979 which resulted in loss of faith in the party as a whole but Blair was also the first Labour Prime Minister to succeed the powerful British political figures, Thatcher. Subsequently, the Britain that Blair inherited had been ?imprinted?[1] by Thatcherism. Blair?s continuation of her presidential style of leadership meant that automatically it was possible to draw parallels between the two leaders. His emphasis on centralised governance, combined with the use of bilateral meetings instead of traditional Cabinet government methods mirrored that of Thatcher. Although some may interpret this as a natural change in political culture, it could be more accurate to claim that Blair recognised the success that derived from such control over the executive and was also wary of repeating Major?s weak leadership mistakes, thus he chose to follow in Thatcher?s footsteps. ...read more.


Under New Labour, there was considerable penal expansionism, this was evident through the erosion of citizen protection, increased imprisonment and an enhancement of police powers. Grant notes Blair?s focus on ?electronic surveillance?[12] which contrasts to Thatcher who focused on achieving successful law and order through discipline. From this we can infer that both leaders aimed to maintain a strong and authoritarian state. However there is a clear difference in the way in which they tried to achieve this. The explanation for why such similarities in social policy existed is debatable. Alongside Blair?s want to appeal to the swing voters, there is also evidence suggesting that the changes Thatcher made were irreversible. Therefore leaving Blair in a position in which he had to follow on from the Thatcher?s era as a means of preventing social disruption. This is argued by Hall who claims New Labour was a ?post-Thatcherite? political advancement which allowed labour to respond to and ?adapt the Thatcherite, neo-liberal terrain?[13] whilst maintaining support from a working class. He goes on to persuasively classify New Labour as a ?hybrid regime.? Suggesting that in reality, Blair?s approach incorporated ideas from both sides of the political spectrum. Although, Halls argument is overshadowed by his forceful left-wing views, his point is reiterated by various other sources such as Jones and especially Grant, who describes New Labour as a ?revised...right wing version of? social democracy. ...read more.


[15] BBC News website, (2002) Tony Blair talks to Newsnight - Part 3 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/1988874.stm [Accessed: 18th March 2013] [16] Tony Blair- leader of Britain?s Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. Also, Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, England from 1983 to 2007. http://www.tonyblairoffice.org/pages/biography/ [Accessed: 29th March 2013] [17] Anthony Giddens- Labour peer since June 2004. The Guardian website, http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2007/jun/04/anthonygiddens [Accessed: 29th March 2013] [18] Grant, M. (2005) ?Is the Labour Party still a socialist party??, Politics Review, Page 26. [19] The Guardian website, Hall, S. (August 2003) http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/aug/06/society.labour [Accessed: March 20th 2013] [20] The Telegraph website, Kampfner, J. (17 Apr 2008) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/themargaretthatcheryears/1895878/Margaret-Thatcher-inspiration-to-New-Labour.html [Accessed: March 20th 2013.] [21] Smith, D. (2005) ?The Treasury and Economic Policy? cited in Seldon, A and Kavanagh, D: The Blair Effect, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press .Page: 159-183. [22] The Guardian website, Hall, S. ( August 2003) http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/aug/06/society.labour [Accessed: March 20th 2013] [23] Gormley-Heenan, C. (2006) Chameleonic Leadership: Towards a New Understanding of Political Leadership During The Northern Ireland Peace Process, Sage Publications Ltd, Page 54. [24] Gormley-Heenan, C. (2006) Chameleonic Leadership: Towards a New Understanding of Political Leadership During The Northern Ireland Peace Process, Sage Publications Ltd, Page 54 [25] The Guardian website, Hall, S. (August 2003) http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/aug/06/society.labour [Accessed: March 20th 2013] [26] BBC Radio 4's More or Less is broadcast (June 2010) ?What matters is what works? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/more_or_less/8720866.stm [Accessed: March 3rd 2013] ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. Government & Politics Revision Notes

    Sovereignty requires autonomy, but the existence of the EU, by definition restricts a nation's freedom and will. Euro-skeptics say the EU should be a free trade area and no more. Also Britain has lost control over British law and may lose its independence in making decisions that may benefit the country.

  2. To What extent was 'New Labour' a continuation of Thatcherism?

    Blair has been described as presidential, likening him to Thatcher, for a number of reasons. Firstly there has been a significant increase in the impact of "the influence of personalities"5 with regards to the outcome of General Elections. This factor can be seen as a result of campaigning by New

  1. What is the main reason for the loss of faith and interest in our ...

    people up to date with the day to day behaviour of our governors, as when one politician is singled out for a certain piece of corruption, all the other MPs are usually investigated in more detail in order to bring any other perpetrators out into the open.

  2. The Labour Party.

    Chamberlain exerted a much closer grip over the Party than Baldwin had done, and until the outbreak of war he was strongly supported by the grass roots and almost all MPs. * During the 1930s an isolated Conservative critic known as Winston Churchill now became Prime Minister; where later in the same year he also succeeded Chamberlain as party leader.

  1. Constitution and Politics

    Constitutions have value because thy provide countries with a fresh start (after defeat, or victory in case of a civil war) and they uphold the rights of all the citizens. Britain has a unitary system of government, it is centralised and all the laws that are passed in House of

  2. Using the example of a single selected political leader, explore the potential of the ...

    Thatcher was not from the upper class background that traditionally leaders of the Conservative party hailed from, furthermore she was a woman. While the practice of keeping a token female member of the Cabinet had ensured that a handful of British women had reached the national level of politics, none had proceeded beyond the Cabinet.

  1. Political parties and Ideas - Thatcherism

    work load of the public sector meaning that they can focus more on the core running of the country.

  2. What was Thatcherism and was it Successful?

    In 1987-8 the Treasury received £5.1 billion from the proceeds of privatisation and allowed Thatcher to cut taxes. As well as Denationalisation (selling off state-owned industries to the public) Thatcher also contracted out public sector areas such as the prison service and Local Authorities and introduced Deregulation, for example to Local Bus Services had to have competition in there areas.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work