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To what extent are Third Way policies different to those pursued by Old Labour?

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To what extent are Third Way policies different to those pursued by Old Labour? The Third Way defines New Labour following the modernisation of the party from 1983, when Kinnock (1983-92) was party leader. He did much to modernise his party, but it was left for his successors to reap the rewards after his public image was damaged by Mrs Thatcher's allies in the press from which he never recovered. He recognised the electorates' move to the right under Thatcher (1979-90) and began to reform the party. He saw that the socialist principles of the Labour Party made it unelectable; socialism just did not fit into a modern capitalist economy. From this ideological abandonment, the party has shifted from the left to the centre-left. New Labour, representing Blairism, embraces the concept of a 'Third Way'. ...read more.


This means the government will help the people to help themselves. However, New Labour has adopted (what it thinks are the best and most appealing) beliefs from both 'ways' to give a Third Way. There have been a number of landmarks on the road to New Labour. Most significantly, Kinnock dropped the party's commitment to unilateral nuclear disarmament and he also purged the party of 'militant' socialists. Therefore, New Labour has found and moved to the ideological centre ground, which Blair has much aided. The new stance is embodied in the phrase 'New Labour' and the concept of the Third Way. These Blairite phrases are an amalgamation of socialist and neo-right policies (as explained earlier). These principles include a mix of social democratic (communitarianism) with Thatcherite economics. Hall suggests the Third Way is nothing more than 'an authoritarian and populist regime based on Thatcherism'. ...read more.


Where the Third Way differs from Old Labour is that there is a far greater stress on the responsibility of the individual, rather than the collective. In 1995, Blair managed to cajole his party into giving up its historic commitment to state ownership- the policy known as Clause IV. This meant throwing away the ideal of nationalising industry. Old Labour believed that it is better to lose elections than abandon fundamental principles, whereas New Labour believes that politics is ultimately about winning elections. However, like Old Labour, New Labour has maintained its links with trade unions- even if they are now 'at arms length'. To conclude, the Third Way differs from Old Labour in a number of ways. These include appealing to middle England (not just the working class), presentational & ideological changes, a move forward from the dogma of Clause IV and a new mixed economy. Blair argues that there is ideological continuity, but to what extent is questionable. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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