The Kaleidoscopic Views of New Labour: Modern Public Policy as Mosaic, Collage, or “Assemblage."

Join us for this History Work-In-Progress seminar with Professor Glen O’Hara.

Image of Tony Blair, John Prescott and Gordon Brown

New Labour’s domestic statecraft is so familiar as to be part of the intellectual furniture: ‘the third way’; ‘do what works’; ‘joined-up government’; ‘make work pay’; ‘forward not back’;
‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’. These remain controversial today.

However, the true nature of these ideas has been obscured by contemporary political battles. Their
role as ‘useable history’ in Labour’s long civil wars – and attacks from conservatives –
means they are still perceived and argued about on a traditional ‘Left’ to ‘Right’ axis. This
seminar focuses on the complex nature and inheritances of New Labour’s ideas. 

Nearly a decade and a half after Labour last held power, the passage of time, and the gradual fading of day-to-day ideological battles, might now allow a longer view to be taken about the party led by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This seminar argues that treating New Labour as history, as we
should any government of the past, should help to illuminate both New Labour’s thinking and its actual practice once in office.

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Dr Alys Beverton