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[Review] Matt Beech, Simon Lee (2008) Ten years of new labour
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 05:39 authored by Tim Bale
The glass is full to overflowing. No, hang on, it’s empty. Or maybe half empty. Wait a minute, shouldn’t that be half full? Oh, sorry, turns out it was empty after all. That, in a nutshell, is the mixed message of this edited collection on the achievements and/or the inadequacies of the Blair government. This is inevitable: no government, especially perhaps of the centre-left, can please everybody. But it is made even more so because the editors, as they freely admit, do not see eye to eye. Beech sees New Labour as having done more than just a pretty good job, claiming Blair and Brown managed to shift the centre of British politics to the left, forcing the British Conservatives to adapt to a polity that became notably more social democratic. Lee, on the other hand, is convinced that New Labour never really departed from what he sees as the neo-liberal consensus established by Thatcher and Major.
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