New Labour

   The label increasingly applied to the Labour Party as it has evolved in recent years but especially associated with Tony Blair and his close supporters who employed it in his successful 1994 leadership campaign and during the 1997 general election. As he put it: ‘We were elected as New Labour and will govern as New Labour’.
   New Labour derived much of its early impetus from the experiences of the American Democrat Bill Clinton who rechristened his party as the New Democrats. In its rhetoric, it emphasises the need to adapt party ideas to the reality of modern Britain, places less emphasis on traditional tax-and-spend policies and attaches importance to matters of presentation and style. Devoid of an excess of ideological baggage, it is eclectic, drawing inspiration from ideas such as Christian socialism, communitarianism and stakeholding, and arguably having a debt to New Liberalism and even Thatcherism.
   New Labour differs from the traditional party outlook in several ways: being more detached from the trades unions; keener to keep public spending under control and direct taxation down; tougher on welfare benefits; committed to equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome; adopting a ‘big tent’ approach which enables it to appeal to Middle England; and being pro-European. Its values and priorities are expressed in the revised Clause IV and are in line with the third-way approach adopted by some other political leaders of recent times. New Labour leader and Prime Minister Gordon Brown is commonly cited as one of the creators and architects of New Labour, along with Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell.
   See also: Blairism
   Further reading: D. Macintyre, Mandelson and the Making of New Labour, HarperCollins, 2000; A. Seldon and D. Kavanagh, The Blair Effect 20015, Cambridge University Press, 2005

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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