What Are the Main Characteristics of New Labour?

2850 Words Mar 15th, 2007 12 Pages
In answering this question it is first necessary to define what is meant by the term ‘New Labour.' With respect to the history of politics, ‘New Labour' is a fairly recent description of a change or shift in the Labour party ideology occurring within the last 12 years. It refers to a gradual shift of Labour from political left to a more conservative right wing approach to various issues and in terms of the political spectrum, Labour now occupy the middle-to-right area, rather than the middle-to-left of the previous Old Labour. The phrase was first coined in a 1994 Labour Party conference and later used as the heading for Labour's new manifesto entitled: New Labour, New Life For Britain. It is used to evoke a sense of change within the …show more content…
The fact that Labour had suffered an increasing number of electoral defeats was one of the main reasons the party itself sought change. They needed to change in an effort to regain power, since it was evident that their old approach would not be able to achieve this.
The New Labour government of 1997 had very clear aims. Labour wanted a global economy rather than isolating themselves from the economic world. Mortgage rates were to be as low as possible and the rates on income tax were to remain stagnant. Labour also placed a great emphasis on education, coining the phrase ‘Education, education, education' to instill their message. In the manifesto they promise to cut class sizes to 30 and improve the lower performing schools, as well as increasing the emphasis on technology and computing skills within schools. They also aimed to improve the NHS service, one which they had started by getting 100,000 people off the waiting list and removing a waiting time for operations concerning cancer. Labour also developed a different approach to crime and wanted to be ‘tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime' in an effort to prevent the problem, rather than have to deal with it. New Labour wanted to introduce a fast-track punishment program for persistent young offenders and have more police on the beat. As well as this, Labour sought to devolve the power of government throughout Britain in a bid to clean up politics by
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