Blair’s Shadow

Blair’s Shadow

We in the Labour Party need to get to grips with Blair’s legacy. His shadow and that of his government still hangs over even this leadership election and it seems I am not the only one to thinks so. Andrew Fisher wrote something similar to this in the Independent. Coming to a consensus and coming to terms with its legacy will be difficult. I feel that it’s best viewed by considering the two full parliamentary terms as separate entities but for many of course the decision to go to war in Iraq will over shadow everything else he did. I have thought this about its record for a while but at least one speech by Zarah Sultana MP, and the adverse reaction to it and Jeremy Gilbert at Open Democracy who wrote Labour should have argued against the last 40 years of economic policy, not just the last ten have made me revisit New Labour’s record. This article reflects my views on the New Labour governments, together with my view that we i.e. Labour have been losing votes for 30 years and that 2017 was the anomaly. In the rest of this article, see below/overleaf, I look at the positive achievements of the first term, the evolution of the 2001 manifesto and the privatisations and war decisions of the second term. I look at the destruction of the Party’s checks and balances, the areas of failure (Trade Union law reform and housing), the power of Government and the seemingly inexorable loss of votes since 1997 aided by doomed and flawed New Labour’s electoral strategy of assuming the working class had nowhere else to go. … …