Welfare after Thatcherism: New Labour and social democratic politics

Driver Stephen

in Social Policy Review 17

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346704
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303442 | DOI:
Welfare after Thatcherism: New Labour and social democratic politics

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This chapter views New Labour as a ‘post-Thatcherite’ party. It is argued that many of the themes of New Labour are not exactly ‘new’ to the ‘old’ European social democracy. The discussion points to an impassive record on employment, and claims that while the impact of government policy on the distribution of income has been equalising, the income gap has been widening. It also points out the differences within Labour, suggesting that Brown's Britain may be different in terms of choice, diversity, and competition, as compared to Blair's Britain. It is then suggested that Blairite modernisation does not necessarily undermine the social democratic political economy.

Keywords: post-Thatcherite; New Labour themes; European social democracy; record on employment; government policy; income distribution; income gap

Chapter.  7325 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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