1994–the present

Jeremy Nuttall

in Psychological Socialism

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780719071645
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701539 | DOI:
1994–the present

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Historians and commentators have often been critical of New Labour's emphasis on individual morality. This criticism has had two dimensions. The first has seen New Labour's emphasis on individual morality as a poor substitute for a redistributive social morality, which, critics claim, New Labour has downgraded. Roy Hattersley and Edmund Dell identified the same historical process of dilution of socialism. Second, New Labour's stress on individual morals has been seen as contrary to the broad progressive tradition in both its preaching tone and frequent focus on the moral failings of the poorest more than the wealthiest. This chapter examines the ways in which New Labour appears to have placed a new or renewed emphasis on morals, qualities of mind, and behaviour from a nuanced perspective. It explores the complexity of New Labour's attitude to the concept of equality, the party's communitarianism and its policy on education and criminality. The chapter also discusses ‘middling’ motives and highlights some contemporary dynamics of both ‘regression’ and ‘progress’.

Keywords: New Labour; morality; socialism; qualities of mind; equality; behaviour; communitarianism; education; progress; middling motives

Chapter.  19299 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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