Chapter

The parliamentary Labour right, Labour Party revisionism(s) and the roots of New Labour

Stephen Meredith

in Labours Old and New

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780719073229
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701508 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719073229.003.0007
The parliamentary Labour right, Labour Party revisionism(s) and the roots of New Labour

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This chapter considers some of the short- and longer-term implications of the analysis for understanding the subsequent trajectory of the Labour Party and British social democracy, and something of the roots of New Labour. It is inaccurate to conceive of Labour's recent history and development as a simple dichotomy and departure between homogeneous ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Labours. Anthony Crosland's work was central to establishing the core revisionist distinction between means and ends and the dictum that socialism is about equality rather than outmoded ideas of public ownership. The history of the Labour Party is a history of ‘new Labours’. Many of the themes supposedly novel to New Labour and indicative of a retreat from its social democratic heritage were central to the embryonic programme of Labour's embattled minority social democratic revisionists in an unforgiving intellectual and political environment in the 1970s.

Keywords: Labour Party; British social democracy; New Labour; Anthony Crosland; socialism; new Labours; social democratic revisionists; public ownership

Chapter.  7672 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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