Old vs New Labour Essay

776 Words4 Pages
The rise of New Labour has been filled with controversy, with regards to extensive policy change as well as ideological change. It is certain that Labour has shifted, this is fact. However, the extent of how much Labour has changed and how far Labour has shifted, from its core Socialist roots has been questioned. During Labour's extensive time in the political compass, when Thatcher reigned supreme, a new group of reformers began to emerge within the Labour Party. They realised that in order to gain voters support, they would have to leave the core socialistic values of 'old' Labour behind. This is because left-wing ideals at this time were hugely unpopular with the electorate. To achieve this electability, New Labour was less dogmatic than the old, socialist core of the Party. Many policies were toned down, especially economic ones. This general shift to the centre ground gained voters back, who had previously been Labour, but had voted Conservative recently. These reformers were not against socialism however and previously, many were socialists, yet they saw the need for voters, rather than ideology. Further, New Labour was a lot less socialistic when it came to economic policy. In fact, New Labour adopted a Keynesian approach to the economy, much like the New Right. The Third Way has been enthusiastic when it comes to capitalism. The remaining shards of socialism however, can be seen within New Labour slightly - for they are not afraid to intervene in the economy, should the economy face crisis. Put simply, under 'old Labour' capitalism was controlled by the state, whereas with New Labour, capitalism is allowed to flourish to an extent. Although, ‘New Labour’ increased levels of spending upon health and education shows the party still has a commitment to social justice and the welfare state. However, welfare benefits are not universal as they were under
Open Document