Hard Times: The rise of New Labour

Local Opinions

Our community reporter Spring Heeled Jack has written a series of short articles which we will share over the next few weeks.

Here is the latest installment of Hard Times.


Political Opportunism

Tony Blair’s media advisers Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell meanwhile immediately announced that they would be supporting Tony Blair for leadership of the Labour Party and instantly began promoting his campaign.

The Labour Party, Gordon Brown’s advisers and friends, the media and politicians from other parties regarded the announcement with dismay and then considered it to be disrespectful to the Smith family.

New Labour-new dangers

Tony Blair pursued his ambition of becoming Labour Party Leader relentlessly, informing political colleagues of his intention to immediately stand against Gordon Brown or anyone else in a leadership contest.

Blair was then supported by Peter Mandelson (known as the Prince of Darkness), his main media adviser and Alistair Campbell his other adviser, both referred to as ‘spin doctors,’ dealing with media input and output.

These media advisers were close to Tony Blair at all times and they were often regarded by television, radio and print media editors as manipulators of news stories, frequently distorting the meaning or interpretation of facts for their own advantage.

Meanwhile Gordon Brown, his media adviser Charlie Whelan and other political colleagues such as Neil Kinnock, John Prescott and Donald Dewar decided to reach an agreement where Brown would be appointed deputy party leader and then succeed Tony Blair as leader when he retired.

This arrangement prevented arguments and open disagreements in public and at the Labour Party Conference where Blair was then appointed as the Labour party leader unopposed.

Labour did well in many opinion polls following Blair’s election as party leader from July 1994 until April 1997 they were ahead in every single poll published in the media.

Clause Four ditched

Many Labour Party voters, the trade unions and politicians were deeply unhappy at clause four being removed in order to be replaced by the new ideological third way.

The Labour Party was founded on the principles, beliefs and values in clause four, which concentrated on the fair means of distribution and exchange, including the redistribution of wealth in society.

A senior Labour politician fought to try and have the matter of clause four debated at the party conference but the party chair and the National Executive Council would not allow John Prescott’s request to go forward.

Many traditional left wing party members and supporters then felt betrayed over clause four and openly expressed their anger to the party hierarchy, the media and other politicians within the Labour Party.


Article submitted by Spring Heeled Jack.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not the Digital Sentinel.

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