Category Archives: Thactcher

The Death of New Labour

Peter Hyman argues in yestderday’s Observer that This is an existential moment in Labour’s history. It may not survive. And it may never win again. As he says: The story starts with a landslide victory, a sense of hope throughout the country, great achievements including the first minimum wage, peace in Northern Ireland, civil partnerships. And ends with the bitter aftermath of the Iraq war, a succession of unelectable leaders and the toxicity of the Blair brand resulting in the Blairite candidate getting just 4% in the most recent leadership election. Some other parts of the article are extracted below: New Labour played into the hands of those who were desperate to call it an aberration. It allowed those, like Neil Kinnock, to say, on the election of Ed Miliband, that “we’ve got our party back”. It paved the way for the most successful Labour leader in history to be written off as an interloper, a cancer in the bloodstream of Labour politics. Looking back, this was perhaps New Labour’s most fundamental weakness. Without roots, without establishing its own traditions, cultivating its own sustainable culture, drawing on the stories and figures of the past, New Labour became unnecessarily fragile, the cult of one person, not a movement of hearts and minds. New Labour may be dead. Continue reading

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography: Volume Two, Everything She Wants

Many people say many things about former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher who was in Downing Street from 4 May 1979 to 28 November 1990 and was arguably more famous on the international stage than any other British prime minister, save Sir Winston Churchill. Her official biographer Charles Moore has canonised her in the awaited part two of his account Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography extracts of which were published in October 2015 in the Tory Party’s primary propaganda machine, The Daily Telegraph: see full preview here. (Equally, the Guardian has also, 10 October 2015, rated this as the book of the week, see Andy Beckett’s review here.)  Moore is the former editor of the Telegraph and his book is a tribute to the woman who infamously came to be known as Britain’s “Iron Lady”. Thatcher’s legacy is one of destroying the welfare state and creating crony capitalism but Moore’s biography provides a marvellous exposition of the larger political stage during her premiership and it is studded with brilliant photographs. It is replete with an analysis of all the great challenges of the day. The book, which is volume two of the series and is entitled Everything She Wants, deals with aspects of Continue reading