Socialist Worker

Brown was an architect and inheritor of Blairism

Issue No. 2202

Gordon Brown reaped what New Labour sowed.

Many Labour supporters had hoped that Brown would turn around the party’s fortunes.

But it is clear that, rather than rescuing New Labour, he oversaw its demise.

It is a damning indictment of New Labour that it rehabilitated the Tories as a force in British politics.

Brown and Blair tried to get rid of the remnants of socialist ideology in the Labour Party.

They replaced it with neoliberalism—the ideology of the free market—so lowering the limits of what was seen as possible.

The attacks from New Labour were so right wing that David Cameron’s Tories could even pose as the party more likely to defend the poor.

The 13 years of betrayal by Labour led to disillusionment and bitterness—but also to growing anger.

Blair and Brown’s New Labour was designed as a conscious rejection of a working class party, one that “triangulated” to squeeze out room for the right to find criticism of the government.

New Labour leaders argued that policies could move right because the left had nowhere else to go. In the end this alienated the left and Labour’s core voters.

The economic crisis showed how Labour’s slavish devotion to the market left workers vulnerable.

Yet in the end it was the sense of class—scorned by Tony Blair and other New Labourites such as Stephen Byers—that prevented a Tory majority in 2010.

That very link with the unions and the—diluted—link with working class organisation prevented a rout.


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