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Goldilocks politics: The Third Way

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  1. Introduction
  2. The War in Iraq: Towards the United States Companies Hegemony
    1. Distancing from the Conservative Policy
    2. Distancing from the Old Labour
  3. A blurred policy
    1. A Lack of ideology?
    2. A New Conception of Society?

This text is an extract from The Economist, a weekly newspaper, published on 19th December 1998. The Economist is a newspaper supporting free trade and liberalism even if sometimes it can tend to be more moderate, so we can say that it is rather right of centre. The writer remains unknown so we are going to assume that it is a woman.

This text takes a critical point of view concerning the new policy implemented by Tony Blair, which is called the Third Way. It is divided into four main parts. The first part deals with a general presentation of New Labor showing what are the values advocated by the Third Way and its relationship with both the Old Labor and the Conservatives, and its foreign links. Then, it compares the Conservative Party to New Labor showing the differences between them and explaining that the Conservative Party was clearly defined by its ideology while New Labor is rather blurred and «Janus-like».

Also, the writer carries on with revealing the ulterior motive of New Labour rather based on pragmatism. Finally, the text presents the belief of Tony Blair and his workmates (the Blairites) and criticizes the fact that they do not innovate in politics contrary to what they pretend and she also underlines their hypocrisy.

From 1979 to 1997, the Conservative Party of Margaret Thatcher and John Major had won four successive elections (1979, 1983, 1987 and 1992). Therefore, the Labor Party felt that it had to change to go back to power. Also, the Labor Party was reformed in 1992 during the Labor Party Conference in order to compete with the Conservative Party. Contrary to the usual left wings of the Old Labor advocating social justice with the implication of the whole community, the reform meant to move the party closer to the centre in order to win the middle class votes. In 1994, Tony Blair became the leader of the Labor Party and in 1997, he was elected Prime Minister.

He was seen as the continuity of Margaret Thatcher's main policy of liberalism and thus was considered by some inside the Labour Party as a traitor. Indeed, Tony Blair continued changing the mainstream of his party. Then, he participated in reforming the Labor Party into New Labor in 1994 and the Clause IV, adopted in 1918 by the Old Labour and advocating the ?common ownership of the means of production?, was abandoned by the Labor Party in 1995.

The newly created party now accepted and supported the market economy and reduced the state interventions in several sectors, policies formerly sustained by the Conservative Party of Margaret Thatcher. However, Tony Blair always explained that he did not follow Margaret Thatcher's ideology but that he wanted to create a new conception of society which attempted at reconciling the market economy and economic efficiency with aspiration to social justice, called the Third Way.

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