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Psychological SocialismThe Labour Party and Qualities of Mind and Character, 1931 to the Present$
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Jeremy Nuttall

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719071645

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719071645.001.0001

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1994–the present

1994–the present

(p.156) 6 1994–the present
Psychological Socialism

Jeremy Nuttall

Manchester University Press

Historians and commentators have often been critical of New Labour's emphasis on individual morality. This criticism has had two dimensions. The first has seen New Labour's emphasis on individual morality as a poor substitute for a redistributive social morality, which, critics claim, New Labour has downgraded. Roy Hattersley and Edmund Dell identified the same historical process of dilution of socialism. Second, New Labour's stress on individual morals has been seen as contrary to the broad progressive tradition in both its preaching tone and frequent focus on the moral failings of the poorest more than the wealthiest. This chapter examines the ways in which New Labour appears to have placed a new or renewed emphasis on morals, qualities of mind, and behaviour from a nuanced perspective. It explores the complexity of New Labour's attitude to the concept of equality, the party's communitarianism and its policy on education and criminality. The chapter also discusses ‘middling’ motives and highlights some contemporary dynamics of both ‘regression’ and ‘progress’.

Keywords:   New Labour, morality, socialism, qualities of mind, equality, behaviour, communitarianism, education, progress, middling motives

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