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Labours Old and NewThe Parliamentary Right of the British Labour Party 1970-79 and the Roots of New Labour$
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Stephen Meredith

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073229

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073229.001.0001

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The parliamentary Labour right, Labour Party revisionism(s) and the roots of New Labour

The parliamentary Labour right, Labour Party revisionism(s) and the roots of New Labour

(p.159) 7 The parliamentary Labour right, Labour Party revisionism(s) and the roots of New Labour
Labours Old and New

Stephen Meredith

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers some of the short- and longer-term implications of the analysis for understanding the subsequent trajectory of the Labour Party and British social democracy, and something of the roots of New Labour. It is inaccurate to conceive of Labour's recent history and development as a simple dichotomy and departure between homogeneous ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Labours. Anthony Crosland's work was central to establishing the core revisionist distinction between means and ends and the dictum that socialism is about equality rather than outmoded ideas of public ownership. The history of the Labour Party is a history of ‘new Labours’. Many of the themes supposedly novel to New Labour and indicative of a retreat from its social democratic heritage were central to the embryonic programme of Labour's embattled minority social democratic revisionists in an unforgiving intellectual and political environment in the 1970s.

Keywords:   Labour Party, British social democracy, New Labour, Anthony Crosland, socialism, new Labours, social democratic revisionists, public ownership

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