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The Blair SupremacyA study in the politics of Labour's party management$
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Lewis Minkin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073793

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073793.001.0001

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The crisis of party management

The crisis of party management

Chapter:
(p.463) 15 The crisis of party management
Source:
The Blair Supremacy
Author(s):

Lewis Minkin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719073793.003.0016

This chapter addresses the extraordinary sense of crisis that arose around 2000-1 as awareness grew of ‘New Labour’ politics losing public support. Special attention is paid to some of the mistaken assumptions and detrimental behaviour of party management, especially the use of party controls to override party and public opinion, and the damage that ‘control freakery’ caused to Blair’s reputation. Also covered here is that the spin on the 2001 election manifesto, about bringing the private sector into the public services, added to deep concern in the PLP and the unions. Later, however, there was a clever deflection of some of this damage through the spin that there had now been ‘the end of control freakery’. Behind it a remarkable success story, uncovered in this chapter, involved extending the rolling coup in ways explained, building a renewed influence of the Leader over the party headquarters, undermining the party influence of other senior leaders particularly Brown and Prescott, and restricting the agreed policy role of the PLP.

Keywords:   Crisis in leadership and management, Management problems and mistaken assumptions, Reputation undermined, Successful spin, Extending the rolling coup

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