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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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Contentious alliance, OMOV and the management of democratic renewal

Contentious alliance, OMOV and the management of democratic renewal

Chapter:
(p.82) 3 Contentious alliance, OMOV and the management of democratic renewal
Source:
The Blair Supremacy
Author(s):

Lewis Minkin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719073793.003.0004

Under John Smith’s leadership from 1992, the modernisers’ growing attraction to ending union affiliation became the background to fierce arguments over reducing union influence in candidate selection, election of the Leader and voting at the party conference. A long reform battle, which involved a high level party review group, is scrutinised closely in this chapter. The three constitutional reforms were all achieved but the party conference vote on candidate selection was, as explained here, widely misunderstood. Separation of the unions from the party continued to have little party and union support and Blair suffered long term damage from the distrust that the spin of separatism from ‘the contentious alliance’ engendered. Meanwhile, under Smith, important more unifying organisational changes took place: a more deliberative policymaking body, a National Policy Forum, (NPF) was created and a new linking body, the National Trade Unions and Labour Organisation (TULO) was introduced.

Keywords:   Ending affiliation, Unions in candidate selection, election of Leader and party, conference, Spin, Separatism, Distrust, Contentious Alliance, National Policy Forum, TULO

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