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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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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

The crisis of party management

The crisis of party management

(p.463) 15 The crisis of party management
The Blair Supremacy

Lewis Minkin

Manchester University Press

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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