Blair's Britain 1997-2007 Part 2

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  • Blair's Britain 1997 - 2007
    • Mayor of London
      • proved a successful change
      • in first election 2000, Blair stopped Livingstone being Lab. candidate
        • he feared he would harm the image of the party (loony left in 1980s)
      • Livingstone ran as independent & won
        • after Lab. candidate came 3rd, Blair forced to accept Livingstone back into party
      • 'Red Ken' was not popular, however
    • Freedom of Information Act
      • passed in 2000 & gave people the right to request information from public bodies
      • by 2006, over 100,000 requests made annually
      • later Blair described this as a mistake & himself as a 'naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop'for passing it
      • its existence would prevent politicians making difficult decisions because they feared their actions would become public knowledge
    • Human Rights Act
      • European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into British law as the HRA 1998
      • the way judges interpreted this sometimes created difficulties for govt.
        • e.g. 2004 govt. was forced to amend anti-terrorist legislation that allowed indefinite detainment
    • New Schools & Hospitals
      • Blair promised 'education, education, education' would be Lab's key commitment
      • kept league tables & inspectors introduced under Major
      • targets extended & more specialist schools encouraged
      • at 2001 election, Lab. promised more investment in health & education
        • there would be more teachers, doctors & nurses
        • also more accountability to parents & patients to improve exam results & shorter waiting times for operations
      • special delivery unit set up to ensure reforms were implemented & increasingly targets used to try & enforce change
      • Blair remained disappointed by the slow progress of reforms & later argued that he should have been prepared to be more radical earlier


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