Tony Blair and New Labour 1999-2007

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1st Term 1999-2001

Politcal

  • Showed modern (New Labour) and united party
  • Came with an new ideology ''Third Way'' which was seen as vague by many.
  • Won by a large majority of seat, but gained less votes than Major's 14 millions in the previous GE.
  • Gordon Brown as Chancellor had huge amounts of power over domestic-economic policies but Blair and Brown worked well together to begin with (Brown- theory side Blair- personality side).
  • Blair was an effective figurehead and had a good public image
  • Had longest politcial honeymoon with press due to Blair's close connections which Fleet Street meaning, he could swing the press in his favour.
  • Introduced devolution for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 1999
  • Hereditary peers lost their ability to sit and vote in House of Lord, House of Lords Act 1999

Social

  • Windfall Tax 1997, to fund ''New Deal'', which aimed to tackle long-term unemployment.
  • Living standards rose.

Economic

  • Blair focused on restoring the party's crediblity after the failures of the previous Labour governments.
  • Pushed through withr unning an economy in a business-friendly approach
  • Brown was the longest serving chancellor in British history. Overall he reduced basic rate from 23% to 20%
  • 1999 Brown introducted lower tax band rate of 10%
  • ''Boom and Bust'' ended
  • Bank of England (MCP) was effectively privatised and allowed to make interest rates, supposely providing greater economic stability.

Foreign Policy:

  • Anglo-American Cooperation, Blair played a key role in successfully building up the relationship.
  • Good Friday Agreement 1998, Blair and Clinton worked closely together and effectively together and were able to gain success in Northern Ireland.
  • Balkans Campaign 1995-1999 (Bosnian Genocide 1995), US took an active role in stabilising this region regardless of it being within Europe. The ethinic dispute had been rumbling on since world war one and civil war had been raging throughout 1998. Blair was keen in intervene and doing so was risky but ultimately he saved the Muslim Kosovars from ethinic cleansing.

Overall- Blair had some successes in government, such as the Downing Street Declaration but his government was obbessed with opinon polls and media that his government failed to follow through on things promised at the electon, to avoid public criticism.

2nd Term 2001-2005

Politcal

  • Won by a huge swing majority (10.5%) and gained a majority of 179
  • 2nd successive landslide vicotry with similar result to 1st victory
  • It didn't seem to be Blair's personal image which seen him declining from power after 2003 but his foreign affairs and development aboard.
  • Iraq War vote in 2003 to go into war, 139 voted against it, biggest parlimentary rebellion of Blair era, due to questionable lack of UN authority, international support and evidence. (Dr David Kelly 4/10). However the Tories supported Blair.
  • Rise of terrorist threat caused the rise of right-wing party UKIP

Social

  • Protests against going to war in Iraq with the USA 2003
  • 7/7 bombing killing 52 people
  • Later in July, four more terrorist attempted to bomb London transport, all failed to detonate and all four suicide bombers were imprisoned.
  • Minimum wage act 1999, £3.60…

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