Blair's Society

What women's pay compared to men's under Blair?
87% that of men's on average.
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What were women given when unable to work because of caring responsibilities?
Pensions credits.
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How was childcare provision changed under Blair? Who was the main beneficiary of this?
It was extended - from 2007 all 3 to 4 year olds were entitled to 12.5 hours of free nursery care. The main beneficiary was women.
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Where were women making progress at work?
Although slow, in the board room. Between 1999 and 2007, the % of FTSE 200 companies that had no women on the board fell from 36% to 24%.
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In 1997, how many women MPs were there?
120 - double the previous number.
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How many women MPs did Labour have? What were these known as?
101 - 'Blair Babes' - such as Chirstine McCafferty and Estelle Morris. Labour had introduced all-women shortlists to helf of what was considered as winnable seats to delibertaely increase women MPs.
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What Blair the first PM to do politically with women?
Give them prominent cabinet positions. Margaret Beckett served as Foriegn Secretary between 2006 and 2007, and was the first woman to serve in this role.
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What did critics argue about New Labour's emphasis on paid employment?
It undervalued the unpaid work in the home and with the family which women did. In 2007, when couples were compared, women still did 3 times the amount of housework as men.
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Historically, what was the Labour Party? What did this mean for the Labour government?
A party of the workers. Many believed that their long connection with the unions would make them much more sympathetic to union concerns. However, the decline in unions continued.
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How did the decline of unions continue?
The % of workforce with membership of a union fell from 29% to 26% - though this rate of decline was much smaller than it had been previously, there was still decline.
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What upset the unions?
The fact that Labour did not repeal the union legislation - Labour were in fact open critically og the strike action by the trade unions.
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Why was Blair's attitude to the unions not surprising?
As New Labour believed that one of the reasons Labour was unelectable in the 1980s was due to the 'Winter of Discontent' and the influence of the unions on the party. Instead, this influence was decreased by the block vote, for example.
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What did Blair prefer to emphasise than unions?
His pro-business attitude.
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Give examples of why some unions were strongly critical of New Labour.
They continued policies such as PFI and outsourcing. Though the Labour government protected the mployment rights of workers who moved from public to private employment, they allowed contracting out to continue.
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What was New Labour's attitude to Clause IV? Why did this annoy unions?
It was abandoned in 1995 and was seen in government - no reverses took place, but extensions did. The Air Traffic Control organisation was sold off and London Underground on a private-public partnership.
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In 2004, who had been expelled from the Labour party? Why?
The RMT, the Transport Workers' Union. This was because some of its local branches had decidied to donate to other, more left-wing, political parties.
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What did New Labour reverse from Major's government? What did this mean?
The opt out into the European Social Chapter. This meant Britain woudl now follow European policies regarding employment and social rights.
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Give an example of some of the Social Chapter legislation.
All employees were now entitled to request up to 3 months unpaid parental leave to care for a child who is under the age of 8.
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What did New Labour still continue from Major's government?
Its ability to opt out of some employment legisaltion, such as maximum working hours.
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What did New Labour welcome as an opportunity for economic growth?
Globalisation. It argued Britain had to learn to better compete in the new globalised world economy by increasing the skills fo workers - allow Britain to develop a 'knowledge economy'.
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What would a 'knowledge economy' bring?
It would add value with more effiecent systems and processes, often utilising new technologies. This would increase productivity.
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What was New Labour's attitude to unemployment?
Although there was no explicit commitment to full employment, there was an emphasis on supprting people into work. Blair said 'work for those who can, security for those who can't'.
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How did New Labour help people find employment?
Through training, guidance, work in voluntray sector for experience or a subsidised job placement. It mainly targeted the unemployed, such as young people, older workers, the disable and lone parents.
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What did critics argue about New Labour's support for employment?
It was often limited and complianed that sanctions imposed if people did not take up the support were unfair and counter-productive.
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What was the emphasis on for workers?
'Making work pay'. In 1998 Labour introduced a minimum wage.
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What was set up to see the minimum wage?
The Low Pay Commission. However, intially it was set extremely low. Tax credits were also introduced by Brown.
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What was included in the 'Excellence in Cities' plan to help schools?
Special funding was procided to raise standards in underachieving schools in deprived areas.
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Which schools received special attention?
Failing schools.
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What was withdrawn for children under New Labour?
The assisted places scheme by the Tories in 1980, where children whose families could not afford fee-paying schools were provided with free places. Pupils still in the scheme would continue to be financed. The money saved went on reducing class sizes
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How many new schools were opened under Blair?
1,000
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How did the funding for schools change under Blair?
It increased, to 5.6% of GDP. This put the UK on a level with most of the other advanced Western economies.
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How did the number of qualified teachers change?
The number of qualified teachers in state schools had risen by 35,000.
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How did the number of ancillary workers, such as teaching assistants, change?
It increased to 170,000.
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What was set up to advise teenagers about their choices after school?
The Connexions Service.
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When were tuition fees introduced? How did these change under Blair?
1988 - in 2006 the annual fee had risen to £3,000 each year.
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How did the number of university students change?
It doubled since 1990 to 2.4 million.
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How did the number of female university students change?
It was twice the number in 2006 than in 1995, and seven times that of 1970.
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What were introduced into universities under Blair?
League tables, as in schools. It was a way of determining how much central funding each of them was to receive. It was an interesting extension of Thatcher's need for institutions receiving public money should be accountable.
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Who did the government begin to give financial aid to in 2001?
The University of the Third Age (U3A). This was an independent body providing learning opportunities for people over retirement age.
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What did Blair pledge for higher education? Why?
That 50% of school leavers would go to university, believing this would produce the highly skilled workforce needed to compete in the globalised world. This was not achieved.
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What was passed in 2000? What was this?
The Learning and Skills Act. This laid down plans for turning the majority of state secondary schools into academies, which could be funded through LEA's and private and commerical sponsorship.
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What did New Labour believe was the fairest way of secondary education?
Comprehensive schools, though streaming abilities was encouraged.
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How many children did Blair have?
Three school-age children, a fourth was born in 2000.
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Who was the youngest PM?
Blair - his government was a youthful alternative.
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Give an example of how the youthful image of New Labour was shown.
Soon after the 1997 election victory, Blair hosted a celebrity party at 10 Downing Street. Noel Gallagher, Vivienne Westwood and Helen Mirren were among the attendees.
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What was one of the New Labour's key targets for youths?
To end social exclusion.
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What did the Social Inclusion Unit lead to?
The establishment of Sure Start centres - these centres aimed to help families and children by provuding guidance and ensure that preschool children were supported to be ready for school.
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How much did child poverty decrease by under Blair?
25%
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How did the number of NEETS change under Labour?
It increased to 20% by 2007.
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Why were ASBO's introduced?
Due to fears over youth crime.
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What was an ASBO?
An antisocial behaviour disorder - this was court order which put limits on what the defendant could do, such as imposing a curfew or banning from shopping centres. Breaching an ASBO was a criminal offence.
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What did ASBO's aim to do?
Prevent antisocial behaviour such as graffiti, vandalism and intimidation.
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How were the main recipients of ASBO's?
Young people. 45% of ASBO's went to under 17's, though it was for all ages.
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What was the feeling over education reform?
It had failed to allow social mibility as only 3% at university were from diadvatged backgrounds, main being middle class.
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What was one of the factors determining the quality of education?
The location of the school - the poorest areas had much lower exam results.
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Did New Labour improve exam results?
Yes
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How did the government not always help its own cause of ending privilege in education?
Some of the leading figures were either products of private schools or sent their children to one. Other MP's had high incomes so could move to better schools.
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What was the complaint of this?
Not that it was wrong for parents to naturally want the best for their children, but it was improper for them to follow educatinal policies that denied the same right to others.
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When was UKIP formed? Why was it formed?
In 1993, with the key aim of ensuring UK withdrawal from the EU. After 1997 it became the main anti-European political party, gaining 3 seats at the 1999 European elections.
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When did the UKIP finish above the Conservatives in a by-election? Where was this?
In 2004, in Hartlepool.
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What was UKIP's success in the 2005 election?
It polled 2.3% of the votes. It did not win any seats but as a party came 4th in the popular vote.
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What prevented a rise in support for UKIP?
The shift by the Conservatives to the right.
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How did the modernisers in the Conservative Party ensure that the 2005 defeat was finally the spur to change?
They pointed out that the Conservative Party's popualrity was still falling amongst women, young people, and in the north.
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What were the election results of 2001?
412 seats to Labour, 165 to the Conservatives and 46 to the Lib Dems.
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What were the election results of 2005?
355 seats to Labour, 198 to the Conservatives and 62 to the Lib Dems.
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Card 2

Front

What were women given when unable to work because of caring responsibilities?

Back

Pensions credits.

Card 3

Front

How was childcare provision changed under Blair? Who was the main beneficiary of this?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Where were women making progress at work?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

In 1997, how many women MPs were there?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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