The Making of Modern Britain 18- The realignment of the Labour Party

Realignment under Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony Blair
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What did the revivial of the Labour Party seemed to be dominated by?
The ideas and personality of Tony Blair.
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Who else made important decisions over Labour?
Neil Kinnock and John Smith.
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Neil Kinnoc 1987-92
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Despite the chhanges made by Kinnock between 83 aand 87, what was the outcome of the 1997 election?
They were defeated again.
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After this, what did Kinnock sought to do?
Reorganise the party and move it's policies towards the centre ground.
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What did the party become after this?
Much more professional in the way they acted.
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Who was the mastermind behind this?
Peter Mandelson- Kinnock's director of communications in 1985.
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How did John Smith play a role in the re-alignment of Labour?
Shadow chancellor in 1987- gave Labour a more reassuring image of moderation and competence.
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What was launched after the election defeat in 1987?
A policy review.
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By 1988- what had happened to the 1983 manifesto?
Most of it had been ditched, including withdrawal from the EEC, unilateral disarmament and rises of taxation on high incomes.
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Who were concerned about these proposals?
Many of the Left.
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How did Kinnock symbolise a split from the trade unions?
Ended Labour's support for the closed shop agreements in 1989.
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what were the closed shop agreements?
Workers all have to be members of a particular union, in order to work in a particular job.
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As the Conservatives began to seem unpopular, who become the alternative party?
Labour. Ahead on polls before Thatcher left office. Even after John Major became PM, still ahead on opinion polls, and favourite to win the 1992 election.
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So, who did people blame when Labour lost the 1992 election?
Neil Kinnock- resigned 4 days after the election.
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At an election rally in Sheffield shortly before the election, what was Neil Kinnock greeted with?
Like a conquering hero. Later accused of over-confidence.
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What was the Sun's headline on election day?
'If Neil Kinnock wins today, will the last person to leave Britain turn off the lights?'
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Therefore this shows...?
Not everyone saw Kinnock as the right type of PM.
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But what was Labour like compared to 1983?
It was definitely stronger than it was in 1983.
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John Smith 1992-94
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After the Conservative's trouble with Black Wednesday, what did John Smith seem/
Ideally suited to lead Labour to victory. Seen as serious and someone who could be trusted with the economy.
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How did John Smith signal a shift to the Left of the Labour party?
Abolished the trade union block vote by introducing 'One member, One vote' for parliamentary candidates in 1993.
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Why did John Smith die and when?
Died of a heart attack, at just 55 in 1994. Shock to the whole nation
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Tony Blair 1994-2007
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How was the danger of a divisive leadership avoided?
By a deal between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
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What did Blair set ut to do in the Labour Party?
Set out to further remodel the 'Labour brand'.
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What did his promotion of 'New Labour' intend to do?
Get rid of the perception from the 80s that Labour was unelectable.
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How did Blair want to do this?
Set out a dramatic shift in policy to show how Labour was breaking it's past.
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Name somthing he did for this.
He persuaded parliament to rewrite Clauve IV of the constitution.
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What else did Blair want the Labur Party to drop?
The socialist ideas that appeared outdated, due to the collapse of communism in E.Europe, and embrace a modern capitalist economy.
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What else did New Labur try and persuade the public about?
That it was no longer perceived as the 'tax and spend' economy. Gordon Brown wanted to convince the public that Labour had economic competence.
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How did they say they woul do this?
Follow Conservative economic policy.
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What personality did Blair have?
Skilfful communicator, had an air of moderation and won over 'Middle England'. Attractive to women and young people, had a record no. of female candidates.
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How did Labour compare to Conservative at this point?
Labour appeared fresh and vibrant, and Conservatives wer domianted by sleaze and scandal, and appeared tired and out of touch.
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What song did they chose for their campaing which highlighted this?
'Things can only get better'.
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How were these atttitudes reflected in the press?
Past-Conservatives had enjoyed greater support, but Alastair Campbell used his experience as former journalist to change Labour's relationship with the press .
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What did this mean for the Conservatives?
Labour had won over the press and therefore, one of Tories most powerful weapons had been neutralised.
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How else was the Labour campaign dominated?
With the use of spin that was very good at dealing with the press and the media.
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The 1997 general election.
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Even though opinion polls showed a large labour lead, what were people fearful of?
That Conservatives would make another comeback like 1992 .
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What had Tony Blair discussed with Paddy Ashdown, the liberal leader?
The possibility of a coalition, even included some liberal things such as referendum of devolution in their manifesto.
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What else did Labour produce?
A pledge card, contained five promises, that were clear, easy to understand and designed to attract voters.
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What were these five pomises?
Cut classs sizes for 5,6 and 7 year olds, fast-track punishment for young offenders, cut the NHS waiting times by treating an extra 100,000 people, get 250,00 under-25s off benefits and into work, no rise in income tax rates and cutting VAT.
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With this, what did it mean for Labour?
That they were no longer an easy target.
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How were the acuusations of 'Tory sleaze' damaging?
Martin Bell's campaign against Neil Hamilton domainted evening news, remidning voters of sleaze and scandal.
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What other debates in parlimanet resonated over the election?
Over the Maastricht Treaty and Europe. Referendum Party set up by James Goldsmith in 1997 to solely keep Britain in the European Union. Won no seats but highlighted the splits in the Conservatives.
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What did most conservatives accept about the election?
That defeat was inevitable, incl John Major and Michael Hesletine.
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What were the results of the election?
Labour won by the landslide. Lab- 418 seats Con- 166.
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Why was the election night so tough for the Conservatives?
Half of Mps lost their seats and many of them were high-profile seats incl. Michael Portillo, David Mellor etc
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What did the election results also show?
Widepsread tactical voting, with some Labour voting Liberal democrat and vice versa.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What did the revivial of the Labour Party seemed to be dominated by?


The ideas and personality of Tony Blair.

Card 3


Who else made important decisions over Labour?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Neil Kinnoc 1987-92


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Despite the chhanges made by Kinnock between 83 aand 87, what was the outcome of the 1997 election?


Preview of the front of card 5
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