Inequalities today, Tony Blair's project

In its 1997 General Election Manifesto, entitled New Labour : Because Britain Deserves Better, 'New' Labour laid out its case to the electors : I want a Britain that is one nation, with shared values and purpose, where merit comes before privilege, run for the many not the few ...(p. 1) We are a broad-based movement for progress and justice. New Labour is the political arm of none other than the British people as a whole. Our values are the […]

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The Affluent Society : poverty rediscovered ?

Post-war Britain is characterised by Butskellism, a hybrid word formed from part of the names of the Conservative (Butler) and Labour (Gaitskell) Chancellors of the Exchequer. This socio-economic policy was a compromise between private and public responsibility for the individual and was seen to describe a consensus between right and left which was to last until 1975 (for the Conservatives) and 1979 (for the Labour Party). The 50s and 60s were years of the acceptance by both sides in British […]

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The Welfare State : an end to poverty and inequality ?

According to Beveridge, two points of view are presented concerning the introduction of the Welfare State. The established view is that it was introduced in a climate of consensus : wartime hardships, the Evacuation, national solidarity and the acceptance of an increased role for the State in central planning led to a bipartisan approach to the need for durable change in social and health policies in Britain, as in other Western countries. More recently, it has been pointed out that […]

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The Beveridge Report : a revolution ?

William Beveridge William Beveridge was born in 1879 and he became a social worker in the East End of London in 1903. Later, he visited Germany to see for himself the system of social insurance introduced by Bismarck. Beveridge became a journalist, writing mainly on social policy. He was noticed by Churchill (still a Liberal at that time) and in 1908, Beveridge became a civil servant at the Board of Trade. Over the next three years, he worked on a […]

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Ante Bellum, Inter Bella : Legislation and the Depression

The work of Charles Booth and Rowntree (see Chapter 2 : Victorian Philanthropy) influenced a new current within the Liberal Party : new Liberalism. When the Liberal Party was returned to office in 1906, supported by the nascent Labour Party, it introduced several important pieces of legislation : Education (Provisions of Meals) Act (1906), Education (Administrative Provisions) Act (1907), Children Act (1908), Old Age Pensions Act (1908), Trade Boards Act (1909), Labour Exchanges Act (1909) and Health and Unemployment Act […]

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The Scottish Parliament

Introduction On May 1st 1997, a general election took place in the UK. It was won by the Labour Party after 18 years of Conservative Government (1979-1997).The political programme of the Labour party included a vast number of constitutional reforms and manifestos: devolution (power to the regions) to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and English regions (wide range). reform of the House of Lords. incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into British law. The Labour Government was for devolution […]

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The rise of the Scottish National Party (SNP)

Introduction The SNP was born in 1934. It was not very successful as a political party (poor results). In April 1945, the SNP sent for the first time an MP to Parliament (Motherwell by-election). In July, the same year, it lost its unique seat during the general election. 1950's: poor results Due to the lack of cohesion within the party: there were lots of divisions on a number of issues. And it had e negative image in public opinion: nationalism […]

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Scottish Home Rule

Introduction After the Union of 1707, Scotland started to export goods massively: especially linen, cattle and tobacco (Glasgow was nicknamed the "tobacco metropolis"). Gradually the Union came to represent carreer opportunities for upper class and middle class scots: some joined the Army in India, some became merchants in London and some others migrated to North America as settlers. 1760's: 1st Industrial Revolution in Scotland. Until then, Scotland was a rural country. It became rapidly urbanized. 1760-1830: scottish economy based on […]

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