How different is New Labour from Old Labour?
The Labour Party was formed to represent the working class at a time when the franchise had not yet been extended to such groups. The party’s origins in the unions and socialists societies that meant it originally pursued an agenda centered on socialism, being more left wing on the political spectrum. However changes in the class and occupational structure of the nation since the 1960s, saw the party looking to broaden its appeal beyond this core idea. Firstly, Old Labour characterizes the party prior to the modernization programme begun by Neil Kinnock in 1983 and completed by Tony Blair. Old Labour refers to the party’s historic commitment to socialism and its links with socialist societies, trade unions and the old working class. The core ideology of Old Labour was the outcome of equality. Therefore it believed in the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, putting heavy taxes on upper-class citizens. They had a strong belief in collectivism, emphasizing the interdependence of every human being. It stresses the priority of group goals over individual goals and the importance of cohesion within social groups. Old Labour believed in nationalization, which is the process of taking a private industry or assets into public ownership and the redistribution of wealth. They wanted to manage the economy in co-operation with the trade union and big businesses. Old Labour also took the Bank of England into state control, enabling them to control interest rates. The Old Labour party was in favor of universal welfare benefits. They supported comprehensive school, giving children of mixed abilities the availability and opportunity to go to school. During Wilson’s time in office from 1964 to 1970 housing was a major issue, new houses were built which made low-income house buyers eligible for subsidies. They tried to enable the people equal opportunities to ensure social justice. They also emphasized upon...
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