Key Points of Tony Blair's Premiership
Blair was born in Edinburgh and studied law at Oxford University to become a barrister. He joined the labour party in 1975 and successfully gained a seat in Sedgefield in 1983. Tony Blair was considered as new age Labour’s golden boy and beat John Major in the elections. He won a landslide majority in 1997 by gaining 63.6% of the seats in the House of Commons. He was the youngest Prime Minister since 1812 and had three consecutive terms in office, making him the Labour party’s longest serving Prime Minister.
Tony Blair wished to bring about major constitutional change; he did this through reforming of the House of Lords; bringing about the devolution of Scotland and Wales; the introduction of civil partnership in 2004; he implemented the human rights act of 1998; the freedom of information act in 2005 after delaying it for 4 years.
Gordon Brown who was closely affiliated with Blair and was his chancellor of the Exchequer allowed the Bank of England to autonomously set the UK base rate of interest.
This increased popularity for the labour government with the public as they held to a 1992 treaty with the Bank of England and remained within the previous government’s budget.
Blair gained popularity with the British public by deciding against adopting the Euro. The issue of whether or not to join the Euro was obviously considered incredibly important by the British public and the move to the Euro was strongly opposed by a large majority of the British people, the media, and the other political parties.
Blair gave his press secretary Alistair Campbell the power to give orders to civil servants, a power usually reserved for ministers. Campbell was a political appointee and Blair’s official spokesman, but he was paid under the title of civil servant. ⦁
Blair’s government had notably strong female aides, such as Anji Hunter and Sally Morgan. ⦁
Devolved the government and created the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.
One of Blair’s greatest achievements was the good Friday agreement, which saw the British and Irish governments and most of Northern Ireland’s political parties sign an agreement to introduce a democratic, peaceful, and structured plan for the Northern Irish government to follow. It was called the Belfast Agreement and was signed on the 10th of April in 1998.
He introduced the Human Rights Act in 1998. The Human Rights Act was designed to allow the European Convention of Human rights to have influence on British domestic law. Later criticized for being too lenient on criminals and challenged by David Cameron who proposed a “British Bill of Rights” which would theoretically give Britain more control.
Blair also introduced the Freedom of Information Act in 2000, but the act was later criticised for being of more benefit to journalists and other professionals as opposed to the Public. In 2010 Tony Blair expressed his disappointment with the Freedom of information act, his intentions he claimed was to give the people of Britain power but as we now know what it actually did was give power to journalists to the detriment of the British public. Blair had delayed the act for 4 years before it was implemented, and when it was he attempted to place restrictions on the act. He wished to limit the amount of information that each individual agency could request from an individual institution.
Removed Hereditary peers from the House of Lords in 1999. It is still in debate whether or not the House of Lords should be appointed or elected or if there should be compromise and some middle ground found.
Tony Blair oversaw the increase of rights to the LGBT community. ⦁
He changed the age of consent for homosexuals to 16, giving young gay couples the same rights over their sexual relations as young heterosexual couples. ⦁
He lifted the ban on homosexuals in the British Armed Forces. ⦁
One of his most significant policies was the...
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