Thatcher and Blair

Topics: Conservative Party, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher Pages: 9 (2850 words) Published: February 23, 2002
With the campaign ‘New Labour Because Britain Deserves Better', it appeared that the new look of the Labour Party was so promising that most Britons have poured their votes for the Labour Party, and Tony Blair and his family moved to stay at the 10th Downing Street.

It is said that the New Labour won the election, because they have tried to understand what British people wanted. Like it or not, the New Labour has simply followed Margaret Thatcher's achievements. Moreover, Tony Blair and his aides have consistently used Thatcherite rhetoric to strengthen his ‘New' credentials such as the use of ‘No turning back' and ‘No, no, no.' (The Guardian, April 20, 1999)

Thus, based on the assumption that the Left Wing has adopted the Right Wing policies, this report attempts to find differences and similarities of Mrs. Margaret Thatcher's and Mr. Tony Blair's domestic and foreign affairs policies as well as the impacts on Britain.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Its constitution is partly unwritten and flexible. Also, politics in Britain is a two-party politics, and the system of British government is built around the existence of competing political parties, having distinctive policies and views, particularly The Conservative Party and the Labour Party, which are the dominant parties nowadays. To understand the management policies, it is worth looking into the political philosophy of both rival parties.

The Conservative Party
The Conservative Party or formally National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations is a right-of-centre political party. It is the heir and continuation of the old Tory Party, members of which began forming Conservation Association after Britain's first Reform Act of 1832, extended electoral rights to the middle class. Formed by Sir Robert Peel in 1834, the first Conservative government announced the reform of abuse; the importance of law and order and of the police; orderly system of taxation, and the importance of both landed interests and of trade and industry. Among former Conservative Prime Ministers, there are two well-known persons, who shall be mentioned here. Firstly, during World War II, The Conservative Party dominated national office and Winston Churchill (later became Sir Winston) led Britain to victory in 1945. Secondly, Margaret Thatcher (b. 13 Oct 1925) and later being made as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven was the first European and British Prime Minister (1979-1990). Not only did she win three consecutive terms in the 20th century, but she also was Britain's longest-serving Prime Minister since 1827.

Being called as ‘Iron Lady', Thatcher pursued the policies mainly on reengineering of public sectors, monetarism, and privatization of state-own enterprises. In 1990 her policies regarding European monetary and political integration caused doubts within the party and forced her resign from the Conservative Party leadership.

The Labour Party
Founded in 1906, The Labour Party was originally formed to provide a distinct Labour group and interests inside Parliament. The party is comprised of trade unions, socialist and co-operative groups, providing its membership and income. The party dogma and beliefs are based on the idea of equality (classless society), the state involvement in society, public ownership of major industries, and high level of public expenditure and taxation. (Sallis, 1982: 47)

It is noteworthy that the party has put the notion of the system of welfare benefits in form of the National Health Service into operation, including the system of social securities benefits.
However, when Blair has become the party leader in 1994, he has adjusted the Labour Party standpoint by calling for the party to move to the political centre (no longer a left-centre-party) and de-emphasize its traditional advocacy of state control and...

References: 1. Derbyshire, J. Dennis (1984) An Introduction to Public Administration,
Berkshire: MaGraw-Hill
2. Metcalfe, Les and Richards, Sue (1987) Improving Public Management
London: Sage
3. Sallis, Edwards (1982) The Machinery of Government
Sussex: Holt, Rinehart & Winston
4. The Guardian from the web.
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