era of new labour 1997 -- 2007 - BLAIR

when was Blair PM?
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Blair as leader?
new kind of politician - not joined party until after graduated Uni - easier to move labour away from traditional policies. he was a moderniser. charismatic + + despite privileged background – Blair came across as an ordinary ‘family man’
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how was he able to show he was in touch with electorate?
princess of wales died in 1997 + he paid tribute to her a few months after he became PM – ‘the people’s princess’ - contrasted with royal family
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how popular was Blair ? (%)
Blair’s popularity soared to 93%
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Blair's opinion on new labour policies ?
THIRD WAY - did not want to reverse many of policies of Thatcher + Major - no re-nationalisation of private industries + argued that did not matter who provided services, as long as of high of quality
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what did critics of Blair say?
argued Blair did not really stand for anything – had abandoned traditional labour policies + accepted Thatcherite ideas to win power
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what was 1997 election result ?
landslide victory
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what was Blair + brown relationship?
Blair made brown in chancellor of exchequer – brown had complete control over economic policy + he was very popular with the parry • Brown believed Blair had agreed to step down during his 2nd term, so after 2001, their relationship deteriorated fu
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constitutional change under new Labour ?
devolution + reforms to parliament + citizens rights
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devolution constitutional change?
labour promised new referendums on devolution 1997 (Wales + scot wanted independence due to unpopularity of Tories previously)
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results of referendums on devolution 1997?
Scotland - 74.3% voted yes to devolution. Wales - + 50% voted yes.
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when did the Scottish + Wales act pass ?
passed in 1998 - Scottish Parliament given tax-raising powers. Welsh Assembly - no tax-raising powers could enact secondary (not primary) legislation.
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when was devolution in Northern Ireland achieved ?
under GFA 1998
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when was 1st mayor elected?
First Mayor was elected in 2000.
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blair's opinion on devolution ?
Blair himself was unenthused by devolution but accepted it should be a part of New Labour legislation to maintain Labour popularity
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success after devolution act passed? 1998
Labour remained the dominant Party in Wales, independence remains a minority view. Electoral mayor proposals were met positively & considered a success.
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negatives after devolution act passed? 1998
Despite PR in Scotland, the SNP achieved and outright majority in 2011. SNP dominance did not silence calls for Scottish independence.
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who did Blair block from standing as labour's mayor candidate ?
Blair blocked Ken Livingstone from standing as Labour’s mayoral candidate as he represented the ‘Loony Left’. Instead Livingstone left Labour and stood as an independent and won the election. Blair had to accept him back into the Party.
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electoral reform under new labour ? (constitutional reforms)
Blair had entered into talks with Lib Dems before 1997 election over cooperation to defeat the conservatives. Roy Jenkins wanted to examine alternative voting systems - reported in 1998 that 1st past the pots be replaced w/ more proportional system
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negative outcomes after electoral reforms?
A Labour majority of 179 in 1997 election meant electoral reform and cooperation with Lib Dems not needed. Both Blair and Home Sec rejected Jenkins’ recommendations
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parliament reform under new labour ? (constitutional reforms)
Hereditary peers in the HoL was outdated and New Labour committed to tackle this – to made it fairer + less elitist system. 1999 Effort to reform HoL
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positive outcomes after parliament reform ?
1999 House of Lords Act – 1st attempt to remove hereditary peers from Lords. Supported in the commons by a majority
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negative outcomes after parliament reform ?
House of Lords Act faced opposition in the Lords (no surprise) and a deal was made - allowed 92 hereditary peers to be retained. deal done without Blair’s knowledge.
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1st citizens rights reform under new labour ? (constitutional reforms)
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Passed in 2000, gave people the right to request information from public authorities - 2006 over 100 000 requests being made each year.
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2nd citizens rights reform under new labour ? (constitutional reforms)
European convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Incorporated into British Law through HRA 1998. Courts could declare that public authorities had acted in infringement of ECHR
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Outcomes of FOIA?
held people accountable BUT was costly + Blair regretted passing the act, admitting he had been ‘irresponsible nincompoop’ - believed it hindered politicians from making difficult decisions
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outcomes of ECHR?
strengthening of individual rights BUT difficulties for govt. e.g. 2004 govt. forced to amend anti-terrorist legislation which had allowed UK non- nationals to be imprisoned indefinitely if suspected of terrorist activities (following 9/11).
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domestic policies under new Labour? education
Labour won 1997 election w/ manifesto concentrated in improving public services - pledge card identified how + all 5 met by 2001. Blair promised ‘education, education and education' - labour govt. kept league tables + inspections intro. by Major
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extra funding for education under Blair (Brown) ?
current expenditure on schools rose form £21.43 bullion in 1997-98, to £34.36 billion in 2005-06.
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domestic policies under new Labour? crime
Blair promised labour would be ‘tough on crime' - e.g. 3000 new criminal offences were created
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domestic policies under new Labour? NHS
increase in health spending - £30 billion 1997 - £90 billion 2007. • Special delivery unit set up July 2001 to ensure reforms were implemented - e.g. shorter waiting times + more nurses
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Blair's opinion on success of health spending changes ?
Blair himself did remain disappointed by the slow progress of these reforms
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what happened regarding fuel prices under new labour ?
Blair’s govt. faced rising fuel prices – led to blockade in 2000 by farmers + lorry drivers; foot + mouth disease hit farmers of cattle
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what did the people in the countryside think about Labour Party?
generally felt labour party did not properly understand their issues – came to a head when labour govt. tried to ban hunting with dogs. Countryside Alliance organised a march - ½ million people attended 2002 before ban passed in 2004
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who was Brown?
was chancellor of exchequer from 1997-2007 - given total control of econ
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what did labour inherit regarding economy?
inherited very favourable economic circumstances in 1997
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what were Blair/brown's initial priorities regarding economy?
oKeep inflation low oKeep government spending under control o Prove to middle England (middle-class) that labour was pro-business + could be trusted with economy
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what did new labour's initial priorities allow labour government to escape from ?
to escape from previous image as ‘tax + spend’ party
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balir + brown relations regarding economy ?
Brown reluctant to consult Blair about economic policy - e.g. did not tell Blair about 1999 budget until the last minute
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main aspects of brown's economic policy ?
bank of England changes + early years spending restraint + public sector spending + PFI + borrowing
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brown's economic policy ? (BoE changes)
BoE now responsible for setting IR - reduced govt. interference + stopped 'give away budgets' + derogation made attractive to foreign investors
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brown's economic policy ? (early years spending restraint)
kept pledge to stay within tory spending plans - set treasure rules about how much can be borrowed - appeared much more trustworthy + inflation/unemployment low - helped to win 2001 election BUT did they just inherit a good economy?
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brown's economic policy ? (public sector spending)
'prudence with a purpose' (cautious) - allow I into public services - £40b I into NHS + new schools (fulfil pledge) + NHS waiting lists went down + exam results increased BUT led to inflation
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brown's economic policy ? (PFI)
Private finance initiative - used private sources to fund pubic sector projects) - continued from Major - god way of avoiding raising taxes + projects finished quick BUT debts stored up
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brown's economic policy ? (borrowing)
brown borrowed heavily from foreign banks BUT Britain experienced 'consumer boom' BUT personal debt levels grew - by 2007, world econ recession looked likely + brit had huge debts + cost of services outrun revenue
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why was brown called 'Golden Brown' ?
1999 - 2002 - when value of gold fell - Brown sold off almost 1/2 of Britain's reserves - Britain lost £3b - showed brown's poor decision making
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what did Blair inherit regarding Northern Ireland?
inherited a great political opportunity - much of work done under Major + Blair acknowledges this
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Blair's involvement in final years of peace protest regarding NI?
personally involved - made Belfast his 1st trip outside London after election + said any settlement would have to respect will of NI people - Old Labour would have been seen to sympathise w/ nationalist cause. deadlock final talks, he intervened
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David Trimble's involvement in final years of peace protest regarding NI?
Trimble - leader of UUP. persuaded unionists (not easy) they cld work w/ Sinn Fein + campaigned during referendum to support GFA. awarded Nobel peace prize 1998.
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Mo Mowlam involvement in final years of peace protest regarding NI?
secretary of state for NI. controversial as not condemning them - visited parliamentaries in Maze Prison to keep them on board w/ peace protest
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John Hume's involvement in final years of peace protest regarding NI?
Leader of SDLP. persuaded radical republics (e.g. Adams) that settlement could be achieved (significant as could have been people who opposed it most)
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Bertie Ahern's involvement in final years of peace protest regarding NI?
helped bring Sinn Fein to able in downing street - something unlikely to have happened before
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Adamas + Mrtin McGuiness involvement in final years of peace protest regarding NI?
leaders of Sinn Fein. agreed to persuade IRA to accept decommissioning - crucial. they campaigned to support referendum after GFA signed - significant as limited future violence
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Ian Paisley's involvement in final years of peace protest regarding NI?
leader of DUP. only major party to reject GFA. popular in LT - shows limitations of GFA
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how long did negotiations in GFA go on for?
Tense final negotiations in April 1998 went on for 17 hours
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when was GFA signed + referendum results ?
10th April – Mitchell announces agreement had been reached - • Referendum held 22nd May: NI 71% agreement + republican 94% agreement
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any opposition to GFA?
leaders of Sinn Fein (Adams + McGuiness) were nervous of republican backlash against them ‘selling out’
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events after GFA signed?
Omagh bombing 1998 – killed 30 (carried out by IRA) Over next 10-years- unionists became dissolution with some parts of agreement
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influence of GFA on Blair?
Not all problems solved BUT many regarded GFA as Blair’s main achievement
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terms of GFA?
new NI assembly of 108 members of proportional representation to replace direct rule + Irish govt. + UK give up claim on NI - up to NI people to decide if part of UK/join Irish republic + early release of paramilitary prisoners +
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Card 2


Blair as leader?


new kind of politician - not joined party until after graduated Uni - easier to move labour away from traditional policies. he was a moderniser. charismatic + + despite privileged background – Blair came across as an ordinary ‘family man’

Card 3


how was he able to show he was in touch with electorate?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


how popular was Blair ? (%)


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Blair's opinion on new labour policies ?


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