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GB TWO COLLECTIVEIST CONSESNUS 1942-1980. THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH STATE The Collectivist Consensus  WWII coalition government became an informal.

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Presentation on theme: "GB TWO COLLECTIVEIST CONSESNUS 1942-1980. THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH STATE The Collectivist Consensus  WWII coalition government became an informal."— Presentation transcript:


2 THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH STATE The Collectivist Consensus  WWII coalition government became an informal agreement on many issues  Beveridge Report of 1942 formed core of “Collectivist Consensus” (social welfare program)  Post-war political cleavages were class based more than policy based


4 POLITICAL PARTICIPATION The Conservatives  Traditionally pragmatic politicians  Historically practiced “noblesse oblige”  Elitist and effective party organization  Opening organization to more democratic processes led to Thatcher’s election  Since Thatcher, party has struggled to find success

5 CONSERVATIVE PARTY I Characterized by Noblesse Oblige Power centered in London Party organization viewed as elitist Leadership must submit to annual leadership elections Weakened by division of party in late 1990s:  Traditional Wing(one-nation Tories) – values noblesse oblige and elitism, supports Britain’s membership in EU  Thatcherite Wing – strict conservatives, support full free market, known as “Euroskeptics”, feel EU threatens British sovereignty

6 CONSERVATIVE PARTY Dominant party in Great Britain between WWII and late 1990s Main party on the right Traditionally pragmatic as opposed to ideological Historically has supported a market controlled economy, privatization, and fewer social welfare programs – symbolized by Margaret Thatcher in 1980s Under Prime Minister John Major (1990-1997) gravitated towards center and away from Thatcherism

7 THATCHERISM Rightist reforms instituted by Margaret Thatcher in 1980s  Privatized business and industry  Cut back on social welfare programs  Strengthened national defense (staunch anticommunist)  Got tough with labor unions in response to Labour Parties distinct movement left, which had strengthened labor unions politically  Returned to market force controls on the economy  Resisted complete integration into the European Union  Replaced property tax on houses with a poll tax on individual adults  Froze income tax increases  Foreign policy dominated by securing British interests internationally  Quangos Quangos

8 POLITICAL PARTICIPATION Labour  Began as alliance of unions, socialists, and cooperative associations in the early 20th century  Led by pragmatic politicians for 70 years  Economic crisis and New Left activists led to leadership by party’s left wing  Leaders more interested in electoral success than ideology were chosen in mid-‘80s  New Labour, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and younger, more moderate leaders took over in mid-1990s-the Third Way (Clinton)

9 MAGGIE AND FREINDS Coal Strike Poll Tax

10 LABOUR PARTY Largest party on the “left” of political spectrum Began in 1906 as alliance between trade unions and social groups that were strengthened by expansion of workers’ rights Traditionally labor union have provided majority of funds for the party Early history of the party defined by controversial “Clause 4” that called for nationalization of the “commanding heights” of British industry\ Trade Union Council (TUC) – a coalition of trade unions generally associated with the Labour Party, has traditionally been a force in British politics Growing moderation of the party reflected by removal of clause in early 1990s

11 LABOUR PARTY IN 1990S Shift in policies toward more centrist views Shift in political platform originated with Neil Kinnock, party leader in the 1980s Moderate-centrist views have continued under leadership of John Smith (1993-94) and Tony Blair (1997-present) Tony Blair’s adopts “Third Way” platform and creates “New Labour” Party

12 PUBLIC POLICY: THE THATCHER AND BLAIR REVOLUTIONS Domestic politics  From nationalization to privatization  New Labour’s “humane face” on social welfare reform  Traffic tax in London to pay for public transport investment

13 “THIRD WAY” Moderate Centrist alternative to “Old Labour” Party on left and Conservative Party on right Initiated by Tony Blair in the late 1990s Attempting to redefine and balance following policy issues:  Evolving relationship between government & economy  British relationship with EU  Balancing act between the United States and European Union  Devolution

14 DEVOLUTION British government is a unitary system (centralized control) Starting in the 1970s the Scots and Welsh made an aggressive push for certain political autonomy in their regions Devolution – the turning over of some political power and autonomy to regional governments The Labour Party had supported the idea of devolution since the 1970s Margaret Thatcher’s administration blocked the idea during the period in which they controlled government Under Tony Blair’s New Labour Party the idea of devolution was revisited In 1999, referendums in Scotland and Wales successfully passed, and each established their own regional assemblies: powers of taxation, education, and economic planning In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement established a parliament for Northern Ireland as well, but it was shut down by London in 2003 when violence broke out once again in the region of Northern Ireland.

15 THE END OF THE BLAIR DECADE  Successes and popularity of first term did not last  Dissatisfaction with Labour  Unpopularity of Iraq war  Gordon Brown became PM in June 2007

16 POLITICAL PARTICIPATION The British electorate  Long time class-based politics upset by radicalism and Thatcher victories  Rather than realignment, it was a dealignment  Labour victories probably the result of voter “fatigue” with Conservative government and Labour’s success in appealing to middle class and post-materialist voters



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