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Chapter 2: Thermostat or Weathervane? Public Reactions to Spending and Redistribution under New Labour
The domestic policy of the Labour government first elected in 1997 has been distinguished by two notable characteristics. The first is a marked shift to the right in its approach towards the market economy. Prior to gaining office Tony Blair persuaded his party to ditch Clause IV of its constitution, which committed the party to “the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange”. The party was also rebranded as ‘New Labour’, a designation intended to signify that the party had left its ‘socialist’ past ...