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By Anthony Seldon

Tony Blair has ruled British political existence for greater than a decade. Like Margaret Thatcher ahead of him, he has replaced the phrases of political debate and provoked as a lot condemnation as admiration. on the finish of his period in energy, this publication provides a wide-ranging evaluation of the achievements and screw ups of the Blair governments. Bringing jointly Britain's most outstanding lecturers and commentators on British politics and society, it examines the impression of the best Minister and his management at the equipment of presidency, financial and social coverage and international family. Combining critical scholarship with readability and accessibility, this ebook represents the authoritative verdict at the effect of the Blair years on British politics and society.

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Extra info for Blair's Britain, 1997-2007

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Rather the opposite: there is plenty of evidence that MPs today are more independent-minded and willing to defy their whips than they used to be. 26 There were two whole sessions in the 1950s during which not a single Conservative MP voted against their whip. Tony Blair’s whips would have sold their souls for that sort of discipline. It is certainly true that Tony Blair wanted his MPs to behave in a cohesive and disciplined way. Unity was supposed to be one of the defining characteristics of New Labour – it was supposed to be what distinguished it both from Old Labour and from John Major’s Conservatives.

The Palgrave Review of British Politics 2006 (London, Palgrave, 2007), esp. pp. 102–3.    Not that he could have done much about it, but it is now clear that Tony Blair would have been better off had he been able to have his parliamentary majorities in a different order. Margaret Thatcher had a small but workable majority in her first parliament – when MPs’ self-discipline is at its tightest – followed by two landslide majorities to cushion her against any tendency to increased rebellion.

Neither could have been anticipated in 1997. All prime ministers over time become more involved in what is happening abroad: it is a consequence of increasing globalisation and interdependence and the growth of so many inter-governmental institutions and summits of political heads of state and leaders. Richard Rose argues that the increasing mix of domestic and international politics has given rise to an ‘intermestic premiership’. Abroad, prime ministers often play before less critical audiences than at home; there is no Leader of the Opposition and no adversarial party system.

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