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      09-20-2006, 06:14 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by pawarrant
Thanks for explaining the views over there. I think if Blair was over here he would be kind of like Lieberman. Strong on defense but socially and economically liberal. Is this right?
To answer this you need to understand about new labour.

Blair came to power through the reform of the labour party. This was the party of the workers and was very much under the thumb of the unions until the emergence of 'new labour'.

Old labour can best be understood by looking at clause 4 of it's manifesto. This used to be printed on the back of EVERY party members ID card:

"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service".

They also used to sing the red flag at the end of party meetings

New labour re-wrote this clause as follows:

‘The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. Where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe. And where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.’

The first version is alligned more closely to communism and the second is more firmly capitalist and (I think) echoes the 'american dream'.

Blairs economic policy is as capitalist as the conservative parties, however they have de-politicised the economy by handing interest rate control back to the bank of england. I think this act alone has quelled the 'boom and bust' cycle.

Blair has been criticised for being a party of high taxation by the back door (stealth taxes), but this has been a relatively minor criticism and has not led him to lose the support of industry.

I would describe Blairs position as strong on defence, focussed on international politics, and financially right wing (ie capitalist and non-interventionalist), with a strong sense of social responsibility.

One thing that he has done which illustrates the social responsibility is to act on third world debt. That alone makes his premiership worthwhile IMO.