By Anthony Seldon, Dennis Kavanagh
Tony Blair's powerful begin to his 3rd time period, together with his function in taking pictures the Olympic video games for Britain, his statesman-like dealing with of the aftermath of the terrorist assaults on London, his promise of a brand new begin to the ecu Union and his management of the G8 summit at Gleneagles, has introduced his rather lacklustre moment time period into sharp reduction. the second one time period must have been the time whilst New Labour fulfilled its manifesto provides. So what replaced among 2001 and 2005 and what used to be accomplished? How some distance used to be Blair himself in charge, and what used to be Gordon Brown's effect? What was once the impression of the Iraq conflict? And what of Blair's coverage in the direction of Europe? Anthony Seldon and Dennis Kavanagh assemble jointly prime teachers and newshounds to supply an authoritative evaluation of Blair's moment time period, together with a evaluate of latest Labour in govt from 1997 to the current.
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Additional info for The Blair Effect, 2001-5
The 2001 election therefore did not mark the point at which the PLP changed from being poodles to rottweillers – both because Labour MPs were not poodles before, and because they did not become rottweillers afterwards. But something did change. There were four main reasons why Labour MPs became more willing to defy their whips in the 2001 Parliament, when compared with 1997. The first was what Tony Benn calls ‘the ishoos’. Even the most independent-minded Labour MP does not vote against the party just 5 6 Peter Oborne, ‘Blair downgraded the Labour whips – and now he is paying the price’, The Spectator, 17 January 2004.
The dangers of recidivism are very real and it was for precisely this reason that the whips’ office began the 2001 Parliament with the explicit aim of keeping the number of new rebels down to a minimum. This was not because they were especially worried about the effect of rebellions in Blair’s second term, but rather to avoid storing up trouble for the third term. The events of the second term meant that they failed in their aim. By the end of the Parliament, 218 Labour MPs had voted against their whip at least once.
In addition to being determined to enjoy a political Indian summer in the post, Cook was anyway temperamentally a more Parliament-focused individual. His own predilections for reform were given extra impetus (somewhat bizarrely in our view) by the low turnout in the 2001 election, which had generated an elite-level perception that the public was dissatisfied with the institutions of representative democracy (as if strengthening select committees, say, would somehow make the voters of Liverpool Riverside happily troop out to vote with a song in their heart).