POL147B 2. The British Labour Party. History Essay (Essay Sample)
TOPICS FOR SECOND CLASS PAPER: DUE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, AT 5PM
Please write a paper on one of the topics listed below. The paper should be a maximum of 3pages, double-spaced, in 12-point type.
1. Discuss the strategic dilemma the Labour Party faced after losing the 1979 GeneralElection to the Conservatives, led by Margaret Thatcher. How did the Labour Party shiftits policy positions between 1979 and 1983, and what were the consequences?
2. Discuss the steps that Tony Blair took to transform the Labour Party’s image as a sharplyleft-wing party, following his selection as party leader in 1994. In your opinion wasBlair’s success in changing Labour’s policy image a significant political accomplishment,or do you believe many other leaders could have achieved the same outcome? Why orwhy not?
The British Labour Party was characterized by a series of internal changes that happened post-1983. Nevertheless, the massive changes to the party began happening in1994, after Tony Blair became its leader. According to Shaw (2016), after the death of John Smith in 1994, Blair was elected the party leader, paving the way for the era of New Labour. When he became party leader, the Labour Party had been in the opposition for more than 15 years. The party had lost four consecutive general elections, a record which had seemed unprecedented in the past. Notably, the 1992 loss seemed worse, given that it came at the hands of an enfeebled Tory-led government, which was marred by recession challenges (Shaw, 2016).
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