“The Blair Premiership Was A Bitter Disappointment” Discuss

2041 words - 9 pages

Grace Law 27/2/2012

“The Blair Premiership was a bitter disappointment” discuss.

The Blair government arrived in office in very favourable circumstances in 1997. The economy was doing very good and the party appeared more united than at any time since 1945. The Conservative opposition was demoralise and press coverage, even from traditionally Conservative newspapers, was positive. Expectations of the new Labour government were very high, but Blair’s government found it impossible to deliver on all of the promises. In fact, they were ended up doing very little; one of the reasons ...view middle of the document...

It looked very much that Ecclestone’s donation of £1.2 million to the party was a bribe to stop the banning of advertising of tobacco in Formula One. As a result, the media goes mental and caused a big controversy.

Priorities in Labour’s first term in the economy seemed to have all been achieved and Labour’s handling of the economy proved reassuring to the middle classes. From 2001 on, Brown’s policies became much more adventurous. There was a massive injection of money into public services especially in education and the NHS. Critics said public spending and government borrowing were too high and such spending would increase inflation. By 2001 there were 2.5 million more people in work than in 1997. But 37% of the increase was jobs in the public sector. Some argued that Britain had become a client state where too many people work for the government. Critics said this was undemocratic that the government was bribing the electorate and this is economically unsound as it is very expensive for the government to employ so many people. Many called these jobs as “Non-jobs” that civil service was bloated. High government borrowing at the time encouraged a consumer credit boom, house buying, retail sales, technology sales all went up. However, between 1997 and 2007 £100 million was borrowed from foreign banks. This did not become common knowledge because it was during a period of prosperity. There were ominous signs by the end of 2007 and Blair could be blamed for causing the recession that occurred after 2007. Moreover, Brown’s policy on pensions was also criticised. He introduced a tax on pension dividend and British pension industry was hit hard. By 2007, £8billion had been lost. This was seen as a type of ‘stealth tax’. Labour was also accused of letting down the young as in 2007 5.4million 16-30 year olds had never had a job and were on benefits. The selling of gold caused Britain to lose £3billion in 2002 and tabloids referred to Gordon Brown as ‘Golden Brown’. Blair’s performance in the economy was generally good, less inflation and more people employed. However, his policy may cause some problems in the future, for example, budget deficit due to heavy borrowing and a waste of money in employing too much people in the public sector. His favourable circumstances may have also been due to work of Major, even Thatcher. Therefore, to a limited extent, Blair’s performance in the economy was a disappointment.

In terms of domestic and social policy, the successful peace process in Northern Ireland was a personal triumph for Blair. Although the peace settlement had been pushed forward before Blair came to power, his contribution to the Good Friday Agreement was seen as vital. He worked well alongside Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and reassured David Trimble and the Ulster Unionists. Despite problems that arise after the Agreement was signed such as the bomb attack in Omagh that threatened to destabilise the whole process, Blair remained closely...

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