Tony Blair was the political colossus in Britain for thirteen years, winning three elections in a row for New Labour, two of them by huge majorities. However, since leaving office he has been disowned by many in his own party, with the term 'Blairite' becoming an insult. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader in 2015 seemed to be, if not an equal, at least an opposite reaction to Blair's long dominance of the centre and left of British
Drawing on new contributions from most of the main players in the Blair government, including Tony Blair himself, Jon Davis and John Rentoul reconsider the history and common view of New Labour against its record of delivering moderate social democracy. They show how New Labour was not one party but two, and how it essentially governed as a coalition, much like the government that followed it.
This book tells the inside story of how Tony Blair worked out, late in the day, his ideas for improving the NHS and school reform; how he groped towards, and was eventually defined by, a foreign policy of liberal interventionism; how he managed a difficult relationship with his Chancellor for ten years; and how Gordon Brown finally took over just as the boom went bust and the New Labour era came to an end. Rentoul and Davis reveal how the governing tribes dealt with each other in the New Labour
years: not simply the 'Blairites' and the 'Brownites', but the 'temporary' ministers and the 'permanent', under-reported civil servants who worked alongside them.
Many of the arguments that raged within and around the Blair government of 1997-2007 remain very much alive: reform of public services; the right course for the divided Labour Party; and the Iraq war. The Blair Government Reconsidered aims at a balanced account of how decisions were made, to allow the reader to make up their own mind about controversies that still dominate politics today. The Blair Government changed Britain radically and the reverberations echo through all our current debates. Now is the perfect time to review those years and this is the perfect guide. * Michael Gove * The authors have had unprecedented access to the key figures of the Blair-Brown era and made brilliant use of it. Their superbly written book is meticulously researched, rich in insight and wise in judgement. * Sir Michael Barber * Combining first-hand sources and independent judgement, this is the first book on the Blair-Brown years which moves beyond journalism, biography and memoir to being the first draft of history. * Ed Balls
Heroes or Villains?