Theme: Parties & Elections | Content Type: Journal article

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New Labour in Power: Five Problems of Contemporary History

Glen O'Hara


Number 10

| 1 min read

The history of New Labour is highly politicised, deployed either for its policy lessons (good or bad) or as a weapon in Labour's factional struggles. But, just as historians in the 1990s reassessed the premierships of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, so the distance of time and the opening of archives offers an opportunity to reappraise New Labour as history. Such work raises five methodological challenges: the lack of sufficient distance from the subject to tell whether policy innovations will remain popular and permanent; the long shadow the Iraq war casts over this whole period; the deluge of data and sources available; the continuing and controversial part that key actors, such as Tony Blair, are still playing; and the lack of expertise any one author will inevitably face in some policy areas. This article addresses each of those difficulties in turn.

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    Glen O'Hara

    Glen O'Hara is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Oxford Brookes University.

    Articles by Glen O'Hara