By Anthony Seldon
Tony Blair has ruled British political lifestyles for greater than a decade. Like Margaret Thatcher prior to him, he has replaced the phrases of political debate and provoked as a lot condemnation as admiration. on the finish of his period in strength, this ebook provides a wide-ranging evaluation of the achievements and screw ups of the Blair governments. Bringing jointly Britain's most outstanding lecturers and commentators on British politics and society, it examines the impression of the major Minister and his management at the equipment of presidency, fiscal and social coverage and overseas kin. Combining critical scholarship with readability and accessibility, this publication represents the authoritative verdict at the impression of the Blair years on British politics and society.
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Extra resources for Blair's Britain, 1997-2007
Almost none of this was intentional on the part of Blair or his immediate circle. Blair can take credit for his decision to appear before the Liaison Committee, but his involvement in most other areas of parliamentary reform was marginal at best. The government’s record in terms of reform of the House of Commons was extremely patchy – and, for the most part, compared poorly with Labour’s stated intentions before 1997. Although there was a significant amount of parliamentary reform between 1997 and 2007, too little of it helped strengthen the House of Commons.
One study into the 2005 intake discovered that they 23 This tendency was enhanced during the early years of the Blair government by the practice of allowing MPs – especially those in marginal seats – to spend extended periods away from Westminster, ‘digging in’ to the constituency. See Ron Johnston, Philip Cowley, Charles Pattie and Mark Stuart, ‘Voting in the House or Wooing the Voters at Home: Labour MPs and the 2001 General Election Campaign’, Journal of Legislative Studies, 8, 2002: 9–22. 24 Factor in some of the time the research allocated to ‘other’ tasks – which included constituency-facing work – and the most recently elected batch of MPs spend more than half of their time and energy looking away from Westminster and to their constituencies.
The combined result of these developments was that for most of its time in oﬃce the Blair government faced a partly reformed but much more assertive House of Commons and a partly reformed but much more assertive House of Lords. This was not really what it intended nor what the Prime Minister desired, but it is also a more positive picture than the government’s many critics appreciated. 11 12 Power to the People (London: The Power Inquiry, 2006), p. 128. You will, however, search the list of experts who gave evidence to the Inquiry in vain for anyone who actually knew anything about parliament at the time of Walpole.