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Blair vs Corbyn: The Fall of Neoliberalism and Rise of Socialism?

 4 min read / 

The success of Tony Blair is inevitable when discussing party leaders. He tapped into the hearts of the nation in 1997 by transforming the Labour Party from its socialist core to a centrist political establishment. ‘New Labour’ brought inspiration from the Reagan and Thatcher economics, and implemented social reform. The Clinton-Blair years of neoliberalism saw an age of prosperity, but also an age of austerity. Once Labour became the minority in parliament in 2010 after 13 years of power, a new message from Labour was born to transform the party again, with a fresh new face in Jeremy Corbyn taking the helm in 2015.

The Differences

There are many differences between the leadership of Blair and Corbyn, that it’s hard to comprehend that they affiliate with the same party. The main opposition they have is pretty clear: war. As President of the Stop the War Coalition for 3 years, it is without a doubt that Corbyn disagrees profusely with Blair’s invasion of the Middle East.

Blair has been vilified for his inclusion in the Iraq war, something that eventually led to his diminishing support in his own party. Corbyn has always been consistent on his stance on international conflict, with him famously opposing the Apartheid crisis of South Africa at a demonstration in 1983.

Corbyn is an advocate of not renewing Trident, a nuclear programme that protects our own nation from nuclear war. Blair, on the other hand, renewed Trident and sent thousands of troops into the Middle East with pressure from President Bush. His relationship with Bush has been considered hierarchical, with Blair coming across as a pushover to satisfy the UK-US special relationship.

Views on the Economy

Secondly, their views on economics are entirely different when it comes to reworking the British economy. Corbyn wants state ownership of privatised companies, meaning companies are less likely to bust under the government rule.

He criticises the Blair years for its lack of council houses, and instead an inflation of rent from private landlords who promised “affordable housing”. Corbyn wishes to implement a rent cap for all struggling tenants if he becomes PM in the near future, something that would anger some hard-right conservatives in Parliament.

On the other hand, Blair believed in ‘free market’, where businesses can rule by themselves as well as being advised by the government. The privatisation of major industries in the Thatcher years continued under Blair, outlining his centre-right position when it comes to the economy. What Blair failed on, is that the independent rule of private companies meant they became too big to fall, and if went bust were forced to rely on government handouts to help. This arguably led to the 2008 financial crash both here and across the pond, which saw the popularity of Tony Blair and Republican George Bush decline rapidly.

Whether one is a fan of Blair or Corbyn, the Labour Party as a whole has changed. Politics has changed in general, meaning the neoliberalism of the past cannot function. Millennials are keen to back a socialist government promised by Corbyn, with a huge surge of young voters turning up to vote for Labour in the recent snap election. With the threat of the hard-right looming with Trump and plans of a hard Brexit, the left-wingers need to adopt a hard-left approach to counteract their opponents. When discussing Blairites at a rally in Southampton, Corbyn is quoted as saying:

“I hope they would recognise politics has changed, the idea of trickle-down of growth in wealth of people simply doesn’t work”.

Conclusion

The aim of the redistribution of wealth during an age of austerity is promising. In a timSet featured imagee where 4 million children live in poverty, and the NHS is hit with crisis after crisis due to underfunding, its fair to say the public is fed up. Corbyn brings a breath of fresh air that Blair also once did, but its now out with the old and in with the new. The surge of democratic socialism is inclining fast, and the popularity of Corbyn and his similar counterpart in the US, Bernie Sanders, exemplifies just that.

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

    WP_Comment Object ( [comment_ID] => 128797 [comment_post_ID] => 125074 [comment_author] => Duncan McFadden [comment_author_email] => [email protected] [comment_author_url] => [comment_author_IP] => 141.101.107.16 [comment_date] => 2018-04-07 10:57:57 [comment_date_gmt] => 2018-04-07 09:57:57 [comment_content] => Neoliberalism/neoclassical economics were the root cause of the crash in 2008 and will be the root cause of the next one when it comes-and it will come. It simply doesn’t work. (see Prof Steve Keen ) Blairs New Labour was a break from the norm it was not Socialism simply a watered down version of Neoliberalism draped in a red tie for effect. Corbyn is not reinventing the wheel at Labour all he has done is attempt to move the Party back to it’s position left of Centre. It is those within the Party who tried in vein to maintain the Blair Brown position and oust JC that are the issue not Corbyn. It is they who are in the wrong Party and need to go sign up somewhere else....perhaps even the Tory Party would be a better fit for some of them. As for the lefty tag that the the Neoliberals like to hang on anyone with Socialist tendencies this is is the rights way of saying your a danger to a stable UK economy. Well here’s a news flash: The crash happened under their watch and under the Neoliberal Economics that they and those within the EU wish to continue to operate. Not one Banker went to jail. Corbyn has their number and they don’t like it. Hence why there has been a concerted effort within the establishment to rubbish the man as some sort of communist loonball. Incidentally there is no actual need for a Nuclear deterrent for the simple reason no sane country is going to launch a Nuclear Attack on the UK. The only threat we have is from a Rogue State who have that capability and those type of Countries won’t actually care if we have a capability or not. It’s a money making exercise devised to entirely to line the pockets of the very wealthy who have vested interests in making and selling new weapons. It is also a fact we are indirectly part funding the US defence budget when we do come to replace the outgoing Weapons. Is any coincidence that several of the Worlds largest Banks are involved in both the Wests Nuclear Programme and the Russia’s? UK institutions included Barclays and HSBC, and other prominent contributors were JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse - five of the very same banks that were also listed on iCan's report as funding/investing in Western nuclear programmes. “Uralvagonzavod, which develops Russia's anti-aircraft tanks, deals with the country's Sberbank . Barclays is involved, having bid for the contract to supply the bank with an RUB 3.5bn credit line. Rostec State Corporation (an umbrella company for 663 other organisations, mostly relating to the military) owns and is part-financed by Novikombank - which in turn is financed by Deutsch Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays.” We have sunk Billions into a Nuclear “Deterrent” Since the introduction of Polaris and have never even come close to launching one in anger. It’s a giant con. Incidentally if we were to be on the receiving of a Nuclear Strike or multiple strikes the only people to survive unharmed will be those who are wealthy enough of positioned in a place of power where an Nuclear Bunker is viable. Ie not the great unwashed(us)who are being continually asked to pay for it. Magic eh? [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 11_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/11.0 Mobile/15E148 Safari/604.1 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 [children:protected] => [populated_children:protected] => [post_fields:protected] => Array ( [0] => post_author [1] => post_date [2] => post_date_gmt [3] => post_content [4] => post_title [5] => post_excerpt [6] => post_status [7] => comment_status [8] => ping_status [9] => post_name [10] => to_ping [11] => pinged [12] => post_modified [13] => post_modified_gmt [14] => post_content_filtered [15] => post_parent [16] => guid [17] => menu_order [18] => post_type [19] => post_mime_type [20] => comment_count ) )
  1. Duncan McFadden

    April 7, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    Neoliberalism/neoclassical economics were the root cause of the crash in 2008 and will be the root cause of the next one when it comes-and it will come.
    It simply doesn’t work. (see Prof Steve Keen )
    Blairs New Labour was a break from the norm it was not Socialism simply a watered down version of Neoliberalism draped in a red tie for effect.
    Corbyn is not reinventing the wheel at Labour all he has done is attempt to move the Party back to it’s position left of Centre.
    It is those within the Party who tried in vein to maintain the Blair Brown position and oust JC that are the issue not Corbyn.
    It is they who are in the wrong Party and need to go sign up somewhere else….perhaps even the Tory Party would be a better fit for some of them.
    As for the lefty tag that the the Neoliberals like to hang on anyone with Socialist tendencies this is is the rights way of saying your a danger to a stable UK economy.
    Well here’s a news flash:
    The crash happened under their watch and under the Neoliberal Economics that they and those within the EU wish to continue to operate.
    Not one Banker went to jail.
    Corbyn has their number and they don’t like it.
    Hence why there has been a concerted effort within the establishment to rubbish the man as some sort of communist loonball.
    Incidentally there is no actual need for a Nuclear deterrent for the simple reason no sane country is going to launch a Nuclear Attack on the UK.
    The only threat we have is from a Rogue State who have that capability and those type of Countries won’t actually care if we have a capability or not.
    It’s a money making exercise devised to entirely to line the pockets of the very wealthy who have vested interests in making and selling new weapons.
    It is also a fact we are indirectly part funding the US defence budget when we do come to replace the outgoing Weapons.
    Is any coincidence that several of the Worlds largest Banks are involved in both the Wests Nuclear Programme and the Russia’s?

    UK institutions included Barclays and HSBC, and other prominent contributors were JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse – five of the very same banks that were also listed on iCan’s report as funding/investing in Western nuclear programmes.

    “Uralvagonzavod, which develops Russia’s anti-aircraft tanks, deals with the country’s Sberbank .
    Barclays is involved, having bid for the contract to supply the bank with an RUB 3.5bn credit line.
    Rostec State Corporation (an umbrella company for 663 other organisations, mostly relating to the military) owns and is part-financed by Novikombank – which in turn is financed by Deutsch Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays.”
    We have sunk Billions into a Nuclear “Deterrent” Since the introduction of Polaris and have never even come close to launching one in anger.
    It’s a giant con.
    Incidentally if we were to be on the receiving of a Nuclear Strike or multiple strikes the only people to survive unharmed will be those who are wealthy enough of positioned in a place of power where an Nuclear Bunker is viable.
    Ie not the great unwashed(us)who are being continually asked to pay for it.
    Magic eh?

  2. WP_Comment Object ( [comment_ID] => 127870 [comment_post_ID] => 125074 [comment_author] => Stephen Johnson [comment_author_email] => [email protected] [comment_author_url] => [comment_author_IP] => 172.68.62.14 [comment_date] => 2018-03-26 08:58:48 [comment_date_gmt] => 2018-03-26 07:58:48 [comment_content] => And it is no coincidence, and much to their shame, that throughout the final days of the last General Election, that the BBC, on its Today's World TV broadcast, repeatedly ran a Hardtalk interview with Bernie Sanders extolling the virtues of the Sanders/Corbyn agenda. How does the tax-payer Funded BBC get away with it? I have read not a single comment upon this! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 10_3_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/603.3.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/10.0 Mobile/14G60 Safari/602.1 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 [children:protected] => [populated_children:protected] => [post_fields:protected] => Array ( [0] => post_author [1] => post_date [2] => post_date_gmt [3] => post_content [4] => post_title [5] => post_excerpt [6] => post_status [7] => comment_status [8] => ping_status [9] => post_name [10] => to_ping [11] => pinged [12] => post_modified [13] => post_modified_gmt [14] => post_content_filtered [15] => post_parent [16] => guid [17] => menu_order [18] => post_type [19] => post_mime_type [20] => comment_count ) )
  3. Stephen Johnson

    March 26, 2018 at 8:58 AM

    And it is no coincidence, and much to their shame, that throughout the final days of the last General Election, that the BBC, on its Today’s World TV broadcast, repeatedly ran a Hardtalk interview with Bernie Sanders extolling the virtues of the Sanders/Corbyn agenda. How does the tax-payer Funded BBC get away with it? I have read not a single comment upon this!

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