Blairite

In United Kingdom politics, the term Blairite refers to a personal and/or political supporter of Tony Blair, Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007.

Politically, Blair has been identified with the introduction of quasi-markets into public services, an interventionist and Atlanticist foreign policy, and support for stronger law enforcement powers. In the early years (circa 1994-1997), Blairism was also associated with support for European integration and particularly British participation in the European single currency, though this waned after Labour took office.

The term is used in particular in contrast to Brownite, to identify those within the Labour Party who prefer Gordon Brown's leadership to that of Blair. However, with Blair and Brown typically in agreement on most political issues [ [http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/will_hutton/2006/06/post_164.html How to bear Blair: become a Blairite] Will Hutton, Guardian Unlimited - Comment is free, 21 June 2006] (from Iraq to public sector reform), commentators have noted that "the difference between Brownites and Blairites … is more tribal than ideological" [ [http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=327&id=1578582001 Jack the Knife goes for the clearout kill] Kirsty Milne, The Scotsman, 28 November 2001 ] . This is believed to stem from a personal disagreement between Blair and Brown over who should have run for the leadership following the death of John Smith in 1994: though Brown was originally considered the senior of the two, he waited until after Smith's funeral to begin campaigning by which point Blair had gathered too much momentum to be beaten. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1310965,00.html Will he? Won't he?] Suzie Mackenzie, The Guardian, 25 September 2004 ]

The term is often used to describe individuals within the labour party who support Blair's right wing reforms.

For a long time, there has been a great deal of discussion in British politics about the Blairite legacy. This has intensified since September 2006, when Blair announced his intention to resign within a year, and especially since May 2007, when he said he would resign as Prime Minister on June 27, 2007. While centrists such as Gordon Brown and David Cameron claim that Blairism is safe in their hands, critics on the left (e.g. John McDonnell) and right (e.g Norman Tebbit) dispute its value to British society. Others have even speculated that, if the Blairite coalition is to be seen as essentially one of pro-market anti-Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats could even be its ultimate inheritors. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1470241,00.html Kennedy can still exploit this perfect political storm] Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 26 April 2005]

List of notable Blairites

* Liz Blackman MP
* David Blunkett MP
* Stephen Byers MP
* Valerie Amos Baroness and Blairite Cabinet Minister
* Alastair Campbell Ex-Director of Communications
* Charles Clarke MP
* Margaret Beckett MP
* Frank Field MP Former Welfare Reform Minister
* Ruth Kelly MP
* Charles Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton
* Patricia Hewitt MP
* John Hutton MP
* Alan Johnson MP
* Tessa Jowell MP
* Hazel Blears MP
* Peter Mandelson Ex-MP, now European Commissioner
* Alan Milburn MP
* David Miliband MP
* Rupert Murdoch Media chief, has backed Blair in every general election since 1997.
* Stephen Pound MP
*James Purnell MP
* John Reid MP
* Trevor Kavanagh "Sun" newspaper journalist Fact|date=February 2007
* Chris Evans TV Presenter
* Ross Kemp Actor Fact|date=February 2007
* Adrian Chiles TV Presenter Fact|date=October 2008
* Trevor Phillips

ee also

* Brownism

References


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