New Labour In the USA

I recently finished a review of Tony Blair's biography, "A Journey," and while writing it I began wondering whether any of the policies traditionally associated with British politics would be effective here in the USA.

Take each political party for instance. Would a political party like Blair's "New Labour" be successful here?

Before 1997, the Labour Party was dominated by trade unions and intelligentsia (traditional left-leaning strongholds), a demographic which Tony Blair felt was out of touch with modern society. He set about rebranding the party and its policies as "New Labour."

The result was a "third way progressive politics" of sorts that could be considered socially liberal and relatively fiscally conservative. Its tenets included:

Public services as a "hand up," not a "hand out";

Cracking down hard on crime, antisocial behavior, and illegal immigration;

Tuition fees for universities;

On foreign policy, a combination of "hard" and "soft" power;

Closer integration with Europe;

Civil unions;

Competition among public schools in the form of academies;

Initial intervention for stability, but no further quantitative easing in the event of a financial crisis.

During his 10 years of efforts to promote this platform, his biggest frustration was that most people would agree with large parts of it, but very few bought the entire package.

My question, dear monkeys, is: Would the American public?

With the majority of Americans recently cited as "angry" or "very angry" with the current state of politics, would this third party system have a legitimate chance at tapping into voter anger? And not just tap into voter anger, but build the ground-up core of believers necessary for long-term success?

The logic in favor of it suggests that most Americans are moderates, and although New Labour doesn't contain everything they wish for, it contains a lot that they agree with, and the blockheads in charge just cost us our AAA rating, so why don't we give this new thing a shot? Is it already happening in one or both of the parties? Or would it just be Ross Perot all over again?

Would it work? Would you vote New Labour USA in 2012?

Comments (18)

Aug 24, 2011

I think I would vote for them and I believe many other people would as well. If it could be sold to both sides, who wouldn't want to try something new?

Aug 24, 2011

SWB: Keep in mind that people fear change.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Aug 24, 2011
seabird:

SWB: Keep in mind that people fear change.

i thought a president was just elected who's campaign slogan was "Change we can believe in" ?

Aug 24, 2011

Blair and Clinton were very similar to each other.

Aug 24, 2011

seabird: You're right. Completely forgot which planet I live on. Sad really.

Aug 24, 2011

No, "New Labour" would have no chance in the United States. The British conservatives are to the left of mainstream Democrats in the United States. The United States, at this point, would reject prima facia anything similar to social democracy.

Aug 25, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

No, "New Labour" would have no chance in the United States. The British conservatives are to the left of mainstream Democrats in the United States. The United States, at this point, would reject prima facia anything similar to social democracy.

At the same time though, don't you think people are disillusioned enough that they'd be willing to give something else a shot?

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 25, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

No, "New Labour" would have no chance in the United States. The British conservatives are to the left of mainstream Democrats in the United States. The United States, at this point, would reject prima facia anything similar to social democracy.

"Prima facie," to be correct. The root word is 'facies'.

Aug 24, 2011

NY: Obama didn't change anything, except for marginally increasing the size of government. The majority of what he has done has been to continue Bush's policies. And even with the small extent of change he did get through (healthcare and stimulus, though there was a stimulus under Bush as well so its not much of a change), the country exploded on him. No one thought there would be real change with him. The blacks still blame their poor place in the country on racism. We are still on the path to European style serfdom that we already were. People could have change, with Ron Paul or something, but I think Sowell summed it up well when he said that the country has inevitably been shifting to the left slowly under republicans, and less slowly under democrats.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Aug 24, 2011

Marginally increased the size of government? I think you need to look up the word "marginal" and re-evaluate your statement.

Aug 25, 2011

At this point I am receptive to any legitimate political party outside of team red or team blue so long as they aren't advocating direct socialism. As you were alluding to, the present climate provides the best conditions for a third party to launch into the mainstream: a general lack of leadership on either side, a sustained shitty economy, deteriorating infrastructure, disconnect between "the elite" and the middle and lower class, and the effects of 10 years of constant war wearing on the country.

I'm doubting that a significant portion of voters would rally around an entire political platform. Most of the successful political parties in history began around a single movement or issue (think republican party c. 1850s or UK liberal party c. 1840s) to then grew around an ideology or manifesto concurrent with their popularity and relevance.

Issues which I believe are capable of garnering this support:

1) Balancing the federal budget (perotists)

2) drug legalization (don't underestimate this as our generation gains influence)

3) tax reform (early tea party)

4) military disengagement (if it ever progresses beyond anti-bush rallies)

5) protectionism (unfortunately)

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art - Andy Warhol

Aug 25, 2011

Dwight, I 100% agree with 1-5.

Aug 25, 2011

Go Green Party!

Aug 25, 2011

Actually, to be correct it's 'facies.' In English the period goes on the inside of the quotations. Are we seriously doing this?

Aug 26, 2011

Period goes on the inside when using quotation marks, outside when the punctuation does not apply to the words denoted by the quotation but rather to the sentence as a whole.

I guess we are. ;-)

Aug 26, 2011
A Posse Ad Esse:

Period goes on the inside when using quotation marks, outside when the punctuation does not apply to the words denoted by the quotation but rather to the sentence as a whole.

I guess we are. ;-)

Well, according to this you're wrong with regard to periods.

http://grammartips.homestead.com/inside.html
The point wasn't to correct your grammar but to point out how, umm, weird it is to correct someone's spelling on a message board full of grammatical and spelling errors that people generally don't edit out because it's, umm, a message board. I'll admit I was the asshat who used to correct people's grammar on message boards--but I was 14-years-old at the time.

Aug 26, 2011

I would vote for the Pirate Party of Nigerian Princes if I thought it would matter even in the slightest

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Aug 26, 2011
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