Is New Labou r Still Socialist?
The definition of socialism is ‘An economic, social and political doctrine whichexpresses the struggle for the equal distribution of wealth by eliminating private propertyand the exploitative ruling class’.In some ways I believe that ‘New Labour’ is still socialist, but not to the same extent aswhen the party was first established. For example, the original rules and traditions set bythe original ‘Old Labour’ are somewhat non-existent in new labours ideas and beliefs.There are many examples of how new labour have differed from old labours policies,however there are also many similarities between the two ages of the Labour Party.For example, New labours idea of a minimum wage very much bares a socialist style of view, as this is seen as fair, equal and is a redistribution of income. The old Labour partyvery much believed in the redistribution of wealth, as this was seen as helping out the lessfortunate people of Britain, this counters my belief that New Labour have ‘stranded’away from the old labour policies. New Labour is broadly pro-Europe, and wants to lead the country to become moreinvolved in the EU. However, the old labour view is that the EU doesn’t have the samevalues as Britain. This is a prime example of how new labour have strayed away from oldlabour and are becoming less socialist as a result of this, because these views are radicallydifferent from each other, showing that new labour may have differed from old labour views.In light of this, new labour still share many of the same ideas that old labour once believed. For example, old labour believed that everyone in the country should work together and should forget about social classes, and new labour believes that poverty gapsshould be smaller, and classes should work together. Also, new and old labours both believe in public expenditure on a large scale. This is to give the nation equalopportunities and the best possible standards of living, arguing the point of new labour still being a socialist party. Old labour believed that taxation should be high on the rich people of the country, as they have more money to give to the country to benefit the lessaffluent citizens of Britain. New labour believes in low taxation, however stealth taxesare used to also benefit the country. This shows that both eras of the party believed intaxation benefiting the less ‘fortunate’ members of the country.Another reason to believe that labour has become less socialist is the different views onnationalisation. Old labour believed that big companies, like the railway, the telephone,and electricity firms are owned by the country as a whole instead of privately by businessmen. Whereas new Labour share the view that the idea of Private FinanceInitiatives (PFI), they welcome private funds into national institutions such as hospitalsand schools etc. New Labour is seen to be ‘expanding’ on old Labours views and adjusting them to fit inwith Britain’s social aspects. For example, old Labour believed in free education from 5-18 years however now new Labour want 3-4 year olds to have free nursery education,something that wasn’t about with old Labour. Old Labour morals disagree with the ideaof entrenched privileges toward education, as the state should create conditions that willgive maximum opportunity to all sections of society. Whereas new Labour does not have