Tony Blair had a massive impact on the Labour Party, receiving huge acclaim as he brought it back to power as ‘New Labour’ after 18 years in the political wilderness.
Tonight a new book that analyses and reassesses his processes and methods of producing change and consolidating power is being launched at the John Rylands historic reading room.
The Blair supremacy focuses on three main questions, How were these changes achieved? Was it, as it was often represented, a complete supremacy? Why did it end so badly with Blair being forced, in effect, to step down?
It’s writer Lewis Minkin is Visiting Honorary Professor in the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds.
He was adviser to two internal Labour Party review groups. The first, in 1992-3, was on the relationship between the party and the trade unions.
The second, in 1994, was on the party’s relationship with a future Labour government. In both groups, Minkin’ s work was highly influential.
Minkin has been able to draw on a wealth of sources unavailable to other scholars.
What is uncovered here is revealing and at times startling. It includes an extensive covert internal organisation, a culture which facilitated manipulation and what can be described as a rolling coup.
These developments are rigorously and critically examined with a strong focus on three fundamental questions: The study challenges many misconceptions and sheds new light on the Blair legacy and on the intense controversies surrounding him.
Monday 22nd September, 6pm
The Historic Reading Room, the John Rylands Library
150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH
Drinks and light refreshments
Speakers: The Rt Hon. Lord Larry Whitty (Chair), Lord John Prescott, Angela Eagle MP, Rt Hon. David Blunkett MP and John Battle