TONY BLAIR 1953-
By the 1980s social democrats throughout Europe recognized that the welfare state was not a way station to a new economy but had its own critical limits. With this realization as his hallmark, a young, charismatic would-be rock star resuscitated Attlee's moribund party by inventing “New Labour” and campaigning with the slogan, "Labour is the party of business."
In 1983 at the age of thirty, Tony Blair was elected a Minister of Parliament in a newly created district. Labour had been out of power since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1979. He quickly rose through the party to become Shadow Home Secretary in 1992. When Labour leader John Smith died in 1994, Blair was elected to replace him. Blair challenged the parts of the Labour Party constitution that advocated common ownership. Some party members saw this as a rejection of the philosophical core of Labour’s socialist heritage. Blair called it a redefinition of socialism. He refashioned the party as “New Labour” focusing on market based reforms and industry friendly policies. In a landslide 1997 vote, Blair defeated John Major and is now the longest serving British prime minister, leading his party to three successive victories.
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Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (1983-1992)
Author, Choose Freedom: The Future for Democratic Socialism
Author, Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship
Labour Member of Parliament
Author, Socialisms: Old and New