Transforming Britain: the politics of modern progressive reform

Document type
Bryant, Chris
Smith Institute
Date of publication
10 November 2005
Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This paper explores what constitutes centre-left progressive politics and argues that the Labour Party needs to be more assertive in clarifying and stating some of its fundamental tenets. The author, a Labour Member of Parliament, argues that the rapid deterioration in the nexus between party affiliation and social position, occupation or family background has led to a growing timidity among progressive politicians, who have tempered their public arguments for socially just policies in the light of perceived public opinion and a concern to appease the assumed conservatism of Britain’s median voter. The paper discusses the recent history of the Labour party, political leadership, liberalism and socialism, Lords reform and the need to convince the public of the benefits of being in the European Union.

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