From Hawke and Keating to the rise of New Labour, 1983–97
in Labour and the politics of Empire
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In response to the economic crisis, right-wing neo-liberal and neo-conservative ideas took strong and increasingly hegemonic international root. Both the Australian Labour Party (ALP) under Bob Hawke and Paul Keating and New Labour shared a dominant policy commitment to economic neo-liberalism, this was tempered far more in Australia by continuing state intervention and regulation. The Fraser government's inability to tackle the immediate problems of a 'wages explosion', 'double digit inflation and unemployment' was the major factor in determining the outcome of the 1983 federal election. The huge size of the public deficit inherited from the Fraser government meant that Keating had to tread cautiously in his attempt to balance fiscal expansion and cuts in spending and tax rises. New Labour's willingness and ability to 'learn lessons' from the successful ALP served it well at the 1997 general election.

Labour and the politics of Empire

Britain and Australia 1900 to the present

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