Labour and equality I
Minding the gap
in The Labour Party under Ed Miliband
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Equality – or the lack of – occupied a central role in Ed Miliband’s thinking and approach to politics. This chapter explores Miliband’s approach to equality with a view to establish whether he steered the Labour Party in a social democratic direction. For that purpose, it analyses the context the different ideas, and political traditions that shaped Miliband’s approach. But that analysis is not be complete without an understanding of the political, institutional economic and ideological factors that constrained his policy response to the problem. Thus, the chapter examines as well how the interplay between the ideas and political and institutional factors influenced the party’s narrative on equality and its policy proposals. It argues that under Ed Miliband, the Labour Party renewed the party’s commitment to greater equality. However, there was a clear gap between the rhetoric and the policies proposed. The party’s narrative suggested a transformative egalitarian agenda whereas the policies proposed were minimalist in scope.

The Labour Party under Ed Miliband

Trying but failing to renew social democracy

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