11 The oratory of Gordon Brown Judi Atkins Gordon Brown entered Parliament as MP for Dunfermline East (later Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) in 1983. He rose quickly through the party ranks to become Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1987, and was soon marked out as a face for the future (Mandelson, 2010). Brown’s impressive parliamentary performances while filling in as Shadow Chancellor in 1988 dramatically increased his profile, and he was subsequently appointed to that position in July 1992. The sudden death of John Smith on 12 May 1994 triggered a

in Labour orators from Bevan to Miliband

time when Gordon Brown was succeeding Tony Blair as Prime Minister, ‘For the first time, since the Act of Union, England’s constitutional future was coming into contention, and with it the fundamental assumptions underpinning the multinational British state’ (2008a: 399). The process of devolution in the non-English nations of the Union had fashioned ‘new sites for civic

in These Englands
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A conversation on national identity

It could be argued that the English always have discussed their national identity at length, if not 'with arms', and rarely at the dinner table. This book introduces the diversity of reflection on Englishness in a number of stages. 'Versions' of England are particularly apparent when reading contemporary travel writing on and about England. The relationship between the claims of continuity and the claims of change can be captured by understanding Englishness as conversation. The book brings together insights from English history, politics, constitutional affairs, literature, psephology and social psychology to provide a digest of current reflection and is divided into three complementary parts. In the first part, the nuances and subtleties of Englishness are explored. It also explores the conceptual structure and sociological texture of what such a cosmopolitan England would look like. The part discusses conversational etiquette of English national self-identification, the fear of an 'English backlash', and the non-white ethnic minority communities. The second part considers Englishness in politics and institutions. After 1997, the Labour government believed that devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland dealt with England in the appropriately English way: pragmatic adjustment without provocation. It includes discussions on Conservatism and Englishness, Gordon Brown and the negation of England, and the Britain central government. The third part reprises the themes discussed in the previous parts with a historical and literary emphasis. It includes discussions on the changing face of Englishness, and the English union in the writings of Arthur Mee and G.K. Chesterton.

This book analyses the oratorical and rhetorical techniques of twelve leading orators who have affected the evolution of Labour Party politics in the post-war period, and demonstrates the important role of oratory. The twelve leading orators are Aneurin Bevan, Hugh Gaitskell, Tony Benn, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Barbara Castle, Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock, John Smith, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. The book considers how the politician in question used their oratorical skills in relation to three key audiences: the Parliamentary Party; the wider party membership; and the electorate. These audiences relate to three important oratorical arenas, namely Parliament; party conference; public and media engagement (the electoral arena). The book assesses how political rhetoric has been deployed in an effort to advance competing ideological positions within the party, and the role of oratory in communicating Labour's ideology to a wider audience. It argues that oratory remains a significant feature of Labour politics in Britain, and analyses how it has changed over time and in different contexts. A small (but growing) number of scholars have energised the study of rhetoric in British politics, and brought it more mainstream attention in the discipline. The academic study of the art of oratory has received relatively little attention from scholars interested in British politics.

Blair and Brown’s logic of history

New Labour came to power in 1997 promising to modernize Britain and make it fit for the twenty-first century. This book studies Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's combined attempt to sell the idea of a European future to the British people. It is about the art of rhetoric, persuasion and the techniques of modern political communication, and the 'Europe question' in British politics. It traces the progressivist elements of New Labour's discourse on British European policy with reference to the place perceptions of history occupied in Blair and Brown's speeches on foreign policy. The book explains the idea of 'norm entrepreneurship' and how it can be adapted to help us think through New Labour's handling of British European policy. It focuses on various aspects of the politics, language and decision-making style of New Labour. Theoretical approaches to Euroscepticism to help us understand, through the empirical data in the speeches, how Blair and Brown constructed their identity as 'Europeans' against their perceived 'sceptical' opponents. The method of discourse analysis used to study the strategies Blair and Brown put in place to realize their goals, is discussed. The book presents the evidence on the ways in which the Prime Minister and Chancellor discursively constructed the Europe question as a matter of protecting and/or advancing vital British national interests. Trapped between a broadly hostile media and an apathetic public, Blair and Brown failed to provide the necessary leadership to see Britain to a European future.

Renovation or resignation?

This book makes an important contribution to the existing literature on European social democracy in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and ensuing recession. It considers ways in which European social democratic parties at both the national and European level have responded to the global economic crisis (GEC). The book also considers the extent to which the authors might envisage alternatives to the neo-liberal consensus being successfully promoted by those parties within the European Union (EU). The book first explores some of the broader thematic issues underpinning questions of the political economy of social democracy during the GEC. Then, it addresses some of the social democratic party responses that have been witnessed at the level of the nation state across Europe. The book focuses in particular on some of the countries with the longest tradition of social democratic and centre-left party politics, and therefore focuses on western and southern Europe. In contrast to the proclaimed social democratic (and especially Party of European Socialists) ambitions, the outcomes witnessed at the EU level have been less promising for those seeking a supranational re-social democratization. In order to understand the EU-level response of social democratic party actors to the Great Recession, the book situates social democratic parties historically. In the case of the British Labour Party, it also identifies the absence of ideological alternatives to the 'there is no alternative' (TINA)-logic that prevailed under the leadership of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

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The Labour Party and the new crisis of capitalism

6 Coping with TINA: the Labour Party and the new crisis of capitalism Philippe Marlière Introduction Relying heavily on its financial services, the British economy has been one of the hardest hit in Europe by the collapse of the banking industry. The credit crunch, aggravated by the bursting of a decade-old house price bubble, has taken a severe toll on the economy. For many commentators, the banking crisis of 2008 marked the end of New Labour economics. The Keynesian style reaction to the crisis by the Gordon Brown government and, subsequently, the election of

in European social democracy during the global economic crisis

the vote ever recorded for a winning party at a UK general election. One of Blair’s problems was that it was nearly thirty years since ‘Old Labour’ had been in power and so the term ‘New Labour’ was losing its meaning. More ominously for his successor, confidence in Labour’s handling of the economy dropped after the 2005 election, with the public no longer crediting Gordon Brown with Britain’s economic growth. More importantly for the Conservatives, trust in their economic ability was increasing and they appeared to have finally put behind them the ignominy of Black

in The Labour Party and the world

on first sighting. A discourse approach helps us get to grips with problems in the strategy internal to the texts themselves – in the messages the government was emitting on Europe – and these will become clear in the empirical chapters, 4, 6 and 8. I. Blair and Brown: norm entrepreneurs And I believe we can build a consensus in Britain about Britain’s future in Europe as we also build a consensus in Europe about how, together, we equip ourselves to succeed in the global economy. (Brown 2003c) In assuming the mantle of norm entrepreneurs, Tony Blair and Gordon

in New Labour and the European Union

’ years Labour was racked by serious internal conflicts and a lack of strong leadership and common purpose. The party’s ‘rising stars’, such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, looked to the successful examples of Bill Clinton’s ‘progressivism’ in the United States and the Hawke– Keating pragmatic, ‘third way’ course in Australia in order to revive British Labour’s fortunes. In 1997, of course, the BLP did finally regain national office after effectively transforming and ‘re-branding’ itself as New Labour

in Labour and the politics of Empire