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Getting Inside the Minds of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - Conference Reflects On Thirteen Years of New Labour

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Getting Inside the Minds of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - Conference Reflects On Thirteen Years of New Labour

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Central Government and also in Education

 

The University of Leicester will host a conference which will reflect back on the lessons that can be learned from the New Labour Governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. 

The event will be held on Wednesday, 27th March 2013 and will see academics and policy makers meeting to produce a lessons-learned report to go to the current leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband.

At home and abroad, the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown undoubtedly left a mark on the UK – but did they leave the country better or worse off than when they came to office? As the Labour Party reinvents itself under the leadership of Ed Miliband, this is a timely moment at which to look back on thirteen years of New Labour’s governance of Britain.

Commenting on the importance of this event, organiser, Dr Oliver Daddow, Reader in International Politics at the University of Leicester, said: “This event, which draws together experts from most of the key policy sectors, will allow us to gain a more comprehensive overview of New Labour’s time in office and reflect on the totality of its effect on Britain. It’s about getting away from the public face of New Labour, which means looking past the war in Iraq, and teasing out useful lessons for the future of the Labour Party.”

He continues: “This conference is about making an attempt to understand the New Labour project, getting into the minds of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and understanding some of the landmark decisions that shaped New Labour’s governance of Britain.”

Themed around interventions by some of the most prominent insiders from the New Labour years, the conference will critically reflect on New Labour’s achievements in office: its successes, failures and the lessons that can be learned for the current Labour Party as it looks ahead to the 2015 general election. The event will produce two major outputs; a lessons learned report to go to Ed Miliband, and a witness history article in the academic journal Contemporary British History.

The conference comes to Leicester, a University with an international reputation for expertise in the issues to be discussed, and will see two academics from the Department of Politics & International Relations speaking at the event alongside Dr Daddow. Professor Mark Phythian whose research interests lie in the areas of intelligence, national security and foreign policy, and Dr Jon Moran whose work focuses on the area of security studies.

Other speakers include Dan Corry, former Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Economy from 2007 to 2010; Patrick Diamond, former Head of Policy Planning in 10 Downing Street and Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister; and Roger Liddle who was for seven years from 1997, special adviser on European affairs to Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Dr Daddow believes that this event has come at a very timely moment: “In the run up to the General Election, Labour’s policies are up for grabs in terms of Ed Miliband positioning himself with regards to Labour’s past and the challenges facing Britain today and in the future, especially in the economic field. We will produce a lessons learned report which will be sent to him and hopefully shape his views and inform his policies in a constructive and effective manner”.

The New Labour Conference will take place from 9:30-3:00 on Wednesday, 27th March 2013 in the Woodhouse Room, Charles Wilson Building (4th floor). To attend, (registration is free; places are limited) please contact Emma Butler on eb231@leicester.ac.uk.

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