Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

A Welfare Consensus?\ud Social Policy from Thatcher to Blair

By DELWYN JOHN HOLLAND

Abstract

Research Abstract\ud A Welfare Consensus? \ud Social Policy from Thatcher to Blair\ud \ud This thesis examines two central aspects of asset management by central government with special reference to health and education. First, it analyses the nature, structure and procedural legacy inherited by New Labour after eighteen years of Conservative control, and carries this analysis forward to determine the influence that this has on New Labour’s policy orientation. Second, with a view to the significance of institutionalist theories, which underline the potential importance of ‘path dependency’, the thesis seeks to determine what, if any, major policy differences developed with the transition from the Conservative governments of 1979-97 to the New Labour governments of 1997-2007. \ud \ud From a wealth of documentary evidence this thesis concludes that New Labour, throughout its ten years period in office, while it softened the well entrenched Thatcherite policies inherited it did not reform the core objectives of ‘rolling back the state’ which had led to the introduction of market-style competition designed to drive up standards, choice and availability accompanied by the driving down of unit costs. Over a time span of almost thirty years all governments have placed health and education as twin focal points of their policy initiatives. This thesis has therefore chosen these two political drivers as major examples of continuity and changes in social policy over that period, stretching from the late 20th century and into the 21st century.\ud \ud New Labour’s pragmatic acceptance in 1997 of its Thatcherite legacy with its compounded bipartisan approach led to a new welfare consensus coupled to enhanced strategic public expenditure priorities. In doing so, New Labour, under Blair, set aside its traditional, historical policies and embedded its own legacy so deeply into the economic fabric and culture of the UK that any future government, of whatever political persuasion will find the forward momentum of these policies powerful inhibitors of change. Thirty years of rolling back the state has achieved its outcome.\ud \ud \ud John D Holland\ud St Cuthbert’s Society\ud School of Applied Social Sciences, \ud Department of Sociology\ud Durham University\ud November 200

Topics: Welfare Consensus, Social Policy, Thatcher, Blair, New Labour, path dependency, institutionalist theory, education policy, heath policy
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:51
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2000a), Increasing returns, path dependence, and the study of politics, doi
  2. (2000b), The limits of design: Explaining institutional origins and change, doi
  3. (2000c), Not just what, but when: Timing and sequence in political processes, doi
  4. (2006). [web 25/12/2006 14:45] http://www.private-eye.co.uk/index.php? Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
  5. (1998). [web: 21/9/2004 14:54] http://www.bristolinquiry.org.uk/final_report/annex_a/chapter_2_5.htm#554948 Broadfoot P.,
  6. (1996). 137–146 Giddens A
  7. (1998). 308 cc711-5W) Civil Servants,
  8. (1990). A Matter of Record- Documentary Sources in the Social Sciences. doi
  9. (2002). A time for change in the British NHS: an interview with Alan Milburn, doi
  10. (1997). Accounting for the PFI’, doi
  11. (1986). Ageing and Social Policy: A Critical Assessment, doi
  12. (2004). An honourable deception? New Labour, Iraq and the misuse of power,
  13. (1999). At Last, a Remedy for Chronic QWERTY-skepticism!’ Paper presented at the European Summer School
  14. (1991). Attachment to the welfare state’, in doi
  15. (1994). Beyond left and right: The future of radical politics, Cambridge: Polity Giddens, doi
  16. (1998). Beyond the Welfare State, 2nd edition,
  17. (2000). Blunkett and Straw pledge more police sweeps as funding increases to tackle truancy’,
  18. (1997). Boundaries between public and private welfare: A typology and map of services’ [web 12/4/2004 14:34] www.lse.co.uk Burnham A., (2007:673W) ‘NHS Foundation Trusts’
  19. (2002). Breaking the path of institutional development? Alternatives to the new determinism', Discussion Paper, 02/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  20. (1999). Bridging the gap: new opportunities for 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training Cm4405
  21. (2003). British social attitudes: continuity and change over two decades. doi
  22. (1994). Captured by Discourse? Issues and Concerns in Researching 'Parental Choice'. doi
  23. (1989). Caring for People: Community Care in the Next Decade and Beyond,
  24. (1988). Challenging Dependency: Towards a new Social Work with Older People'
  25. (1992). Choice and Diversity: a new framework for schools, London: DFE Department for Education
  26. (1985). Clio and the Economics of QWERTY’, American Economic Review 75(2): 332– 7.
  27. (1987). CMND 9524 Department of Education and Science,
  28. (2007). Column WA132 [web 17/8/2007 20:43] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70206w0005.htm#07020667000233 Adonis.,
  29. (1993). Community Care Policy: From Consensus to Conflict'
  30. (1995). Comparing Response Rates and Response Content in Mail versus Electronic Mail Surveys',
  31. (1989). Competing technologies, increasing returns, and lock-in by historical small events', doi
  32. (1999). Competition, co-operation and control?
  33. (1994). Competitive Schooling: Values, Ethics and Cultural Engineering,
  34. (1995). Computer Mediated Scholarly Discussion Groups', doi
  35. (2006). Conservative Party Archive: Papers of R.A. Butler-1944 Education Act’ [web 24/10/2006 18:31] http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/modern/cpa/private/rab.html#rab.B Bolton S.C.,
  36. (2001). Coping with Permanent Austerity: Welfare State Restructuring in Affluent Democracies.” doi
  37. (2005). Cost to NHS of treatment of food-related ill health [web 21/1/2009 01:22] http://jech.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/59/12/1054#436 Crinson, I.
  38. (2007). Critical Teacher Education, doi
  39. (2001). Damaged by the Evils of the Market’,
  40. (2004). Decentralization and Recentralization in Scandinavian health care. EHPG,
  41. (1998). Decentralizing Public Service Management. doi
  42. (1994). Dismantling the welfare state? Reagan, Thatcher, and the politics of retrenchment, Cambridge: doi
  43. (1997). Doing documentary work.
  44. (2004). Doing Things With Documents.’ doi
  45. (2000). Earl of (2000:879-881) Third Way Policies House of Lords debates Tuesday,
  46. (2000). ed) New Labour: the Progressive Future?
  47. (1976). Education Act, London: Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
  48. (1999). Education and Employment doi
  49. Education and Employment (2000a) Statistics of Education, Schools in England, London: The Stationery Office.
  50. Education and Employment (2000a) The Role of the Local Education Authority in School Education. London: Department for Education and Employment.
  51. (1999). Education Policy and Contemporary Politics. doi
  52. (1998). Education Policy: a policy sociology approach. doi
  53. (2005). Education under New Labour’ [web 3/12/2006 14:40] http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:51YxQoFyycJ:www.labour.org.uk/education04+new+labour+in+education&hl=en&gl=uk&ct=clnk&cd=1 Labour Party
  54. (1994). Egalitarian Thought and Labour Politics, doi
  55. (1974). Elites and the distribution of power in British society’,
  56. (2003). Enterprise in Education’ [web: 24/9/2006 18:26] http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/03/16755/19954 Secretary of State for Health. The New NHS: Modern,
  57. (1987). Equalisation and improvement: some effects of comprehensive reorganisation in Scotland', doi
  58. (2000). Examining the impact of the Specialist Schools Programme,
  59. (2004). Five Year Education Strategy’
  60. (2007). Freedom of Information Publication Scheme’ [web 1/8/2007 15:04] www.newcastle-ul-pct.nhs.uk
  61. (1998). From Equality to Social Inclusion: New Labour and the Welfare State’, Critical Social Policy 18(2):215-226 Lister R., doi
  62. (2003). Funding Council for England (HEFCE) doi
  63. (1993). Funding Council for England, doi
  64. (2001). Getting Down to Business: Schooling in the Globalised Economy’,
  65. (2003). Getting in the Door: Sampling and Completing Elite Interviews, Political Science and Politics doi
  66. (2003). Global Neo-Liberalism, the Deformation of Education and Resistance,
  67. (1999). Going the American third way',
  68. (2007). Goodbye to dodging and weaving’, doi
  69. (1997). Government takes action to reduce health inequalities. Press Release 97/192.
  70. (2008). GP incentives are not needed, 'inverse care' doctor tells MPs,
  71. (1996). Grant-maintained heads' reflections on opting out, doi
  72. (2000). Guarding the Public Interest? Auditing Public Services’,
  73. (2003). Has Britain become immune to inequality? In: doi
  74. (1999). Health Policy in Britain' (4th edition, 1999), Macmillan Limited. Illustration reproduced with the kind permission of
  75. (2004). Health’ [web 25/7/2007 22:00] http://www.downingstreetsays.org/archives/002969.html Blair T., (2004f) Tony Blair’s Fabian Lecture on education at the Institute of Education,
  76. (2006). Herceptin ruling will stop patients getting potentially lifesaving drugs’ [web 8/8/2006 17:36] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8122-2132025,00.html
  77. (2006). Hewitt defends private involvement in NHS’ [web 28/9/2006 18:11] http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/story/0,,1876025,00.html Webb, A and Wistow,
  78. (1991). Higher Education: a new framework, doi
  79. (1999). Historical institutionalism in comparative politics, doi
  80. (1992). Historical institutionalism in comparative politics, in: doi
  81. (2002). Historical Institutionalism in Contemporary Political Science’,
  82. (2000). Home and away? The political economy of New Labour’,
  83. (1982). Hospital Advisory Service doi
  84. (2002). How New is New Labour-The Quasi Market and English Schools 1997-2001’ doi
  85. (1994). Increasing returns and path dependence in the economy, Ann Arbor: doi
  86. (2000). Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, doi
  87. (1988). Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Report The Stationery Office as doi
  88. (1996). Inequality and Old Age, doi
  89. (1998). Initial Conditions, General Laws, Path Dependence, and Explanation in Historical Sociology, doi
  90. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge: doi
  91. (1972). Interviewing an Ultra-Elite.” Public Opinion Quarterly 36:159–75. doi
  92. (1996). Interviewing the Soviet Elite.” The Russian Review 55:309–16. doi
  93. (2005). Interviews with Finance Secretaries and Dr Maurice Mullard, 26 April as cited in
  94. (2001). Introduction: Studying variaties of welfare capitalism.” doi
  95. (1993). Investing in health .World development report’, doi
  96. (1999). John Major: The Autobiography”, Harper Collins, London Mandelson P.,
  97. (1996). Laing’s Review of Private Healthcare, London: Laing doi
  98. (1998). Learning and Working Together for the Future: A Strategic Framework to
  99. (1989). Learning to Teach, London, The Claridge Press Hills
  100. (2002). Locating Globalization: doi
  101. (1995). London: HEQC Higher Education Statistics Agency,
  102. (1993). Macpsych: an Electronic Discussion List and Archive for Psychology Concerning the Macintosh Computer', doi
  103. (2004). Making the NHS more like Kaiser Permanente’ doi
  104. (1994). Managerialism and the academic profession’, Quality Support Centre: Higher Education Report, doi
  105. (1999). Managing for Health: Implementing the New Health Agenda. London: IPPR
  106. (2004). Market means and welfare ends: the UK welfare state experiment’, doi
  107. (2000). Narratives of policy: the construction of urban problems and urban policy in the official discourse of British government 1968–1998’, Critical Social Policy, vol 20, no 6: 211–32 Attwood R., doi
  108. (1980). National Health Service Summarised Accounts 1979/80, HC 312, London: HMSO House of Commons Health Committee (1995/96b) Public Expenditure on Health and Personal Social Services, HC 698,
  109. (2000). New Labour and Thatcherism: Political change in Britain, doi
  110. (1998). New Labour and the "new" UK NHS. Critical Public Health, 1998.8, 167-73 Powell M (2000) ‘New Labour and the third way in the British NHS’, doi
  111. (2003). New Labour has picked up where Thatcherism left off’ [web 4/12/2006 23:00] http://society.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,7884,1013219,00.html Hall S., and Jacques
  112. (1997). New Labour’s Policies for Schools: Raising the Standard?, London, David Fulton, doi
  113. (1999). NHS capital expenditure and the private finance initiative expansion or contraction? BMJ 1999; 319: 48-51 doi
  114. (1990). NHS Community Care Act’ HMSO, London Department of Health
  115. (2009). NHS Heirarchy [web 22/2/2009 23:00] http://www.econ.qmul.ac.uk/NHS_reforms.com/overview/nhs_heirarchy.html
  116. (2006). NHS Structure and Performance’ [web 1/8/2007 13:45] http://www.swo.org.uk/State_of_the_South_West/content.asp?paragraph_order=4920&chapterid=8
  117. (1998). Not just what, but when: issues of timing and sequencing in comparative politics',
  118. (2006). Numbers calling at hospital reach a new record as Hewitt says NHS needs to become more efficient and effective
  119. (1991). Parents and Schools: Aspects of Parental Involvement in Primary and Secondary Schools. doi
  120. (2000). Path dependence in historical sociology, doi
  121. (2001). Path dependency in historical sociology, Theory and Society,
  122. (1979). Patients First', London: HMSO Dobrowolsky, A and Saint-Martin
  123. (2003). PFI: meeting the investment challenge’ [web 28/9/2006 17:21] http://www.hmtreasury.gov.uk/media/648B2/PFI_604.pdf#search=%22level%20of%20PFI%20invest ment%20in%20education%22 HM Treasury
  124. (1999). Planning the new NHS: downsizing for the 21 st century. BMJ doi
  125. (1999). Planning the new NHS: downsizing for the 21st century. BMJ doi
  126. (1995). Policy and path dependence: from QWERTY to Windows 95', Regulation: The CATO Review of
  127. (2004). Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis, Woodstock: doi
  128. (2007). Poll shows Blair legacy fails to impress
  129. (2001). Post-industrial pressures on the mature Welfare States,” doi
  130. (2001). Private Finance Initiative – Good Deal for the Public Purse or a Drain on Future Generations?’, doi
  131. (2006). Private firm to run
  132. (1994). Profiles of Higher Education Institutions, London: HEFCE Higher Education Quality Council doi
  133. (1988). Public opinion, party policy and MPs’ attitudes to welfare’, doi
  134. (2001). Public Services of Corporate Welfare: Rethinking the Nation State in the Global Economy.
  135. (2005). Public Spending’ The Institute for Fiscal Studies
  136. (2004). Reform Strategies For The English NHS’, doi
  137. (1993). Remote Collaboration Among Students Using Electronic Mail’, doi
  138. (1998). Restructuring employment relations in the New Zealand public sector” Paper presented at the 11th World Congress of Industrial Relations,
  139. (1997). Safety First: the Making of New Labour, London: Granta Books Anderson R.,
  140. (1993). Schooling', in doi
  141. (1999). Schools in crisis, part 3: How a Tory political coup bred educational disaster, Guardian Unlimited Archive [web 24/4/2005 14:34] http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0 Dearing Report
  142. (1999). Schools making a difference: Let’s be realistic! Buckingham:
  143. (2001). Schools: Building for Business.
  144. (2000). Schools: Profits for the Taking’, Labour Research August:
  145. (2001). Securing Our Future Health: Taking a Long-Term View: Interim Report, London, HM Treasury Wanless D.,
  146. (1994). Shared mental models: Ideologies and institutions, doi
  147. (2007). Sir Gerry Robinson: How I would fix the NHS’ [web 10/2/2007 14:55] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/06/ngerry06.xml
  148. (1942). Social Insurance and Allied Services. doi
  149. (1994). Social Justice: Strategy for National Renewal, London: Vintage/IPPR Congdon, T.
  150. (1998). Social security: Dismantling the pyramids”
  151. (1987). Some New Standards for the Economics of Standardization in the Information Age’, doi
  152. (1993). Specialisation and choice in urban education: the city technology college experiment’,
  153. (1985). State structures and the possibilities for "Keynesian" responses to the Great Depression in Sweden, Britain and the United States, doi
  154. (1992). Strategy for Health in England’ Cm
  155. (2003). Tackling health inequalities since the Acheson inquiry. doi
  156. (2001). Taking Education Really Seriously, London, Routledge, Falmer Finch, J
  157. (1990). Thatcherism and British politics: The end of consensus, doi
  158. (2000). The “Third Way” to widening participation and maintaining quality in higher education’,
  159. (1985). The Care Gap’, Local Government Information Service,
  160. (1998). The Concise New Labour Speak’,
  161. (1994). The creeping privatisation of NHS prescribing’ [web 9/8/2006 16:23] http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/309/6955/623 doi
  162. (1993). The Downing Street Years’, New York: Harper Collins,
  163. (2001). The Evolving Accidental Information Super Highway’, doi
  164. (2002). The explanatory power of historical institutionalism, in: R. Mayntz (Ed.), Akteure -Mechanismen - Modelle: Zur Theoriefähigkeit makro-sozialer Analysen (pp. 91-107), Frankfurt a. doi
  165. (2004). The Future of the PPPs’ Speech to the PPP Forum Conference Birmingham,
  166. (1979). The government’s expenditure plans 1979/80 to 1982/83, Cmnd 7439,
  167. (1979). The Government’s Expenditure Plans 1980-81, Cmnd 7746.
  168. (1998). The impermanence of New Labour'
  169. (1971). The Inverse Car Law’, The Lancet 27 February, pp 405-12 Twigg D., (2006:113W) ‘Student Sponsorship Defence’
  170. (2002). The Labour Government and the National Health Service’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, doi
  171. (2004). The Learning Game: Arguments for an Education Revolution’,
  172. (1988). The myth of consensus’, doi
  173. (1999). The New Democrats and the battle for the suburbs',
  174. (2001). The new nature of history: knowledge, evidence, language,
  175. (1998). The New Politics of Welfare. London: Sage Katori, doi
  176. (1997). The NHS: Modern and Dependable’ HMSO London Department of Health
  177. (1999). The NHS: quasi-market, quasi-hierarchy and quasinetwork, doi
  178. (1996). The path to European integration: A historical institutionalist analysis, doi
  179. (2000). The political arithmetic tradition in the sociology of education', doi
  180. (1999). The political economy of New Labour: Labouring under false pretences, Manchester: doi
  181. (2001). The politics of economic adjustment in France and Britain: when does discourse matter?’, doi
  182. (2003). The Politics of Institutional Path-Departure : A Revised Analytical Framework for the Reform of Welfare States.” Working Paper no. 65. Mannheim: Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung.
  183. (2006). The politics of public expenditure from Thatcher to Blair’, doi
  184. (2000). The Prime Minister: The Office and Its Holders (London: Allen Lane,
  185. (2007). The Private Finance initiative and the Public Private Partnerships-guidance from the National Union of Teachers’. [web 24/2/2007 21:34] http://www.teachers.org.uk/resources/word/General_brief_PFI.doc Nutbeam
  186. (2004). The Privatization of Education-An Overview
  187. (1995). The quasi-market, the entrepreneur and the effectiveness of the NHS business manager, doi
  188. (2002). The Radical Left and Education Policy: Education for Economic and Social Justice, Education and Social Justice, doi
  189. (2003). The Third Way and its critics, Cambridge: Polity Giddens, A. (2003b) ‘The progressive agenda’, Introduction to seminar on progressive governance,
  190. (2000). The Third Way for Education: Privatization and Marketization’,
  191. (2001). The Third Way in Britain: New Labour’s neo-liberal education policy’ [web 2/12/2006 20:21] http://www.ieps.org.uk/ Hill, D
  192. (1998). The Unfinished Revolution, doi
  193. (1996). The Use of Electronic Mail in Undergraduate Teaching', doi
  194. (1996). The Use of the Self in Qualitative Research' in
  195. (2004). The work-centred welfare state’, in doi
  196. (2007). Tony Blair's Legacy: The View From Europe's Contintental Capitals,
  197. (2006). Too many graduates, too many universities?’ The Scotsman Newspaper [web 3/12/2006
  198. (1998). Total Purchasing: A Step Towards Primary Care Groups’. London: Kings Fund
  199. (2005). UK higher education policy and the ‘global Third Way’ Policy & Politics vol 33 no 4:637–55, The Policy Press, doi
  200. (1980). United Kingdom National Accounts: The Blue Book, London: HMSO Central Statistical Office (CSO)
  201. (2002). Veen (eds.) Combating social exclusion: laisser faire, authoritarianism or third way?
  202. (2003). We have to redefine centre-left politics’,
  203. (2001). Welfare reform in the UK: the construction of a liberal consensus’, doi
  204. (2004). Welfare Regimes and the Third Sector: Rendering Path Dependency Contingent? Paper presented the 6th International Conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research, “Contesting Citizenship and Civil Society in a Divided World,” Toronto,
  205. (2001). Welfare state regimes and industrial relations systems: the questionable role of path dependency theory.”
  206. (1997). What happens when the private sector plans hospital services for the NHS: three case studies under the private finance initiative, doi
  207. (1997). What really happened on May 1 st 1997?” [web 8/8/2003 12:46] http://www.bbc.co.uk/politics97/analysis/kellner.shtml Kerka, S.
  208. (1999). Women, Social Security and the New Labour Government, Belfast: Equal Opportunities Commission for
  209. (1999). Women’s Collective Agency, Power Resources, and the Framing of Citizenship Rights.” In Michael Hanagan and Charles Tilly (eds) Extending Citizenship, Reconfiguring States. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.