Labour Party and Constitutional Reform: A History of Constitutional Conservatism [NOOK Book]

Overview

Although New Labour has introduced many more constitutional reforms than Old Labour, this apparent radicalism has nonetheless been based on orthodox assumptions and objectives about the operation of Britain's political system. In this regard, New Labour has shared remarkable similarities with Old Labour. Both have largely opposed electoral reform for general elections due to a belief in strong, single-party government at Westminster. This, in turn, has ensured that senior Labour politicians have not wanted to ...
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Labour Party and Constitutional Reform: A History of Constitutional Conservatism

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Overview

Although New Labour has introduced many more constitutional reforms than Old Labour, this apparent radicalism has nonetheless been based on orthodox assumptions and objectives about the operation of Britain's political system. In this regard, New Labour has shared remarkable similarities with Old Labour. Both have largely opposed electoral reform for general elections due to a belief in strong, single-party government at Westminster. This, in turn, has ensured that senior Labour politicians have not wanted to reform Parliament in a manner which might increase the power of the House of Commons or the legitimacy of the House of Lords, because doing either would pose a threat to the authority of Labour governments. A similar top-down 'executive-minded' stance also underpinned their long-standing resistance to open government and freedom of information legislation. Meanwhile, devolution was historically resisted and only granted reluctantly and half-heartedly, and even then, only on the basis that it would strengthen the United Kingdom by weakening nationalist demands in Scotland and Wales. This book examines the nature and basis of Labour's constitutional conservatism, as well as the debates and disagreements within the Party which constitutional reform has variously prompted from 1906 to the present day.

About the Author:
Peter Dorey is Reader in British Politics at Cardiff University, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230253889
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 614 KB

Meet the Author

PETER DOREY is Reader in British Politics at Cardiff University, UK. He has published widely on various aspects of post-1945 British politics and public policy. His previous books include The Conservative Party and the Trade Unions, Policy Making in Britain: an Introduction, The Labour Governments, 1964-1970 and Wage Politics in Britain.

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Labour Party and Constitutional Reform 1

1 Electoral Reform 14

2 The House of Commons 49

3 The House of Lords 100

4 The Civil Service 141

5 Open Government 183

6 Scottish Devolution 203

7 Welsh Devolution 241

8 English Regionalism 281

9 Northern Ireland 312

Conclusion: A Century of Constitutional Conservatism 347

Bibliography 380

Index 396

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