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John Simkin

Tony Blair, the Education Bill and History

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Tony Blair was defeated for the first time last night. Political commentators are this morning suggesting that Labour Party MPs have tasted blood and are much more likely to rebel in the future.

The most likely rebellion is over the new Education Bill. It is universally disliked by the Labour Party as it is seen to be a complete reverse of its policy of comprehensive education. This is why when it was introduced in the House of Commons it was cheered by Tories and received in silence by the MPs on the Labour benches.

The only way Blair will get this bill pasted is with the support of the Tory Party. The same is also true with his policies on the new nuclear weapons programme, Health Service reforms and changes to disability allowances. If Blair goes ahead with this Thatcherite agenda, he will be repeating the mistake of Ramsay MacDonald in 1931. However, I don’t think it will have the same outcome. The Labour Party is far stronger today and the Tories far weaker, than they were in 1931. The interesting question is the role that Gordon Brown will play in all this. Will he be another Philip Snowden/Jimmy Thomas or Arthur Henderson/George Lansbury? If I was Brown I would take a close look at what happened to these individuals after 1931.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRmacdonald.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/REsnowden.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRlansbury.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUhenderson.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUthomas.htm

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Tony Blair was defeated for the first time last night. Political commentators are this morning suggesting that Labour Party MPs have tasted blood and are much more likely to rebel in the future.

The most likely rebellion is over the new Education Bill

Where can we find more details on this proposed legislation John?

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