Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

This article, selected by a teacher with suggested questions, is part of the Financial Times Free School Access Program. Details / registration here.


Background: what you need to know

This article takes as its starting point the recent award of a knighthood to the former Prime Minister of Labor, Tony Blair. He remains an extremely unpopular figure among many Labor activists, not only for his controversial role in the 2003 Iraq war, but also because he took the party in a legal direction.

However, as part of his effort to move Labor back to midfield after the Corbyn years, Keir Starmer indicated his approval for Blair as a pragmatic leader who had won three consecutive general elections. The article highlights ways in which Starmer has sought to change the party’s image, with his emphasis on patriotism and his projection of a serious, responsible style of leadership. It also refers to new initiatives in employment, housing and green policy.

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

Keir Starmer defends Tony Blair as Labor continues to move to center

Be sure to follow the link to ‘green policies’, which will take you to an informative article in the Guardian of last year’s Labor Conference.

Depending on the exam board you are following, answer one of the following questions.

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that the Labor Party can no longer be considered a ‘socialist’ party.

    You need to consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    CLUE: For the Edexcel question, it is important to be clear what you mean by ‘socialist’. How far have Labor’s policies on the key areas of the economy, welfare, foreign policy and law and order changed since Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership ended almost two years ago?

Graham Goodlad, St John’s College

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