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Durham University News



Conference is key to determining Brown’s fate, says expert

(19 September 2008)

Dr Lawrence Black

Gordon Brown’s premiership and Labour’s public image will be key issues at the Labour Party Conference, says a political expert.

Dr Lawrence Black, a British Politics expert at Durham University, also says the Party Conference in Manchester could mark the end of the ‘New Labour” era as the global economy experiences major problems. The Conference runs from Saturday September 20 until Wednesday September 24 2008.

Dr Black commented: “This year’s Labour Party conference will doubtless be seen as key to determining to the fate of Gordon Brown's premiership, the prospects for his successors - but who would want to take over now? - and for the UK before the next election.

“Whether the party can revive both its public image and its local activists in the face of a resurgent Tory party remain doubtful after the local election meltdown earlier in 2008.

“But more fundamental issues are also at stake. This could mark the end of the 'New Labour' era, as the global economy in which it has placed such faith, shudders.

“Demands for less dependence on the free market economy are bound to be heard, not least from the trade unionists suffering at its sharp end and whose funding now supports a political party itself facing a credit crunch.

“Brown and Blair's project faces a prospect faced by previous Labour administrations (in 1931 and 1976) of being immobilized by the international markets. Will the 'third way' end in history repeating itself?”

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