Does The Third Way constitute a departure from or a continuation of Thatcherism?

This question attempts to tackle the long contrived argument within many political ideological spheres about the true nature of 'The Third Way' currently illustrated within 'New Labour' elected into government in 1997. For a new ideology supposedly cultivated from the left of centre of the political spectrum, analysis of their beliefs and policies shows a surprising resemblance to that of Thatcherism. To formulate a theory of this continuation, rather then a move away from Thatcherism, first of all it is important to define both ideologies as a foundation to produce constructive similarities or differences for both regimes.

'The Third Way', similarly to Thatcherism, only came into existence actually during its political term once the Labour Party had obtained power after the landslide of 1997. Talk of a 'New Labour' which later developed into 'The Third Way' was originally believed a campaigning device to demonstrate to the sceptical electorate that the party bearing the name 'Labour' was different in every way to those who had previously failed in 1974-79.

Its central notion is the idea of producing what Bentley calls 'a middle pathway which is both radical and centrist at the same time' (Bentley:1999,75). This supposed 'pathway' was designed to lie between that of Thatcherism on the right and democratic socialism on the left which Driver labels as 'catchall' policies (Driver:2002,18). However, in reality, the 'Third Way' was criticised of producing no real distinctive approach, rather as Bentley illustrates, the former Labour Deputy Leader Roy Hattersley, 'they pursued a clearly identifiable Thatcherite agenda' (Bentley:1999,75).

This was followed up by a special edition of the journal 'Marxism Today' in October 1997 who claimed that, 'Blairism is nothing but Thatcherism by another name, the Labour government has abandoned social democracy and submitted to the forces of capitalism' (Bentley:1999,76) they later go on to say that Explain large amounts of similarities which going to explain in essay to answer question Although not directly evident even from these short insights into both political ideologies, it can be said that many of their core aspirations seem surprisingly similar.

This essay will not only attempt to identify such similarities, but come to a conclusion to whether the 'Third Way' is simply a continuation to the policies and theories of Thatcherism. LEADERSHIP (2)(650) One of the most memorable aspects today of Thatcherism, was its style of leadership. Margaret Thatcher not only created controversy through being the first and to date the only female British Prime Minister, to the end of her rein, her strict style of governance which #### called 'presidential' (#####) is said to have resulted in her downfall.

This resignation, well documented due to its causes by a revolt from within the Cabinet, seems in the public eye the lasting memory of a previously successful strong leader, who took decisions in a directly personal way. As a result, such a vote of no confidence not only within the party at the time, but within the electorates public opinion, has become the Conservatives party lasting visible scare.

However, this style of leadership within British politics did not step down with Thatcher in 1992 through Major as her replacement. Instead it brewed as a desirable controllable form of governance, to reappear with vengeance in the form of Tony Blair for the 'New' Labour Party in 1997. Relationship with cabinet Yet most writers would agree that Thatcher's personality and leadership style is a part of what is meant by 'Thatcherism' and such an evaluation has only been made post her being in power.

It would be difficult to make any assumptions at this stage as to whether or not 'Blair-ism' as Driver calls it within 'Blair's Britain' (Driver:2002,23) is just around the corner. However there are some intellectuals such as Gamble within 'British Politics in Focus', who although the factor of Thatcher's degree of influence, argue that 'Thatcherism cannot be reduced to the personal project of a single individual' (Bentley:1999,52)