The Promise of the Third Way: Globalization and Social Justice

By Otto Newman | Go to book overview
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6
Third Way Critique
Briefly to recapitulate. In the words of Tony Blair, its founder, (following a visit to the apparently keenly interested South African President, Thabo Mbeki), the Third Way rests on three major assumptions:
Firstly the economy rejecting the Old Left's belief in a trade-off between growth and inflation, and the Old Right's throwing people at the mercy of change. Instead, we will found growth on fiscal and financial prudence, sort out the public finances, create a new role for government in education, and with small business as an enabler of economic success, establish a tax regime that stimulates hard work and rewards effort.
Secondly, a modern society which embraces opportunity and responsibility, and combines rights with duties. So we've cut youth unemployment by more than 30 per cent and reformed taxes and benefits, and we're bringing in the working families tax credit to help people who are disadvantaged. But we're also reforming welfare, tackling crime and reshaping the youth justice system. People believe in a strong society. But they want strong rules, too.
And thirdly, freedom and liberty. A broader idea of freedom than that of the Old Right: a freedom to do things, as well as a freedom from things. Freedom to have better housing and to be able to get a job; freedom enshrined in the rules of law, in a free press, in a modern constitution ( Blair, 1999).

In short, a new radical centre, characterized by a unifying ideology of efficiency, common sense and goodwill, distancing none while basing itself on a philosophy of ‘what counts is what works’. To all intents and purposes, innocuous enough to offend none, yet since the day of

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