Skip to main content
Default Image

The ‘third way’ may have worked for New Labour, but it is impossible now

Fighting for a new systemic vision

In moments of defeat, there is a tendency to look back at what has worked in the past and assume it could be repeated again in the future. The third-way approach of New Labour under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown was a political and economic strategy that brought remarkable electoral success over 20 years ago. It rested on a strategy of “triangulation” – the deliberate distancing of centre-left parties from their leftwing base and politics, and the creation of a new centrist synthesis of left and right that sought to transcend both categories. But far from representing the immutable truths of some enduring strategic playbook, the third way was peculiar to a particular moment in history, and it is fundamentally ill-suited to the world of the 2020s.

Publication date: 2021-05-13
Publisher location: London
Parent publication: The Guardian
Publication URL:

More related work

Default Image

Preston is putting socialist policies into practice

Labor movements must pursue a social and economic vision that can address the deep structural inequalities these pandemic years have exposed. Preston gives a glimpse of the exciting possibilities that collaboration with unions could achieve.

read more
Medicine Cost

Americans deserve publicly owned generic drugs

Bold policies could have saved America’s largest generic drug plant, but it’s never too late to start putting communities first.

read more
Illustration courtesy of United Nations

All health is public health: Busting the myths of choice and commodity

For decades, we have been sold a myth of private health. It is a myth that our health is largely a product of individual choices and personal responsibilities. It is a myth that our healthcare is a service that private corporations can provide, and for which we must pay to survive. But the COVID-19

read more