Critics invariably argue that ‘New’ Labour is uniquely obsessed with what they term ‘control freakery’. Echoing this charge, Peter Mair has asserted that the Labour leader seeks ‘a degree of control within his own party without precedent in modern British political history’. According to Mair, Blair wants to create a party which articulates only one voice: his own (Mair, 2000, 21). Thus, where once power was dispersed between members, trade unions and the Westminster leadership, it now only resides in the leader’s hands. In effect ‘New’ Labour is run by a handful of professionals based in London who owe loyalty to Blair rather than the party. Labour cannot now claim with any degree of seriousness to be a democratic organization: it is quite literally Blair’s party.
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