Labour's draft election manifestoBMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7049.68 (Published 13 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:68
- Rudolf Klein
- Professor of social policy Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY
A triumph of style over matter?
For those hoping that MrTony Blair's draft election manifesto1 would set out a blueprint for the future of the NHS, or indeed of Britain's welfare state, the document will prove a disappointment. It is visionary in style, but short of specific commitments. It is eloquent in its aspirations for a more cooperative, equitable society but parsimonious with the details about how to achieve it. In this, it reflects the Labour party's acceptance that idealism must be tempered by realism about the limited scope for manoeuvre that any future government will have, for both political expediency and economic necessity point to the same conclusion: any future government that deviates from the path of fiscal austerity—by raising taxation or increasing public spending—is likely to be punished both by Britain's voters and by global markets.
Central to Labour's draft manifesto therefore is the determination to lay the …