Headlines: September 23rd, 1998

Tony Blair has defined what he means by the ‘Third Way’ – his model for the values on which public sector services should be based during his Government.He said: “The Third Way is the route to renewal and success for modern progressive politics. Neither old left nor new right, it takes the essential values of the centre and centre-left – underpinning what in Europe is called social democracy and in the USA the progressive tradition – and applies them to a world of fundamental social and economic change, free from outdated ideology.”

“New Labour has moved ahead to apply its values in a different way. Our work is at an early stage, and we are learning as we advance. But we are seeking to put the Third Way into practice.”

And he has begun to detail his view on what The Third Way means for public service: “The Third Way stands for democratic renewal and a restoration of faith in politics. New Labour has devolved power within the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland has an elected assembly; the first elections to a new Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly take place next year; and the election of a new Mayor of London is one of many steps to renew local government.

“We must reinvent government itself for the new age. Governments in the course of this century have been well-equipped to regulate money, send out benefit cheques, build houses, even fight wars and put men on the moon. Now they need to learn new skills: to work in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors; to share responsibility and answer to a much more demanding public; and to co-operate internationally in new ways.”

For a more details on The Third Way, view the full 3000 word pamphlet at: www.number-10.gov.uk/public/news/features