British Politics

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 367–384

At ideological loggerheads? Identifying and clarifying the discursive differences between Blair and Brown on education

  • Caroline Kenny
Forward Thinking


The differences that existed between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were a constant source of interest to journalists, biographers and commentators alike throughout New Labour's time in office. Reviewing the literature on the ideological differences between Blair and Brown reveals that, in general, authors tend to support their arguments with isolated quotes from biographies or single speeches. This article addresses the lack of evidence within the current literature on the ideological differences between Blair and Brown, and presents some findings from an extensive analysis of New Labour's speeches in order to investigate the extent to which there were ideological differences between the two figures. Focusing on the policy area of education, the article shows that by undertaking a systematic analysis of Blair's and Brown's speeches, we can not only identify the ideas that each hold about education, but also how such ideas changed over the period. In so doing, we can begin to understand the particular ideologies that underpinned their approaches to this area.


Blair Brown New Labour ideology discourse 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Kenny
    • 1
  1. 1.Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating (EPPI-) Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of LondonLondonUK

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