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Active CitizenshipWhat Could it Achieve and How?$
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Bernard Crick and Andrew Lockyer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638666

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638666.001.0001

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Active Citizenship and Labour

Active Citizenship and Labour

(p.26) 2 Active Citizenship and Labour
Active Citizenship

David Blunkett

Matthew Taylor

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter places the Labour Party's citizenship policy in both its historical setting and the context of the reform of the public services embarked upon by the Labour government. It associates the collapse in levels of trust in politicians (encouraged by the press), which reached its nadir with the MP expenses scandal of 2009, together with the financial crisis, with the failings of ‘consumer democracy’. This can only be reversed by ‘a new way of doing politics’. What the chapter calls the ‘hierarchical, antagonistic, propagandist nature of party politics’ must be replaced by ‘a more honest, more engaging, more transformative politics (in order to make possible) a truly empowering and collaborative welfare state’. Noting that democracy cannot survive and society cannot be sustained without civil and civic engagement, the chapter argues that active citizenship is not merely a policy option, but ‘an essential part of revival and the glue which holds society together’.

Keywords:   Labour Party, citizenship policy, reform, public services, consumer democracy, party politics, welfare state, active citizenship, democracy, civic engagement

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