Book Launch: The Blair Supremacy

An array of speakers has been lined up for the Leeds launch of Lewis Minkin’s new book The Blair Supremacy on Friday 4 March, including the author himself.

Blair Supremacy coverMinkin’s latest study of the Labour Party investigates “the processes, methods, character and politics of party management” during the Blair years, when the leader “drove the party through a ferment of new developments under the name ‘New Labour’”.

Minkin’s previous books include two widely acclaimed and original studies on the Labour Party – The Labour Party Conference and The Contentious Alliance: Trade unions and the Labour Party.

According to the publishers, Manchester University Press, his new book is “revealing and at times startling”, uncovering “an extensive covert internal organisation, a culture which facilitated manipulation and what can be described as a rolling coup”.

“These developments,” say the publishers, “are rigorously and critically examined with a strong focus on three fundamental questions: How were these changes achieved? Was it, as it was often represented, a complete supremacy? Why did it end so badly with Blair being forced, in effect, to step down?”

The book launch, at Seven Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton, features Minkin himself, visiting Honorary Professor in the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds, plus contributions from:

Hugo Radice: Life Fellow at School of Politics and International Studies, Leeds University, Dales branch Labour Party secretary, Richmond CLP

Sheila Banks: Public and Commercial Services union, director of Leeds Credit Union, former President of Leeds Trades Council


Barry Winter: ILP, Leeds Taking Soundings and Hannah Mitchell Foundation


Sarah Perrigo: former lecturer in Peace Studies, special interest in international human rights and gender politics

Liz Minkin: political activist and musician, former Leeds city councillor

Michael McGowan: former Labour MEP for Leeds and President of the Development Committee of the European Parliament.

What: Book launch, The Blair Supremacy: A study in the politics of Labour Party management
Where: Seven Arts Centre, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7
When: 7pm, Friday 4 March 2016
Who: Lewis Minkin and others.


For further information about the event contact Michael McGowan: tel: 0113 2621654 or email:

The Blair Supremacy: A study in the politics of Labour’s party management, by Lewis Minkin, is published by Manchester University Press. Priced £26.99 paperback. Click here for more information or to buy the book.

1 Comment

  1. Ernie Jacques
    15 February 2016

    This book seems likely to blow the lid on machine politics and the Blairite takeover of the Labour Party with its free market and anti-socialist agenda changing the focus of a nominally social democratic party and turning its MPs into career-driven, business-friendly cheerleaders.

    It was a party prepared to continue the Thatcherite agenda of slimming down the welfare state and shifting public services and living wage jobs into the private sector, where minimum wages, zero hours and precarious contracts proliferate; a Labour Party that helped reshape a world of work where gross exploitation and an un-living wage for millions is now the norm, and where billions (if not trillions) of pounds was shifted from the poor to the rich and from the public to the private.

    This is an agenda that Gordon Brown, with the support of many of today’s shadow cabinet and career-driven MPs continued via light touch regulation, PFI, public–private partnerships, qualitative easing, and worship of big money politics and lobbying, who see nothing wrong in turning public services and taxpayers’ money into corporate income streams.

    But of course many old ILPers, Labour Party members and trade unionists knew all this at the start of Blair’s political revolution and were highly critical of a party machine controlled at different times and places by Party luminaries like Peter Mandelson and by trade union barons, aka the Falkirk debacle. It was a system that rewarded compliance and labelled and punished those who favoured a one-member-one-vote democracy and who championed traditional labour values – except that in Falkirk it proved to be a house-of-cards which neither side won and which is likely to be an SNP stronghold for years to come. So, like it or not, the good people of Falkirk choose a mildly social democratic nationalist party over a neoliberal Labour Party.

    And its anyone’s guess whether Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party will survive its present civil war with its rebellious Westminster MPs who, apparently, want to turn the clock back.

    I look forward to attending the book launch and to reading Lewis Minkin’s take on the Blair years and the Stalinisation of a Labour Party.

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