By 1996, the term stakeholding had become ubiquitous in political discourse but had a wide range of meanings as well as a general rhetorical use. The population at large were exhorted to become ‘stakeholders in the Millennium celebrations’.1 Even after Blair’s retreat, the term lingered in Labour Party literature, and in plans for stakeholder pensions. The Party’s General Secretary, Tom Sawyer, defended the constitutional changes at the 1997 Conference in terms of building a stakeholder party. The TUC produced a report on stake- holding at work. Others attacked stakeholding as corporatism under another name, or as pure managerial ideology. The Tory ideologue David Willetts declared it either a banal ‘cliché in corporate strategy’ or a ‘dangerous piece of industrial interventionism’.2 Ron Brown suggested that stakeholding meant tying the working class to the stake of big business,3 while Arthur Scargill reportedly said that there was only one thing to do with a stake, and that was to drive it through the heart of capitalism.
KeywordsSocial Policy Political Theory Political Discourse Corporate Strategy Labour Party
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