Week 4: Analysis

This is the week where my analysis begins before moving onto writing up my conclusions next week.

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Day 1:

Today was about tying up any lose ends that I had from Week 3 after a short break. I started the week by concluding all the thoughts I had had about the secondary literature I have engaged with- my favourite being The Labour Party under Ed Miliband by Eunice Goes.

Goes was able to understand and assess the way Miliband tried (and arguably failed) to take the party forward towards a ‘One Nation’ Labour Party. This is a complex idea due to the usual nature of one nation political thought but Goes explained clearly the link between Blue Labour and Miliband’s own brand of Labour. Another text I have been getting to grips with is Manwaring’s work on the Politics of Social Democracy. While this is not directly linked to the UK and the British Labour Party, it has some interesting thoughts on ideological changes and shifts within the Left wing, particularly in consideration of Corbyn.

Day 2:

After reading the secondary literature, today I was able to create and devised my own discourse in the manner of Levitas. After reading around the subject of Miliband, Corbyn and Starmer, I have decided to attempt to identify a localist discourse within my work.

 The papers I have read and focused on have all mentioned a Party focus on decentralisation of power, moving wealth and resources from a centralised authority and over to the local authorities or smaller divisions which have more autonomy- a key example of this being regional devolution, most notably in Scotland and Wales. I have created a description of this discourse which has been incorporated into the discourse analysis scheme which I created.

Day 3:

This day was about preparing for tomorrow when I get started into the three/four days of analysis I am about to start. I finished the last details on my analysis scheme and planned the next few days. Tomorrow I start looking at Ed Miliband and the discourse speeches made under his leadership.

Day 4:

Today I started my discourse analysis, beginning with the conference speeches of Ed Miliband when he was leader of the Labour Party. It started as quite a complex challenge as I had never done it on that scale before, however after a while I got into the pattern of it.

One challenge I am finding is that the majority of the leaders speech is not aligned to a particular discourse which may be making my statistics look low and like I have not coded most of the work. However, I think this will change when I begin to look at minister specific speeches who are focused on welfare and social policy.


Day 5:

I was able to analyse the speeches of former DWP ministers today and I am now much more confident with my work and coding analysis. I plan to finish this over the weekend and do my write up of Ed Miliband’s time over the bank holiday if possible.

Hannah Boyle

Undergraduate Student, University of York

I am a 2021 Laidlaw Scholar from the University of York, focusing my research on the question:  How was the U.K. Labour Party changed their discourse and proposed to challenge domestic poverty and inequality since 2010?

I have been involved in Politics at a local, grassroots level, including community campaigning, and previously worked for Rachel Reeves MP in her constituency office. As a Politics student, I am interested in all things political and anything related to International Relations, with particular interest on the European Union, Women in Politics and International Development.