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Keywords:

  • New Labour;
  • inequality;
  • poverty;
  • social mobility;
  • equal opportunity

In its first years in office, the Labour Government set out a wide-ranging and ambitious set of policies aimed at reducing poverty, inequality and social exclusion. A decade on, with the party facing probable catastrophic defeat in the next general election, how far can these ambitions be said to have been met? This article summarises the evidence. It also examines the most recent government White Paper on social mobility, New Opportunities: Fair Chances for the Future, published in January 2009, and asks whether this paper represents a serious last attempt to renew the equal opportunities agenda.