John Kay describes Gordon Brown as a “redistributive market liberal, holding, like other adherents of Blair’s ‘Third Way’, that
…[t]he economic role of government should be limited and confined to a short list of issues described as market failures. Redistributive market liberals believe, however, in a big role for the state in reviewing the distribution and redistribution of income.
The Third Way was a refuge, Kay says, of “socialists mugged by [the] reality…” of socialism’s failures. But it is now, he argues, in just as much trouble as market fundamentalism was after the excesses of the late 1980s.
“The crisis of 2007-08 revealed starkly the limits of redistributive market liberalism. The range of market failures was a good deal wider than the limited list defined by market fundamentalists would allow. Both socialists and social democrats have re-emerged from the shadows. For socialists the crisis renewed hopes that Marx’s promise of the collapse of capitalism under the weight of its own internal contradictions would finally be fulfilled. For social democrats, forever in Utopian search of stability and harmony, salvation lay in the creation of a new global financial order, although no one seems to have much specific idea of the nature of that global financial order.” Extract from The Financial Times