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The Labour governments, 1964-1970 by Peter Dorey

By Peter Dorey

Peter Dorey right here offers the main finished, in-depth and unique publication of the 1964-1970 labour governments released to date.

This designated account examines a variety of political concerns and makes huge use of fundamental assets lately published via the general public documents place of work, together with formerly unpublished cupboard papers, ministerial correspondence, ministers' inner most papers and interviews with former ministers.

Peter Dorey analyzes the regulations and intra-party debates of the period and the issues which ministers confronted within the context of either exterior occasions, and the starting to be unrest among labour backbenchers.

Providing a scientific research of this key interval in sleek British historical past, contributions span financial guidelines, international affairs, social reform, liberalism, constitutional reform and territorial administration, hence making sure that this article is vital interpreting for researchers and scholars of politics and government.

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Clearly, there was just cause for celebration – this was the first outright victory for a ‘party of the left’ in peacetime since 1906 – but there were also good reasons for not reading too much into the result. 1 per cent was the lowest share of any majority government for forty years. What ultimately explained the Labour victory was a rise in Liberal support and a steep fall in the Conservative vote. In addition, certain regions of the country – for example, the West Midlands, where Labour suffered from accusations of being ‘soft’ on immigration – had remained strikingly loyal to the Conservative cause.

Abrams and Rose, 1960). One of the key findings was that Labour Party supporters see the Conservatives as exercising a much greater attraction for ambitious people, middle class people, young people, office workers, and scientists. . The image of the Labour Party, held by both its supporters and its non-supporters, is one which is increasingly obsolete in terms of contemporary Britain. (Abrams and Rose, 1960, quoted in Butler and King, 1965: 66) Social background of Labour MPs 25 The message was clear: the Labour Party needed to modernise not only its policies, but its personnel too.

Many on the revisionist wing of the party shared the Macmillan Government’s view that British economic interests could only be secured in the long term by closer integration with continental Europe. Yet this view was far from universal in Labour ranks. The left tended to view the Common Market as a suspect capitalist enterprise, whilst many others disputed the likely economic benefits of membership and/or were worried about the possible undermining of national sovereignty. Gaitskell’s attitude was influenced by his belief that British membership would irrevocably undermine traditional ties with the Commonwealth and North America.

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