By Steven Fielding
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Additional info for The Labour Governments 1964-70, Volume 1: Labour and Cultural Change (The Labour Governments 1964 - 1970)
Bain and R. Price, ‘Union growth: dimensions, determinants and density’, in G. S. ), Industrial Relations in Britain (Oxford, 1983), pp. 5–11. 39 See, for example, R. Blackburn and A. Cockburn (eds), The Incompatibles: Trade Union Militancy and the Consensus (Harmondsworth, 1967). 40 C. Wrigley, ‘Trade unions, the government and the economy’, in T. Gourvish and A. O’Day (eds), Britain Since 1945 (1991), pp. 70–5; J. McIlroy and A. Campbell, ‘The high tide of trade unionism: mapping industrial politics, 1964–79’, in J.
These unprecedented parliamentary performances were, moreover, reflected in innumerable local government contests. By the end of the decade, nationalists appeared to constitute a serious political force. 120 It is hard to be sure how far these developments marked a fundamental shift in opinion or merely expressed passing discontent. While undoubtedly a mixture of both, the latter probably predominated, as only a minority of those voting nationalist in the late 1960s supported full independence.
As the leading left-wing MP Michael Foot wrote in 1966, Labour encompassed a ‘coalition of differing interests, ideas and aspirations’, embracing a ‘pale-Pink Right and a near-Red Left and all shades in between’. 135 Labour’s course in the late 1950s and early 1960s appeared to vindicate Foot’s assessment. 136 Despite this apparent indeterminacy, many authorities believe the key to Labour thinking was its association with the unions. 138 Many who originally established the party adhered to a moral vision, of which the improvement of workingclass living standards was but one element; and by 1918 a number of ‘New’ Liberals had joined Labour’s ranks.