New Labour, Old Labour: The Wilson and Callaghan Governments by Anthony Seldon, Kevin Hickson

By Anthony Seldon, Kevin Hickson

We're consistently advised that New Labour types an ancient departure from the traditions of the Labour occasion. This booklet, written by means of a individual number of teachers and commentators, presents the main designated comparability but of outdated and new Labour in energy. it's also the 1st to supply a complete research of the final Labour executive prior to the increase of Thatcher and the re-emergence of the Labour get together lower than Tony Blair's management. It unearths a lot in regards to the background of the Labour occasion in addition to supplying a much-needed context from which to pass judgement on the present executive.

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Extra resources for New Labour, Old Labour: The Wilson and Callaghan Governments 1974-1979

Sample text

Think nationally,’ Heath had exhorted the unions when trying to persuade them to accept his incomes policy, ‘think of the nation as a whole. ’33 Such an exhortation which, during the time of Churchill or Attlee, would have been received with respect, elicited little more than a belly-laugh in the conditions of 1973–4. Labour believed that its links with the unions and its socialist ethic would yield a more positive response. Under a government which emphasised principles of fairness, the national interest would receive more of a hearing, and trade unionists would become more responsible in their wage claims.

Governments using Keynesian techniques could pursue macro-economic policies that would serve the public interest and which in turn would be shaped by political values. In the view of the revisionists, therefore, Keynesian techniques would allow steady growth to be achieved, the fiscal dividends of which could be invested in the public services and the social security system with the aim of creating a more equal society by – as was said earlier – improving the relative position of the worst off while maintaining the absolute position of the better off.

First of all, as Socialism Now makes clear, he does endorse Rawls’ approach, and the principle of equal basic liberty is the first of Rawls’ lexically ordered principles; second, as he pointed out in The Future of Socialism, in his mind there was no dispute between the main parties in British politics about the importance of personal liberty and therefore it seemed to him to be rather redundant to dwell on it. This is a rather poor argument since part of the onslaught of the economic liberals on the social democratic state is in terms of personal freedom.

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