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Crossing the floorReg Prentice and the crisis of British social democracy$
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Geoff Horn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088698

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088698.001.0001

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Anti-party man

Anti-party man

(p.147) 8 Anti-party man
Crossing the floor

Geoff Horn

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers Prentice‘s ongoing fightback campaign against his deselection and his continued attempts to highlight the influence of the Left over party policy, reflected in Labour‘s Programme 1976. It also discusses his final attempts to influence events from inside the Government, including exploring the possibilities of a realignment of British politics through a national coalition government. But the realignment cause suffered as a result of the continued survival of the Government, renewed by the Callaghan premiership. Despite fundamental political divisions within the Party, exacerbated by the developing economic crisis, the skilful leadership of Callaghan ensured the avoidance of a 1931-style scenario. The IMF Crisis was negotiated without the creation of a national government or a split in the Labour Party. The continuation of the Labour Government led to Prentice‘s resignation from the Cabinet and his decision to campaign openly for a realignment of the party system.

Keywords:   Callaghan premiership, Labour‘s Programme 1976, 1931-style scenario, IMF Crisis, resignation

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