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Labours Old and NewThe Parliamentary Right of the British Labour Party 1970-79 and the Roots of New Labour$
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Stephen Meredith

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073229

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073229.001.0001

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The parliamentary Labour right: views and perspectives

The parliamentary Labour right: views and perspectives

(p.25) 2 The parliamentary Labour right: views and perspectives
Labours Old and New

Stephen Meredith

Manchester University Press

This chapter presents a broad appraisal of the philosophy, ideas, traditions and dimensions of the parliamentary Labour right. Tony Crosland's major work, The Future of Socialism, offered a political analysis and strategy and central revisionist framework around which broadly similar intellectual dispositions might coalesce. Labour Party revisionism of the mid-1950s was not without its own complexities and internal differences. ‘Consolidators’ were less identifiable and cohesive as a tendency of the parliamentary Labour right than revisionists. The basic orthodox distinction of ‘revisionists’ and ‘consolidators’ is not without its limitations. It also suggests an overly instrumental link between ‘the ideologies and the interests of the various components of a party’. The political environment of the 1970s and the selected case studies provide an apposite opportunity to consider the explanatory limitations of conventional fixed conceptions of Labour's intra-party dimensions and divisions, and the character of the parliamentary Labour right.

Keywords:   parliamentary Labour right, Tony Crosland, The Future of Socialism, Labour Party revisionism, revisionists, consolidators

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