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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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A prelude to secession? The parliamentary Labour right and Europe

A prelude to secession? The parliamentary Labour right and Europe

(p.71) 4 A prelude to secession? The parliamentary Labour right and Europe
Labours Old and New

Stephen Meredith

Manchester University Press

This chapter investigates the differential attitudes and perspectives of European integration on the parliamentary Labour right, and the fault lines and divisions contained therein. Labour Party divisions over Europe were the antithesis of contemporary debates over defence. Hugh Gaitskell's verdict on the Common Market exposed a serious political fissure of Labour Party Revisionism. The Common Market debate and vote of October 1971 served to consolidate the increasing political distance between Roy Jenkins and Tony Crosland. Gaitskell could unite the party in opposition, after the earlier battles over Clause IV and unilateralism. He found that his career reached its height in the weeks after Labour's 1962 Brighton Conference. The cumulative effect of parliamentary Labour right and revisionist divisions in a number of critical policy spheres was conducive to a longer gestation period for the creation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Keywords:   parliamentary Labour right, European integration, Labour Party Revisionism, Europe, Hugh Gaitskell, Common Market, Roy Jenkins, Tony Crosland, revisionist divisions, Social Democratic Party

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