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Nostalgia and the post-war Labour PartyPrisoners of the past$
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Richard Jobson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526113306

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526113306.001.0001

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Labour’s Alternative Economic Strategy, 1970–83

Labour’s Alternative Economic Strategy, 1970–83

(p.85) 3 Labour’s Alternative Economic Strategy, 1970–83
Nostalgia and the post-war Labour Party

Richard Jobson

Manchester University Press

The Labour Party’s Alternative Economic Strategy (AES) has typically been portrayed by both historians and political scientists as a modern and forward-looking strategy. In contrast, this article argues that there was a significant nostalgic dimension to the strategy. The AES, as advocated by important figures within Labour like Tony Benn, was understood by party members as a mechanism by which to preserve and restore the male-dominated traditional industries of the past. In turn, this historically orientated understanding shaped the programmatic commitments that were pursued by the party. Fighting the 1983 General Election on a political platform that was strongly influenced by nostalgia, Labour appeared out of touch with modern developments.

Keywords:   Labour, Nostalgia, Alternative Economic Strategy, Tony Benn, 1983 General Election

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