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Babylon

William Rodgers, 30 March 1989

European Diary 1977-1981 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 698 pp., £25, March 1989, 0 00 217976 8
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... Roy Jenkins rose from his chair and said: ‘Well, it’s all over, Callaghan is appointing Crosland.’ He nodded to a handwritten envelope addressed to the President of the French Republic. I knew that it contained a letter declaring his willingness to become President of the European community. We talked for a while, and I sadly conceded that my ...

Lord Vaizey sees the light

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 20 October 1983

In Breach of Promise 
by John Vaizey.
Weidenfeld, 150 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 297 78288 6
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... has no doubt at all. ‘They were the best.’ Hugh Gaitskell, Iain Macleod, Richard Titmuss, Anthony Crosland and Edward Boyle. They were all ‘clever, honest, admirable and honourable’. They were all, except Boyle, who was at school at the time, affected by the slump. They were all excited by the political changes and administrative advances of ...
The Socialist Agenda 
edited by David Lipsey.
Cape, 242 pp., £7.95, January 1981, 0 224 01886 8
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The Future of Socialism 
by Anthony Crosland.
Cape, 368 pp., £8.95, January 1981, 0 224 01888 4
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Politics is for people 
by Shirley Williams.
Allen Lane/Penguin, 230 pp., £8.50, April 1981, 0 7139 1423 8
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... are all, so to speak, born-again Labour revisionists – old disciples of Hugh Gaitskell and Tony Crosland, who have spent their political lives fighting the fundamentalists on the Labour Left. Painfully, reluctantly and at different speeds, we have all been forced to recognise that that battle cannot be won inside the Labour Party: that it was an illusion to ...

Über-Tony

Ben Pimlott: Anthony Crosland, 3 September 1998

Crosland’s Future: Opportunity and Outcome 
by David Reisman.
Macmillan, 237 pp., £47.50, October 1997, 0 333 65963 5
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... Why is Tony Crosland one of the few Old Labour heroes that nobody mocks? Keir Hardie, G.D.H. Cole, Stafford Cripps, Gaitskell, even Nye Bevan, have become the subject of New Labour locker-room ribaldry. Yet to describe yourself as a ‘Crosland socialist’ still carries meaning ...

Initiatives

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 15 November 1984

Social Scientist as Innovator 
by Michael Young.
Abt Books, 265 pp., $28, April 1984, 0 89011 593 1
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Revolution from Within: Co-operatives and Co-operation in British Industry 
by Michael Young and Marianne Rigge.
Weidenfeld, 188 pp., £12.95, July 1983, 0 297 78234 7
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Dilemmas of Liberal Democracies: Studies in Fred Hirsch’s ‘Social Limits to Growth’ 
edited by Adrian Ellis and Krishan Kumar.
Tavistock, 212 pp., £12.95, September 1983, 0 422 78460 5
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... college in 1981. There is the frequently flaunted economic fact that there is no future in Anthony Crosland’s sort of socialism because there is no firm future for the growth which – although less unequivocally than subsequent commentators have assumed – Crosland supposed adequate public spending to ...

Tony and Caroline

Ben Pimlott, 26 November 1987

Out of the Wilderness: Diaries 1963-67 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 592 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 09 170660 2
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... of the mid-Sixties. In those days socialism did not feature – even in the rhetoric. True, Anthony Crosland, Benn’s mentor and former tutor, had used the word in the title of a famous book in 1956. By the time this section of diary opens, however, it had gone right out of vogue. In the run-up to its most important postwar election ...

So far, so-so

Peter Clarke, 6 June 1996

One Hundred Years of Socialism 
by Donald Sassoon.
Tauris, 965 pp., £35, April 1996, 9781850438793
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... was no longer possible.’ The future of socialism – to use the phrase in which Crosland encapsulated the agenda forty years ago – thus remains essentially bound up with the future of capitalism. They are twins, often quarrelling but ultimately indispensable to each other: each shaped to an extent they are reluctant to acknowledge by their ...

My Millbank

Seumas Milne, 18 April 1996

The Blair Revolution: Can New Labour Deliver? 
by Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle.
Faber, 274 pp., £7.99, February 1996, 0 571 17818 9
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... one Labour MP says gleefully. ‘It is a work of utter risibility. Mandelson wanted to be the new Anthony Crosland and has instead become a figure of ridicule.’ This is to underestimate not so much the literary merit, but the political seriousness of the New Labour ‘project’ delineated in the book. Despite the last-minute filleting of the text by ...

Harold, row the boat aground

Paul Foot, 20 November 1986

Memoirs 1916-1964: The Making of a Prime Minister 
by Harold Wilson.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 214 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 7181 2775 7
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... At least thinkers like John Strachey tried to grapple with political theory, however, Anthony Crosland, whose The Future of Socialism came out in the same year, 1956, as Strachey’s Contemporary Capitalism and argued very much the same thing, took issue with Karl Marx. But he was quick to denounce those who wrote Marx off. ‘The man was a ...

Pareto and Elitism

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 3 July 1980

The Other Pareto 
edited by Placido Bucolo.
Scolar, 308 pp., £15, April 1980, 0 85967 516 5
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Elitism 
by G. Lowell Field and John Higley.
Routledge, 135 pp., £6.95, May 1980, 0 7100 0487 7
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Elites in Australia 
by John Higley and Don Smart.
Routledge, 317 pp., £9.50, July 1979, 9780710002228
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... Social Democratic Party in 1875, and like others who would not overtly align themselves with him (Anthony Benn once told an audience of Yorkshire miners that English socialists didn’t get their ideas from ‘old German books’), have equally few. The difficulty is that both exist, that neither can be said to be very exact about the possible institutional ...

In Praise of Middle Government

Ian Gilmour, 12 July 1990

Liberalisms. Essays in Political Philosophy 
by John Gray.
Routledge, 273 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 415 00744 5
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The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on Education 
edited by Timothy Fuller.
Yale, 169 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04344 9
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The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott 
by Paul Franco.
Yale, 277 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04686 3
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Conservatism 
by Ted Honderich.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £16.99, June 1990, 0 241 12999 0
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... Brown. Much the same happens with work by non-politicians. Two very good non-extremist studies, Anthony Quinton’s The Politics of Imperfection and Noel O’Sullivan’s Conservatism, appear, but they are almost alone. Norton and Aughey’s Conservatives and Conservatism is well beyond Honderich’s ken. Even Lord Coleraine’s right-wing For Conservatives ...

Utopia Limited

David Cannadine, 15 July 1982

Fabianism and Culture: A Study in British Socialism and the Arts, 1884-1918 
by Ian Britain.
Cambridge, 344 pp., £19.50, June 1982, 0 521 23563 4
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The Elmhirsts of Dartington: The Creation of an Utopian Community 
by Michael Young.
Routledge, 381 pp., £15, June 1982, 9780710090515
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... the biggest prig of all. When trying to adapt socialism to the affluent society of the late 1950s, Anthony Crosland had little time for this puritanical earnestness: ‘Total abstinence,’ he observed, ‘and a good filing system are not now the right signposts to the socialist Utopia.’ In at least two ways, however, ...

Permissiveness

Paul Addison, 23 January 1986

The Writing on the wall: Britain in the Seventies 
by Phillip Whitehead.
Joseph, 438 pp., £14.95, November 1985, 0 7181 2471 5
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... curbing the social services, and controlling the trade unions, fell to Wilson and Callaghan. Anthony Crosland, the leading theorist of social democracy, served notice of a new order: ‘The party’s over.’ The headlines since then have been a record of almost unrelieved bad news for Labour. The destruction by Harold Wilson of Tony Benn’s ...

Citizens

David Marquand, 20 December 1990

Citizenship and Community: Civic Republicanism and the Modern World 
by Adrian Oldfield.
Routledge, 196 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 415 04875 3
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Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation 
by Jonathan Boswell.
Routledge, 226 pp., £30, October 1990, 0 415 05556 3
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Encouraging citizenship: Report of the Commission on Citizenship 
HMSO, 129 pp., £8, September 1990, 0 11 701464 8Show More
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... of the post-war mixed economy: from the system anatomised by Andrew Shonfield, celebrated by Anthony Crosland and managed, with diminishing success, by the governments of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. For that system never got beyond ‘belligerent co-existence’. A jealous political class, imbued with the preconceptions of parliamentary ...

Pop your own abscess

Rory Scothorne: Definitions of Poverty, 22 February 2018

The New Poverty 
by Stephen Armstrong.
Verso, 242 pp., £12.99, October 2017, 978 1 78663 463 4
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Poverty Safari 
by Darren McGarvey.
Luath, 244 pp., £7.99, November 2017, 978 1 912147 03 8
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... as an unjustifiable absence, of spiritual and aesthetic as well as material resources. In 1956, Anthony Crosland called for socialism with ‘more open-air cafes’ and ‘better designed telephone kiosks’ at its heart; Fully Automated Luxury Communism, which promises universal abundance and leisure, enabled by an army of robot labourers under human ...

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