Remaking the Labour Party From Gaitskell to Blair
Remaking the Labour Party examines the development of revisionist thought in the Labour Party from the 1950s up to Tony Blair's successful attempt to rewrite Clause Four in April 1995. The main focus is upon the most distinctive and controversial aspect of Labour revisionism - its attitude toward public ownership and socialism, private ownership and the mixed economy.
Remaking the Labour Party comprises a detailed study of a process of ideological conflict which began with the Labour Party's debate in the 1950s over the link between public ownership and socialism. The deepening confrontation that arose from the revisionist thinking of Crosland and Gaitskell is explored in the Clause Four controversy of 1959-60 and in the uneasy compromise forged in its aftermath. The period of ideological truce under Harold Wilson's leadership is examined, together with the bitter conflict that later resurfaced in the party during the 1970s and early 80s. Finally, the study focuses on the second stage of Labour's policy and ideological rethinking which developed after 1983 under the leadership first of Neil Kinnock and then of Tony Blair.
Drwing on the author's own interviews with some of the leading protagonists of the debate, as well as upon a wide range of primary and secondary sources, Remaking the Labour Party will be of value to students of modern British politics and political thought, it will also be of interest to observers and members of the Labour Party.
'Dr Jones' book is a thorough and lucid account of the decades of repeated efforts to renew the Labour Party made by some who led it, some who loved it and some who did both ... It is a useful antidote to myths and - I hope - a final cure for the recurrent amnesia which made remaking necessary' - - Neil Kinnock