Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

That Option No Longer Exists

There are many myths that the beneficiaries of neo-liberal capitalism like to peddle about the Thatcher years. The most frequent is that economic growth was much better under Thatcher and she enabled the UK to ‘catch up’ with other capitalist economies. However, it is time to look afresh at the 1970s. Lee Humphries writes.

It was not a grey decade of decline, defeat and power blackouts. Bursting with cultural experimentation, sexual liberation and industrial militancy, the 1970s saw the ruling elites of Britain challenged at every level, most especially by a Labour left, led by Tony Benn, which aimed to effect a ‘fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of wealth and power in favour of working people’.

That Option No Longer Exists reveals a hidden history: how Benn and the left tried to reform British industry, to introduce democracy in the workplace and overturn the power of finance; and how Whitehall, the security services and the City fought back, paving the way for Thatcher to re-establish the rule of money and the markets.

Britain almost took a different path in 1974-76 to that of massive wealth inequality, the dominance of the City, and the slow death of the welfare state. This is the story of a struggle within government almost forgotten – and of a tragic turning point in British history.

Book reading of ‘That Option No Longer Exists’ with John Medhurst. 6pm Wednesday 14 March. Printed Matter Bookshop, 185 Queens Road, Hastings, TN34 1RG. Tickets £2.

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Posted 11:42 Thursday, Feb 1, 2018 In: Literature


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  1. David Stevenson

    Ms. Doubtfire, the answer is he doesn’t fit in with this. Tony Blair is not a socialist and he doesn’t pretend to be. He infiltrated the Labour Party for his own ego and benefit, rebranding the party as “New Labour”. True, he did make a fortune but he is not the only one. There is no such thing as a poor politician. David Cameron converted the House of Commons into a social club for the ideal rich. Between them they have dragged down the standards in Government and now it is impossible to believe anything an MP says.

    Comment by David Stevenson — Thursday, Feb 8, 2018 @ 19:14

  2. Ms.Doubtfire

    Where does Tony Blair fit in with this then? Made a fortune – one of the richest ex politicians in this country – is this a case of double standards or what???

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Feb 1, 2018 @ 12:31

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