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From Hugh Gaitskell to Keir Starmer. Labour’s Man With a Plan

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2022 by kmflett

From Hugh Gaitskell to Keir Starmer. Labour’s Man With a Plan

Keir Starmer has announced Labour’s plan to address the energy crisis by freezing prices. How this is to be achieved is academic as he isn’t yet PM. The point is to underline that Labour has a specific plan, rather than vague Tory ‘promises’ and to put pressure on the next Tory PM to do something similar.

It would of course have been cheaper and more efficient as Starmer’s French co-thinker President Macron grasped when he nationalised EDF energy recently, to bring the energy companies back into public ownership. Starmer won’t say this however because some chap with a beard he doesn’t get on with does.

Starmer is not however Labour’s first Man With a Plan.

Hugh Gaitskell (Labour leader 1955-1963) had one at the 1959 Election. Like Starmer Gaitskell was a figure of the Labour right (although more socially liberal than the current leader). However times were different and Gaitskell though far from a fan of nationalisation saw a reason for it when appropriate.

Labour lost the 1959 as the British economy boomed under the Tories. Starmer will not face the same issue and perhaps his plan will in some form work

Hugh Gaitskell’s plan in 1959

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7647952.stm

Introduction to 1959 Labour Manifesto

Britain Belongs to You: The Labour Party’s Policy for Consideration by the British People

We welcome this Election; it gives us, at last, the chance to end eight years of Tory rule. In a television chat with President Eisenhower, Mr. Macmillan told us that the old division of Britain into the two nations, the Haves and the Have Nots, has disappeared. Tory prosperity, he suggested, is shared by all. In fact, the contrast between the extremes of wealth and poverty is sharper today than eight years ago. The business man with a tax-free expense account, the speculator with tax-free capital gains, and the retiring company director with a tax-free redundancy payment due to a take-over bid-these people have indeed ‘never had it so good’.

It is not so good for the widowed mother with children, the chronic sick, the 400,000 unemployed, and the millions of old age pensioners who have no adequate superannuation. While many of those at work have been able to maintain and even improve their standard of living by collective bargaining, the sick, the disabled and the old have continually seen the value of state benefits and small savings whittled away by rising prices. Instead of recognising this problem as the greatest social challenge of our time, the Prime Minister blandly denies it exists.

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