1945, manifestos, and a new Beveridge

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A regular commentator on this blog, G Hewitt, noted yesterday that the Imperial War Museum notes on their website that:

The Labour Party won the general election decisively, winning 393 seats, while the second-placed Conservatives only secured 197. With an emphasis on social reform, the Labour Party’s manifesto was strongly influenced by the Beveridge Report and included a commitment to full employment, affordable housing, and social security and health care for all.

In contrast, the Conservative campaign focused on Churchill’s popular appeal, lowering taxation, maintaining defence spending and encouraging private business interests. While Churchill acknowledged a need for social reform, he argued that this should be done privately rather than by the government, claiming that Labour would need 'some kind of Gestapo' to implement such reform.

Despite Churchill’s concerns, the Labour Party’s emphasis on social reform clearly appealed to many voters, who gave Labour a landslide victory at the polls and a clear mandate for change.

As G Hewitt then noted:

Well knock me down with a feather, plus ca change, it’s deja vu all over again. The first para is what Labour should be majoring on, and spent the Blair/Brown years largely ignoring while adopting the Conservative policies in the second para. Maybe they should commission a new “Beveridge”, written by someone with MMT background, cull the Blair/Brown Tories within their ranks and address the issues of inequality etc which the 1945 manifesto highlighted and which are still here today and perhaps in 5 to 10 years, when Scotland and NI have gone they may be ready to bring England into a more equal, more socialist place.

If only, I say.

If only.