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A Conservative Consensus?

  • John Charmley
Chapter
Part of the British Studies Series book series (BRSS)

Abstract

Despite Labour’s propaganda — and the disappointment of later Conservatives — the Churchill years marked no great change in, but rather a reinforcement of, the prevailing consensus. Butler’s strategy in opposition had been aimed at trying to convince the electorate that the Conservatives could preside over a Welfare State with high public spending, and that there would be no return to the austerity of the 1930s. The Conservatives had fought a campaign which emphasized this theme; as Churchill put it: the nation needed a rest ‘if only to allow for Socialist legislation to reach its full fruition’.1 Nor did the election result suggest that the nation was anxious for any change. More votes had been cast for Labour than for the Conservatives (13,948,605 as opposed to 13,717,538),2 and the Conservatives had a slender majority of 17 seats. If the campaign and the result suggested that a period of consolidation was in order, Churchill was only too happy to oblige.

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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Dennis Kavanagh, Politics & Personalities (1990), p. 62.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Seldon, Churchill’s Indian Summer (1981) p. 426.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
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  4. 5.
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  5. 7.
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  6. 8.
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  7. Lord Birkenhead, The Prof in Two Worlds (1961), pp. 284–9Google Scholar
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  12. 15.
    The locus classicus of this is now Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (1992)Google Scholar
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    T. E. Utley, Enoch Powell (1968), p. 66.Google Scholar
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  22. Diane Kunz, The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis (1991) for all of this.Google Scholar
  23. 30.
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  24. 31.
    See Simon Heffer, ‘Centenary of a Double-Crosser’, Spectator, 5 February 1994, pp. 8–10.Google Scholar
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  28. 36.
    Julian Amery, ‘ ‖And the Case For’, Spectator, 10 January 1987, p. 16.Google Scholar
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  30. 38.
    Home II, pp. 64–5, but also G. Hutchinson, The Last Edwardian at No. 10 (1979).Google Scholar
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    Enoch Powell, ‘Macmillan. The Case Against’, Spectator, 10 January 1987, p. 15.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© John Charmley 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Charmley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of East AngliaEngland

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