This New England

  • Stuart Laing


In October 1959 Labour suffered its third successive general election defeat. In the inevitable inquest which followed, a central issue was the party’s working-class image. Douglas Jay saw Labour’s two fatal handicaps as ‘the class image and the myth of nationalization’.1 Patrick Gordon Walker said simply: ‘The Tories identified with the new working class rather better than we did.’ Richard Crossman observed that ‘each year which takes us further, not only from the hungry Thirties but from the austere Forties weakens class consciousness’,2 while the Party Leader Hugh Gaitskell warned of ‘the changing character of labour, full employment, new housing, the new way of life based on the telly, the frig., the car and the glossy magazine — all have their effect on our political strength’.3


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    D. Childs, Britain since 1945 (London: Ernest Benn, 1979) p. 127.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. E. Butler and R. Rose, The British General Election of 1959 (London: Macmillan, 1960) p. 197.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. Hall, ‘The supply of demand’, in E. P. Thompson (ed.), Out of Apathy (London: Stevens, 1960) p. 95.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Abrams, R. Rose and M. Hinden, Must Labour Lose? (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960) p. 23.Google Scholar
  5. Ibid., p. 100.Google Scholar
  6. Ibid., p. 105.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. Milne and H. Mackenzie, Marginal Seat, 1955 (London: Hansard Society, 1958) p. 34.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    New Statesman, 18 February 1950, p. 179.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. G. Nicholas, The British General Election of 1950 (London: Macmillan, 1951) pp. 213, 241.Google Scholar
  10. Spectator, 27 January 1950.Google Scholar
  11. New Statesman, 3 November 1951, p. 477.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    D. E. Butler, The British General Election of 1955 (London: Macmillan, 1955) p. 15.Google Scholar
  13. Economist, 30 May 1953.Google Scholar
  14. Observer, 31 May 1953, p. 6.Google Scholar
  15. Butler, British General Election of 1955, p. 1.Google Scholar
  16. L. Immirzi, A. Smith and T. Blackwell, The Popular Press and Social Change 1945–65 (unpublished report for the Rowntree Trust, University of Birmingham) p. 5:24.Google Scholar
  17. Butler, British General Election of 1955, p. 18.Google Scholar
  18. Ibid., p. 83.Google Scholar
  19. Immirzi et al., Popular Press and Social Change, p. 5:10.Google Scholar
  20. Milne and Mackenzie, Marginal Seat, p. 29.Google Scholar
  21. Butler, British General Election of 1955, p. 162.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    A. Sampson, Macmillan (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968) p. 159.Google Scholar
  23. Butler and Rose, British General Election of 1959, p. 136 (facing).Google Scholar
  24. Ibid., p. 24.Google Scholar
  25. Spectator, 2 October 1959, p. 435.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    G. Orwell, ‘England Your England’, in S. Orwell and I. Angus (eds), The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters and George Orwell, vol. 2 (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1970) p. 97.Google Scholar
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    C. A. R. Crosland, ‘The transition from capitalism’, in R. Crossman (ed.), New Fabian Essays (London: Turnstile Press, 1952) p. 34.Google Scholar
  28. R. Crossman, ‘Towards a philosophy of socialism’, in New Fabian Essays, p. 1.Google Scholar
  29. Crosland, ‘The transition from capitalism’, p. 36.Google Scholar
  30. A. Albu, ‘The organisation of industry’, in New Fabian Essays, p. 131.Google Scholar
  31. Ibid., p. 131.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    E. Durbin, The Politics of Democratic Socialism (London: Routledge, 1940) pp. 109ff.Google Scholar
  33. Ibid., p. 119.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    C. A. R. Crosland, The future of Socialism (London: Cape, 1956) p. 286.Google Scholar
  35. Ibid., p. 285.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    T. R. Fyvel, ‘The stones of Harlow’, Encounter, June 1956, p. 15.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    C. Curran, ‘The passing of the tribunes’, Encounter, June 1956, p. 21.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    C. Curran, ‘The new estate in Great Britain’, Spectator, 20 January 1956, p. 72.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    C. Curran, ‘The politics of the new estate’, Spectator, 17 February 1956, p. 209.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    W. Young, ‘Return to Wigan Pier’, Encounter, June 1956, p. 5.Google Scholar
  41. New Statesman, 17 October 1959, p. 492.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    M. Abrams, ‘The home-centred society’, The Listener, 26 November 1959.Google Scholar
  43. Economist, 16 May 1959.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    S. Hall, C. Critcher, T. Jefferson, J. Clarke and B. Roberts, Policing the Crisis (London: Macmillan, 1978) p. 235.Google Scholar
  45. Sun, 15 September 1964.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    The main source here is G. Sayers Bain, R. Bacon and J. Pimlott, ‘The Labour Force’, in A. H. Halsey (ed.), Trends in British Society since 1900 (London: Macmillan, 1972).Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    J. Westergaard and H. Resler, Class in a Capitalist Society (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976) p. 76.Google Scholar
  48. A. H. Halsey, J. Sheehan and J. Vaizey, ‘Schools’, in Halsey (ed.), Trends in British Society.Google Scholar
  49. Curran, ‘The passing of the tribunes’, p. 21.Google Scholar
  50. A. H. Halsey, ‘Higher education’, in Halsey (ed.), Trends in British Society.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    J. R. Short, Housing in Britain (London: Methuen, 1982) Ch. 3.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    R. Banham, ‘Coronation Street, Hoggartsborough’, New Statesman, 9 February 1962, p. 200.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    A. Howkins and J. Lowerson, Trends in Leisure 1919–1939 (Sports Council and Social Sciences Research Council, 1979).Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    M. Hall, ‘The consumer sector 1950–60’, in G. Worswick and P. Ady, The British Economy in the 1950s (London: Oxford University Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    M. Young and P. Willmott, The Symmetrical Family (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973) p. 23.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    F. Zweig, The Worker in an Affluent Society (London: Heinemann, 1961).Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    A. Marwick, British Society since 1945 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1982) p. 121.Google Scholar
  58. B. Wood, ‘Urbanisation and local government’, in Halsey (ed.), Trends in British Society, p. 280.Google Scholar
  59. The expansion of television in this period is discussed in Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  60. Hall, ‘The supply of demand’, p. 79.Google Scholar

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© Stuart Laing 1986

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  • Stuart Laing

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