Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Two days ago saw the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Tony Crosland.
He is almost forgotten now, but he was one of the brightest and foremost thinkers to the right of the Labour Party. However his advocacy of Kensyian economics (a brilliant philosophy but unhelpful for the long term) came unstuck in the 1970s and his opposition to Healey's IMF proposals were found wanting
A true Social Democrat though, and more attractive as a politican compared to Roy Jenkins (well at least in my view)


Icedink said...

Yes, you lost a good man there.

Paul Linford said...

Crosland is certainly not forgotten. Blair is himself a big admirer and so is Alan Milburn. I think their admiration is however confined to his reinterpretative approach to socialism (I would say as Wikipedia puts it, except that I wrote Crosland's Wikipedia entry) rather than his egalitarianism, which was about as far removed from New Labour as you could get.

Blair has also made a close study of the relationship between Crosland, Denis Healey and Roy Jenkins, the three modernisers of their day whose personal rivalry ended up harming the modernising cause (see Giles Radice's book "Friends and Rivals" for more.) It is said, although I have no proof of this, that this has informed Blair's attitude to Gordon Brown from the earliest days.