By Dick Leonard
How a lot does Tony Blair owe to Anthony Crosland? the writer of "The way forward for Socialism", who died as overseas Secretary in 1977, continues to be a big philosophical concept and reference element for the left. To what volume is New Labour formed in Crosland's snapshot? What can the Blair executive study from his writings and ministerial achievements? during this textual content sixteen authors research Crosland's legacy in political idea and political perform and element to varied ways that his message continues to be correct to coverage makers at the present time. The individuals contain Gordon Brown, Roy Hattersley, Michael younger, Raymond Plant, David Lipsey, Brian Brivati and Tony Wright. Susan Crosland contributes a postscript.
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Additional info for Crosland and New Labour
Like a much younger man, he was still climbing, faster indeed than at any other period of his life, on the way to the Treasury (where any decisions that can be taken about moves towards greater fiscal equality presumably are). Crosland was a man of words and a man of action, too. He was the greatest socialist revisionist of his time, and perhaps something of that came through to a wider public when it was not a slur to be an intellectual. He was not a 'lateral' thinker. I rarely heard him jump to a sharp judgement on a subject he had not already got up.
The economic liberal will argue, as I have said, that relativities do not matter. What matters to the poor person is whether he or she is better off this year than he or she was last year, not whether or not the gap between that person and some other group in society has increased. To take the latter view is in the view of the economic liberal to confuse poverty and inequality. Poverty in the absolute sense, can on this view, be cured by the free market. The trickle-down or echelon-advance effect of the market will be likely over time to increase the absolute living standards of the poor.
A good society would be one in which people would have more fun as well as being more equal, perhaps partly because they would be able to be more amused by each other if the 'barrier of class' were removed. Though an inhibited man himself, he certainly did not put barriers round his own personality. He was loveable because he did not mind whether he was loved or not. He was always so fully himself on the hundreds of occasions I met him since 1945, without humbug but finding bitingly amusing the humbug in others.
Crosland and New Labour by Dick Leonard