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Flashcards in Wilson And The Labour Government Deck (33):

Why could Heath not compare with Wilson

Wilson was a better politician tactician and was able to portray a more attractive image to the voters. In contrast Heath came across as stiff and lacking in personality.


What was Wilson like

He was modern and the left of the Labour Party.
First prime minster educated in a state school, smokes a pipe with a Yorkshire accent. Relaxed and skilful performer on TV


What was his weakness in his personality

Anxious and insecure of his leadership. Conscious of balancing out his potential rivals so he would remain unchallenged. Relied heavily on a personal team of trusted advisers.


What economic problems were faced by Britain

- Britain was lagging behind other countries such as west Germany and Japan
-post war boom had not been reflected in productivity or growth rates.
- Britain's economy was trapped in a cycle of stop go policies with bursts of prosperity always leading to inflation, run of the pound and regular crises over the balance of payments.
- deficit of £800 million.


Pros and cons of devaluation

- devaluation would make imports more expensive and help exporters by making British good cheaper in other countries which would help the balance of payments
- make Britain look weaker in the world.
- Wilson feared that the Labour Party would gain a reputation of the party of devaluation


How was the Labour Party trying to improve economic problems

A new department- the department of economic affairs (DEA)
Set up by George brown- set growth targets and devised a national system of economic planning and councils. Tried to establish voluntary agreements about wages and prices with industrialists, trade union and civil servants. This was to prevent inflation rising, the government would then need to stop with controls, the stop go cycle could be avoided


Why did the DEA not work

Why may have it been because of weak politics

They did not have united government support. Some blames brown as he was impulsive and inconsistent.

- Harold Wilson was trying to keep key personalities happy rather than picking the best team for the job.


What did the labour government bring in to replace the DEA and why

Prices and income policy's
- to keep down inflation


Why was their a weak relationship between the labour government and the trade unionist

Sterling crisis in 1966 caused in part by a long bitter strike by the national union of seaman. The government defeated the strike but many, especially on the left were shocked by Wilson's critical attitude to the strikers. Trade unionist frank cousin left the cabinet over the income policies.


What effected the balance of payments in 1967

Major national dock strike


How much did the pound drop by in 1967

14 per cent to 2.40 U.S. Dollars.


Why did Britain send their second application to the EEC and what happened

Purely on all economic grounds.

However the application was rejected hard on jells on the devaluation crisis made the governments economic policies look futile.


What did Roy Jenkins do to improve the economy

Raised taxes and tightened up government spendings in all areas of the economy. Giving top priority to improve the balance of payments. This made the government unpopular but a balanced of payments had been achieved.


When did Harold Wilson become prime minister



Why did industrial relationships with the trade unions begin to deteriorate between 1966-1967

Strikes by the seaman and the dockers caused economic problems for the government. The strikes demonstrated that old style union bosses were losing some of their control.


What key aspects of the place of strife were difficult for the trade unions to accept

- 28 day 'Cooling off' period before strikes went head
-the government could impose settlements when unions were in dispute with each other
- strike ballots could be imposed
-an industrial relations court would be able to prosecute people who had broken the rules


Who and how rebelled against the place of strife

Unions and the left of labour
-50 labour MPs including James Callaghan were ready to rebellion but Wilson gave in

Humiliating for the government


How did Wilson help the labour division

Wilkins concentration on the Labour Party if technological modernisation unite both the left and the right of the Labour Party and minimised under lying tensions


What were wilsons rivals in the party

Leadership challenging from brown and Callaghan
Brown was resentful that he had lost a lot of elections to Wilson and disappointed that he had not made foreign sec.
Wilson was rumoured to have undermined brown by keeping embarrassing incidents that he had been involved in.
Wilson was also suspicious of Jenkins ( a gaitskellite)


Callaghan vs Jenkins

Callaghan did not approve of Jenkins pro European stance nor his liberalising legalisations.
Jenkins was critical of the failure to devalue when Callaghan was chancellor and a supporter of the trade union legislation that Callaghan helped block


What could be argued was Wilson's main priority

Devoted to trying to keep the party United and in stopping any of his colleagues from threatening his position


Who are the unionists?

Supports of the union England Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland to form the United Kingdom


Who were the nationalists?

In the British context this usually means someone who supports independence for Scotland or Wales or is in favour of a united Ireland


Who were the IRA

Irish Republican Army

- organisation that fought for the independence in the Irish war of independence.


What is a paramilitary

A non state military force


Who were the apprentice boys

A loyalist organisation that marches annually to commemorate the closing of the gates to the city of Derry to Catholic forces in 1688 by 13 apprentice boys


What religion dominated the different areas of Ireland

Republic of Ireland- Catholic
Northern Ireland- Protestants


What happened to the Catholics in Northern Ireland

Hey were discriminated against in employment and housing and that electoral boundaries had been deliberately drawn to prevent Catholics from being elected. There was accusations that the royal Ulster constabulary (RUC) the Northern Irish police force were biased against Catholics


Why did tensions rise in 1964 in Northern Ireland

Unionist feared that the Irish Republican Army would start a new campaign as the in Northern Ireland they began to challenge the civil rights movement. The so called loyalist set up a paramilitary organisation to defend the union.


What happened at the civil rights march in 1968 and what did this start

What did Wilson have to do?

They were attacked by loyalist

Catholics complained that the RUC failed to protect them.
1969 - the loyalist 'apprentice boys' went ahead with heir annual march in Derry and were attacked by nationalists in the catholic area of bogside.
RUC were held back by 2 days rioting
TV pictures broadcasted across the world showed the RUC officers beating the Catholics.

Riots spread to other towns and cities. The storming government offered concessions on housing and electoral boundaries, this sparked rioting from loyalists.
1969- Wilson's government sent in British army troops in attempt to keep the peace


What were signs that the post war consensus had come to an end?

- Britian's economic problems did not seem to have been solved by the consensus policies
-trade unions more uncooperative forcing labour to reform industrial relations
- social problems and poverty had not ended
- Heath also starts to question the efficiency of key elements of the post war consensus


Why may labours loss of the election seem a surprise?

- wilsons government had apparently come through its hard time
- Jenkins was credited with achieving economic and financial stability
- Wilson was considered a master campaigner and far more experienced and more popular than health


Why may have Heath won the election

- Heath was hard working, conscientious and had an imagine of competence even though he was perceived as dull.
-1966-1969 Wilson's government had suffered a series of setbacks and real or perceived failures.
- the post war consensus was not working this meant people were more open to the new ideas by the conservatives
- Heath was confident of winning