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Cameron’s trap: Lessons for Labour from the 1930s and 1980s

  • Date(s)
    16 January 2012
  • Time
    16:00 - 17:30
  • Location
Cameron’s trap: Lessons for Labour from the 1930s and 1980s

Policy Network are hosting a debate to launch a substantial new pamphlet by Gregg McClymont MP and Dr Ben Jackson of University College, Oxford.

In the pamphlet, 'Cameron's Trap: Lessons for Labour from the 1930s and 1980s' it is warned that Conservative governments – and Conservative-Liberal coalitions - have in the past been comfortably re-elected in the wake of economic austerity. The authors look back through history to examine how they did it in the 1930s and 1980s before drawing policy conclusions on how Labour can avoid this deadly trap in 2015.

It is argued that “Labour can sidestep the electoral trap being sprung by the Conservatives by refusing to be driven back to its core support. A patriotic appeal to the nation to improve growth and living standards, not a simple defence of the public sector and public spending, is crucial to foiling Conservative attempts to render Labour the party of a sectional minority.”

Gregg McClymont, Labour MP and shadow pensions secretary
Ben Jackson, university lecturer in modern history at Oxford University and a fellow of University College
Tim Bale, professor of politics at the University of Sussex and the author of The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron
Jenni Russell
, columnist for The Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Evening Standard. Winner of the Orwell Prize for political journalism 2011.
Stewart Wood, Labour peer, shadow minister without portfolio and advisor to the leader of the UK Labour party
Chair: Roger Liddle, chair of Policy Network and Labour whip in the House of Lords

The debate forms part of a series of Policy Network events and publications on how the centre-left in British and European politics can restore its reputation for economic competence. The most recent additions to this series have been on Southern Discomfort: One year on and In the black Labour: Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand.

Image: bixentro 2008

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