Milk and water socialism?
in What about the workers?
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Confronted by the upheavals of total war and the radicalism of the post-1945 Labour Government, the Conservative Party strove to develop a response. Balancing those who called for the party’s adaptation to Labour’s new order and those who called for its rolling back proved difficult. The Conservative’s narrow election victory in 1951 meant that its room for political manoeuvre was severely restricted and the Conservative governments of the period found themselves aspiring to running Labour’s State better than Labour. This also applied to relations with the unions and the organised working class, as the Conservative Government struggled to balance full employment, low inflation and higher public spending in an often crisis‑ridden economy. The party attempted to revive its union organisation in an effort to increase its influence amongst their members. During this period, although the party welcomed electoral success, many came to see the trade unions as a problem requiring remedial action, but Conservative governments continued to place a high value on maintaining established relations in the interest of stability and governance.

What about the workers?

The Conservative Party and the organised working class in modern British politics.

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