Testing the book’s central argument, this chapter examines the positions
taken by individual MPs, the two major parties, the British press, and
public opinion over the twenty-five year period. Analysis is also provided
on the effects on individual members of the political elite in the light of
European events. There are a number of trajectories related to this chapter
which can be found in Appendix 6. These individual trajectories show the
various and often changing positions of MPs over the period 1959–84, and
whether they supported leave or remain in the 1975 referendum. In respect of
the press, the trajectories cover the twelve leading British newspapers and
journals and their positions on EEC membership. The trajectories on public
opinion clearly demonstrate, for example, how opinion shifted from being
anti-membership to strongly pro-membership leading up to Wilson’s decision
to hold a referendum in 1975.
This chapter auto-critiques the editors early work (Crozier, Practising Colonial Medicine, 2007) for studying the Colonial Medical Service as a distinct entity, founded and run on shared principles, staffed by Europeans and micro-managed from Whitehall. The collection of chapters is introduced, particularly emphasising how each essay originally contributes to revising this flawed interpretation. The Colonial Medical Service is argued as being flexibly responsive to local demands, open to negotiation and cooperation with non-governmental partners, and very much different in reality to the unified image that is often assumed. Theoretically this dramatically pushes forward understandings of the history of government medicine in Africa, not least showing scholars that history is always on the move and can be rarely compartmentalised, despite the active public relations agenda of the British colonial government.