The main reason for Conservative dominance in the years 1951 to 1964 was Labour disunity.’

Topics: Labour Party, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Conservative Party Pages: 3 (1460 words) Published: October 20, 2014
The main reason for conservative dominance in the years 1951 to 1964 was labour disunity?” Access the validity of this view I agree with this statement as the labour party leaders were ageing. The labour leaders were from the pre-war era therefore it meant that they were not in touch with the population. This led to labour disunity throughout the years as it caused Attlee to retire, he found that he couldn’t understand what the young wanted. For the public they left their trust with the labour party and put it in the conservatives as they felt that labour had failed to create the consumer revolution that everyone had hoped for. By 1951 the public were also fed up with the rationing that they still had to endure even though the war had ended 6 years ago therefore this helped the conservative dominance in those years. Another reason as to why labour disunity was to blame for labour dominance was the growing split in the party caused by the Bevanites and Gaitskillites. The split in the party was due to Gaitskell introducing prescription and dentistry charges. Bevan supported the left wing of the party whereas Gaitskell supported the right wing of the party and followed Attlee in becoming the next leader of labour government. The split led to disunity as Gaitskell didn’t have the full support of the party; his ideas were always going to be argued against. Another reason why the split caused disunity in the labour party was to do with the trade unions. The trade unions were supporting the left wing of the party; this was a problem particularly during the Scarborough conference in 1960. Frank Cousins was the leader of the one of the most powerful unions, TGWU (transport and general workers) and was an extreme left wing. He led fierce opposition to Gaitskell over Britain’s nuclear weapons. Gaitskell wanted Britain to have nuclear weapons because of the looming threat of Russia, during the cold war; they could wipe out countries at any time. At the party conference in...
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