Apr 16·edited Apr 16Liked by Pimlico Journal

Judged even just in electoral terms, the failure of the Tory left feels massively under-reported and underappreciated. As we are seeing again right now, they always seem to make the same mistake of avoiding doing anything to scare the elites, and dismissing policies that will actually solve the country's problems as extremism - then wondering why voters aren't impressed at the end of it all.

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May 30Liked by Pimlico Journal

Two minor points: Macmillan was not a septuagenarian when he resigned (he was 69); and the Secretary of State for War was not really like the Defence Secretary, as he didn’t sit in cabinet and was subordinate to the Minister of Defence, who did sit in cabinet (and became Secretary of State when the service departments were abolished and the modern MoD created in April 1964 - under Thorneycroft, as it happens).

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Apr 15Liked by Pimlico Journal

Really interesting article, very informative and nuanced.

I do think that there were some great successes in the post-war period. I think the biggest among them was the mass construction of public housing, which virtually created the modern middle-class as it allowed 'Right to Buy' to happen. What should have happened is like Singapore, where Right to Buy was combined with continued mass public construction.

I think Thatcher went too far on the privatisation front, public utilities like water and railways should remain publicly owned. On other areas, like planning reform and tax, I don't think she went far enough.

Macmillan can be celebrated for his successes on the housing front, but it's true that Britain lagged very far behind other nations in terms of economic growth with its ultra-statist economic model. I do think Macmillan was one of the better Prime Ministers we've had, but there isn't really much comparison, and compared to centre-right figures like Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, Eisenhower, and Nixon, Macmillan is indeed pretty mediocre.

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I'm flattered to be name-checked in the second sentence, though I was surprised to read of my commitment to "the rehabilitation, and indeed valorisation, of various post-war social democratic intellectuals and politicians". Out of curiosity, who did you have in mind? Most of my writing on this period has been about Conservatives...

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Not the author, but I imagine the important bit was your (real or alleged) membership of an 'academic clique', rather than the specifics of your work. Obviously, it would be a bit over the top for QMUL to have three historians all doing almost identical work on post-war Britain.

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May 13Liked by Pimlico Journal

Thanks. Seems a bit rum to put me in a "clique", the defining feature of which is a commitment to a subject I don't write about.

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