Chapter

In Place of Strife? The parliamentary Labour right and the ‘trade union question’

Stephen Meredith

in Labours Old and New

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780719073229
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701508 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719073229.003.0005
In Place of Strife? The parliamentary Labour right and the ‘trade union question’

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This chapter investigates the parliamentary Labour right attitudes to industrial relations policy and trade union reform. In Place of Strife: A Policy for Industrial Relations was the first (recent) attempt ‘to confine industrial relations within a framework of law’. The In Place of Strife controversy had the effect of consolidating emerging divisions between Tony Crosland and Roy Jenkins. James Callaghan combined his attack on the Industrial Relations Act with an appeal for still greater voluntary discipline on the part of the trade unions. The economic role of trade unions was important for the small ‘l’ liberal wing of social democrats. Debilitating divisions of the Labour right occurred across a range of key themes and issues of industrial relations and trade union reform. The distance between the preferences of moderate but radical social democracy and the ‘rules’ of the Labour movement represented perhaps the deepest gulf in British politics.

Keywords: parliamentary Labour right; industrial relations; trade union reform; In Place of Strife; Tony Crosland; Roy Jenkins; James Callaghan; Industrial Relations Act; social democracy; British politics

Chapter.  18304 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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