Wilson 1964-70

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  • Wilson (1) 1964-70
    • '64 election:
      • Votes L: 2,205,000 C: 2,201,000
        • Scandals tainting C Party 63-64 - unemployment over 80,000, 1963 rejected EEC app.
      • More youthful image
        • "plain talking Yorkshireman"
    • ROY JENKINS
      • 1967 abortion act - legal abortion
      • Sexual Offences Act 1967 - permitted homosexual relationships
      • Divorce Reform Act 1969: allowed divorce on more liberal grounds
      • Race Relations Act 65 and 68 - prevented discrim. and racial hatred
      • Abolishment of Death Penalty 1969
    • 'National Plan' 64
      • Creation of Department of Economic Affairs under George Brown
      • Aimed at stimulating industrial production + exports
        • Modernisation - New Ministry of Technology
          • "white heat of technological revolution"
      • Quietly disbanded in 1967 - Brown loud + drunk
    • Issues with Unions
      • Inflation was the enemy and wages had to be controlled
        • Pay freeze in 66, angered many unions and left of the party
          • Strikes over pay in 66 and 67
        • "white heat of technology speech" emphasised a divergence from restrictive practises
          • 'In place of strife" white paper attempted to curb union powers - 69
            • Brenda Castle - 28 day cooling off period before a strike went ahead - strike ballots imposed
              • 50 MPs ready to rebel to stop it going into action
    • EEC failure 1967
      • application prompted by home economic fears
        • feared Britain would be left financially behind
        • Opposed by 36 L MPs
      • De Gaulle vetoed again
    • Stayed out of Vietnam - underrated achievement? - but did support
    • Claims of indust. + ec. revolution
      • Unfounded?
      • created Open University - reducing class divide?
      • Balance of trade improved - difference between imports and exports
      • Built Post Office (BT) Tower
    • Devaluation
      • Should have devalued in 64 when the deficit inherited was £400 mil
        • X-change rate too high but Lab "not the party of devaluation"
      • november 67 - had to devaluate
        • £1 = $2.80 to £1 = $2.40
          • Made public distrust Wilson - left too late
    • Commonwealth Imm. Act - Feb 68
      • limited 'right of return' to Britain for non-white Commonwealth citizens
        • due to issues over Kenyan Asians that prompted E Powell - 'rivers of blood'

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