British Political history 1945-90: consensus and conflict edexcel as- Macmillan:Conservatives

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Macmillan Conservatives
British people "never had it so good" this speech was also a warning
inflation consumer boom increased inflation, unemployment at 878,000 in
1963 ­ prosperity could not last
Social ­ Butler had a liberal approach ­ 1957 Homicide Act effectively
ended death penalty
Wages ­ average weekly wage increased by £10 between 1951 and 1964
­ rise in real wages ­ buy more consumer goods
Credit ­ between 1950 and 1965 car sales went from 1.5 million to 5.5
million eased h.p regultions= reduction in class distinctions and
increased meritocracy ­ "class escalators are continually moving=
Butler ­ possessions no longer dictated class
Housing ­ achieved 300,000 homes a year target ­ more than Labour ­
1957 Rent Act put 6 millions properties on the market ­ greater availability
of mortgages ­ "propertyowning democracy" used private contractor
(Marples) less strict regulations
BUT ­ Rent Act meant rents increased ­ harder for the poor ­ Macmillan
thought this was a necessary tradeoff
Budget politics ­ led to stopgo policies with tax cuts just before elections
and then raising them again later ­ Heathcote Amory ­ led to lack of
economic strategy ­ economy vulnerable to "events, dear boy, events"
more concerned with winning elections than economy
Too much R&D spent on defence ­ 34.5% compared to 2.6% in Italy
­poor industrial development ­ caused poor economic growth ­ UK had
2.3% annual GDP growth compared to France's 4.3% relative decline
Not good for poor immigrants ­ Commonwealth workers invited to fill
transport and hospital vacancies ­ social tensions in poor areas with
accommodation and job shortages ­ whites blamed immigrants for lack
of housing and jobs ­ riots 19581959 in Nottingham, Bristol, London ­
Notting Hill over 600 white males tried to batter into blackowned properties
­ teddy boys ­ Salmon Report led to Commonwealth Immigrants Act to
control immigration numbers
Consensus ­ education ­ Boyle abolished 11 plus ­ Tory support of
comprehensive system ­ Conservatives built more comprehensives than
Labour ­ eg Sandfields, 1958
Europe ­ 1963 vetoed by France ­ Britain wanted to retain
Commonwealth ties and be part of EEC ­ concerns about Britain's
economic situation ­ De Gaulle saw EEC as counterbalance to USA

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British membership to undermine this ­ Britain economically
weak and diplomatically isolated
Scandals ­ Macmillan and the Tories were damaged by scandals ­ the
Vassall affair of 1963 found a civil servant in the admiralty spying for the
USSR and the Argyll case of 1963 brought shame on two ministers ­ the
Profumo affair of 1963 was most damaging ­ not only had the war
minister lied to Parliament, but Macmillan had believed him ­ the Cons
appeared outdated and Macmillan seemed unable to control…read more


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