How 'super' was 'Supermac' Harold MacMillan?

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Leadership Style

  • His public image was unflappable. 
  • He was dubbed 'SuperMac' by the media for his confident manner and his ability to improve the fortunes of the Conservative party.
  • He wanted to humanise the Conservatives and make them the party of progress. 
  • He believed in consensus politics and the pursuit of the 'Middle Way'.

Economic Policies

  • MacMillan presided over an era of increasing prosperity, when more people had the income to afford their own home, car and other consumer goods. In 1958, he gave a speech saying the British people 'had never had it so good'. 

Criticisms of MacMillan's economic policy: 

  • His budget were seen as short-term measures to win votes- described as 'Give away' budgets: 1959 election budget gave a wide range of tax cuts which only worsened inflation- the budget had been reversed to reduce inflation. 
  • Britain lagged behind Western Europe in economic growth, due to a large defence expenditure. 
  • His policies often trailed behind events- referred to as 'Stop-Go' economics as it demonstrated the absence of a coherent economic plan.

MacMillan and Decolonisation

  • MacMillan's leadership

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