The Making of Modern Britain 9- Heath's government

What did Heath have when he came to power?
a clear and detailed programme of policies for the modernisation of Britain.
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Why was he different from previous Conservative leaders?
He was the first to be elected as leader and had been educated at a state school.
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What was often perceived as by people?
Rather stiff and prickly in dealing with people.
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Why was he regarded as too honest?
He wasn't devious, he was too honest for his own good and not skilful enough in pleasing political allies.
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Why did Heath seem well prepared for government?
Spent most of his time in opposition developing detailed policies, especially in industrial relations and economic modernisation.
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What did the Conservatives hold in the January before the 1970 election?
a confeerence at Selsdon Park, to approve a policy programme whcih would form the basis of the manifesto. Tax reform, reforms to trade unions, immigration controls, and end to public subsdy of lame duck industries.
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But what did Heath still believe in?
'One nation Toryism' and the post-war consensus.
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State some of the reforms under Heath?
School leaving age raised to 16. Local government was re-organised and the British currency went decimal.
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What was the administartion dominated by?
The economy and industrial relations.
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What is one national toryism?
the rich had a duty to help the poor a ‘noblesse oblige’ and to avoid a two-nation divide.
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What did the new chancellor, Anthony Barber initially do?
Introduced cuts to public spending. Also introduced tax cuts to encourage investment.
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What did this lead to?
'The Barber Boom' with a rapid rise in inflation.
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But what wasn't the rise in inflation accompanied by?
Economic growth. Also, unemployment went up, something unusual with a rise in inflation.
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What was this called?
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As unemployment started to reach a million, what did the government felt compelled to do?
Even though wanted to reduce state intervention, they decided to take action.
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What happened as a result?
Rolls-Royce was nationalised in 1971. Government money went to prevent Upper Clyde Shipbuilders going backrupt.
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What did this become known as?
The infamous 'Uturn'
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But how did it seem to change?
1973- investing into modernising industry seemed to be working.
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How was this shown by unemployment levels?
They had fallen back to 500,000.
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But what happened that changed all this?
Oil price crisis 1973 and the energy crisis that followed.
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What triggered the oil crisis?
the Yom Kippur War in the Middle east. War made OPEC declare an oil embargo.
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What were the impacts of this for the people of Britain?
Price of oil were 4x higher than normal. Long queues formed outside petrol stations.
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What was this the context for?
the National Union of Miners demanding a huge pay rise in Nov 1973.
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What did this hint at?
The dramtic struggle between the NUM and the government.
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What had occured from the start of Heath's premiership?
Industrial disputes to deal with.
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Name 2 industrial strikes that occured.
Dockers' strike, large pay settlement for dustmen, postal workers' strike and 'go-slow' by power workers that led to power cuts.
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What did the government bring in to deal with the disputes?
The Industrial Relations Act 1971.
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What did Heath abolish alongside this?
National Board for Prices and Incomes.
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What did the Industrial Relations Act do?
set up an Industrial Relations court, provided strike ballots and a 'cooling off period' before official strikes began.
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Who opposed the Industrial Relations Act?
Both the TUC and the CBI were opposed. Also led to an increase in the number of strikes.
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Name a few of the major strikes in 1972.
Miners strike, Ambulance drivers, firefighters, power workers, hospital staff and engine drivers.
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What did 1972 see the most number of?
Number of days lost in strikes- 23,900,000.
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How did Heath do another U-turn?
the Industry Act of 1972 which tried to involve both the TUC and the CBI in agreeing wages, prices and investment and benefits and an attempted government freeze on wage rises, through various stages of severity, policed by something called the Wages
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Who criticised the Industry Act 1972?
the right of the conservative party e.g. Enoch Powell.
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Name some of the public sector workers that striked in 1973?
Firefighters and power workers.
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Nov 1973- oil crisis led to what?
Another increased wage demand from the miners.
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Why didn't the government want to do this?
As they were trying to hold down inflation.
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What did the miners' produce in reaction to this?
An overtime ban. Putting more pressure on govt as now both oil and coal were limited.
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How did Heath respond to the miners' actions?
Introduced a three-day working week. Starting at the beginning of 1974.
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Who did Heath move to minister of employment?
Willie Whitelaw due to his skill at negotiating. Heath wanted him to negotiate with the miners.
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Why did this fail however?
Miners refused a pay offer and the govt failed to treat them as a special case. Jan 1974- NUM called a national strike.
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Why did Heath impose a three-day working week?
To conserve electricity in reponse to a wave of industrial action by engineers, dockers and firefighters and the looming threat of a national coal strike during an energy crisis.
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Name some of the consequences of the 3-day week?
TV channels shut down early. Children did their homework by candlelight. Energy minister urged people to brush their teeth in the dark.
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When did Heath call for a general election?
Feb 1974.
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What was the election called by Heath?
'Who governs Britain?'.
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What was the outcome of the election in Feb 1974?
Labour won 5 more seats than the Tories.
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What had brought the Conservatives down?
the miners' strike had brought down the government.
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But how was the election inconclusive?
there was a hung parliament as no party had an overall majority.
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What were there an increase in during the election?
Votes for other parties e.g. Liberals had 14 seats. Labour formed a minority govt.
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What was the voter's resppnse to Heath's election campaing of 'Who governs Britain?'
'Not you'.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Why was he different from previous Conservative leaders?


He was the first to be elected as leader and had been educated at a state school.

Card 3


What was often perceived as by people?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why was he regarded as too honest?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Why did Heath seem well prepared for government?


Preview of the front of card 5
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