What was the Post War Settlement in British Politics?
What was the Post War Settlement in Britain from the 1940's-1970s?
- Comrade BolshevLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
This expression is often used for the social democratic consensus which prevailed in British and other European politics - from the end of WWII up to (in Britain) the election of the right wing radical Edward Heath as Tory leader, and the election of a Tory government in 1970, after six years in which Harold Wilson's Labour government had been under economic attack by the USA and the international banking and business community. The British electorate actually blamed the wrong culprits.
However - the key features of the post war settlement, accepted in principle by the main political parties, were a mixed economy, free or largely free public sector healthcare and education, a guaranteed (though minimal) state pension and social welfare provision.
The consensus that this was the soundest basis for a healthy society was first rejected by Heath and the Tory Right, and then, much more dramatically, by Thatcher, who notoriously denied the existence of society, and unashamedly espoused greed as the best social driver.
This country has become a worse place to live, year by year, ever since then.
- Anonymous6 years ago
The so-called 'postwar consensus' / 'postwar settlement' in British
politics never existed. It is an idea promulgated by postwar leftwing historians and politicians, anxious to show that Britain, from 1945 -
1970 was becoming a social democracy.
Nothing in the Conservative archives of the 1930s/1940s supports such an idea. No leading Conservative politician, eg. Butler, Eden
or Churchill, agreed with Beveridge's 1942 provisions for the implementation of a broader welfare state, nor Bevan's 1947 all-encompassing NHS, free at the point of need. In fact RAB Butler
ridiculed the notion of 'Butskellism' ( ie. a sort of social democracy based on the opposition leader's (Hugh Gaitskell's)
philosophy mixed with his own.
The most convincing rebuttal of the concept of a postwar settlement is firstly the fact that Heath, a radical right-wing Tory, beat Wilson in 1970, and secondly that Thatcher, an even more
economically radical right-winger successfully convinced British
voters that only the free market could bring social prosperity.
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- RebeccaLv 44 years ago
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As John says, you should do your own homework, however I will give you some pointers which I should point out would probably not lead you to 'acceptable' answers if you are studying in a British institution. 1. Heavy interference and regulation in the economic area, big state, hands on policy across the political area, building in welfare dependency and undermining moral and 'family' values. 2. Social democracy. 3. You could claim better health care, higher social mobility, a reduction in poverty, more affluence and greater worker rights among the achievements, but in truth, with the exception of workers rights, those achievements would just as likely have occurred anyway, very possibly to a greater extent as we lagged far behind the rest of the developed world in those achievements and in truth still do, and most certainly far quicker without government intervention. 4. Because it was a big change that affected almost everyone, it was also responsible for the ruination of British industry, created welfare dependency, eliminated moral values. We embraced the 'bad' aspects of social democracy and eschewed the 'good' aspects. We could and should have equalled or even surpassed modern Germany, not be left a pale ghost in comparison. 5. Yes
- GraceLv 44 years ago
Do your own homework