|The Last Gasp of Liberalism.|
|Thatcherite before it was Cool.|
In 1973 the Conservative government attempted to suppress wages as inflation skyrocketed and in doing so provoked violent strikes. Whatever approach the government took it seemed that the trade unions were a significant obstacle. Ted Heath decided to slam the breaks on the economy, immediate freezes were introduced on wages, prices and even profits. It was a last ditch attempt to control the economy and the stock market panicked at the suggestion of a freeze on profits. Then came the OPEC protest against the Yom Kippur War, in which oil prices were hiked up by 400% and the consequent price shock led to rates of inflation as high as 27% by the mid 70s. The British economy fell into a catastrophic crash as a result, even though the explosion of oil profits flowed to British energy corporations and the rise in price made North Sea Oil increasingly profitable. Finally amidst industrial action, power cuts, a three-day week and out-of-control inflation the Heath government lost power in 1974. But the post-war settlement had been further undermined. The suggestion that the economy could even be managed began to breakdown.
|The Science of Money.|
Richard Nixon was the last liberal President of the United States, it was the Carter administration who laid the foundations for Reaganomics. Britain soon became enthralled in the same economic theory in the late 70s. Perhaps then we might deem Harold Wilson the last social democrat to stand as Prime Minister of the UK. The country was immersed by desperation as Britain seemed doomed to descend into a gray mediocrity and in 1976 Harold Wilson resigned. The resignation came after a persistent smear campaign against him by a small faction of ultra-rightist MI5 agents - who thought Wilson was a Soviet spy sent to destroy Britain. It was just one of a few plots - which were never followed the logical conclusion - within the Establishment, it went as far as plans to install Lord Mountbatten as Prime Minister and the formation of private armies to fight unions in the event of a General Strike. The resignation opened up a void in government, Tony Benn, Michael Foot and Denis Healey came forward in competition with Jim Callaghan, Anthony Crosland and Roy Jenkins. The right-wing of the Labour Party came on top with Jim Callaghan winning.
|A New Game.|