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Picture of Michael Foot and the Labour Leadership

Michael Foot and the Labour Leadership

Author(s): Andrew Scott Crines

Book Description

Michael Foot’s political career can simplistically be characterised by cataclysmic failures within the period between 1979 and 1983, culminating in Labour’s substantial electoral defeat. Developments within political discourse have since sought to perpetuate this characterisation by utilising the defeat as a justification for the subsequent modernisations. However, this analysis does not entirely appreciate the significance of Foot’s leadership.

This book argues that far from being a disaster, Foot’s leadership in fact contributed to the survival of the Labour Party. Foot’s political education, political evolution, and experiences between him joining the Party in 1935 and the end of his ministerial career in 1979 enabled him to emerge as the unity candidate in opposition to the divisive potential of a Denis Healey or Tony Benn leadership.

Foot’s support base included moderate social democrats and moderate left-wing MP’s as well as centrists who opposed radicals from both sides. This subverts the orthodox assumption of Foot’s election being indicative of a sudden and simplistic left-wing domination after 1979.

This book will be of particular interest to those seeking to develop their knowledge of Michael Foot, the Labour Party and their ideological diversity.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-3159-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-3159-X
Date of Publication: 01/08/2011
Pages / Size: 210 / A5
Price: £39.99


Andrew Scott Crines is a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Huddersfield where he specialises in British Politics. His research interests include oratorical analysis of leading political figures, ideological and philosophical controversies, and political history.