UK Politics

Nothing new under the sun

Interesting piece from Tom Happold in today’s Guardian comparing the divisions over the Atlantic alliance within the 1950’s Labour Party and the current split.

Clement Attlee, who on Saturday Blair is set to overtake as the longest-serving Labour premier, had similar problems: a costly foreign war, a party divided over the Atlantic alliance, and the resignation of two cabinet colleagues. Attlee’s party was split over how much to accept America’s leadership in the polarised world of the cold war.

Now Labour is divided over how far to follow the US in its “war against terror”. Labour’s split over foreign policy widened in the Bevanite-Gaitskellite battles of the 1950s, and helped keep the party out of power for 13 years. Could New Labour face a similar fate if it fails to heal its divisions over Iraq?