chapter  5
43 Pages

The NEC research programme: April 1971–July 1972

Initially, the location of individuals within the research programme process was of greater importance than the division of ideas, which at this point was somewhat artificial. Those differences that did exist were masked by a common vocabulary (at least at the level of rhetoric) with both the Industrial Policy Subcommittee and Roy Jenkins stating, for example, that some form of intervention in the economy was desirable. This stage of the research programme is significant because it gave momentum to a view of economic and industrial policy which proved disastrous for the party. These first 16 months of policy-making activity culminated in the publication of an interim policy document, Labour’s Programme for Britain 1972. The tension over ideas which subsequently emerged, and the implications of the final policy document – Labour’s Programme 1973 – for the parliamentary leadership, are considered in this chapter.