ABSTRACT

I am asked whether the policy errors of the 1960s were responsible for the troubles of the 1970s. One has visions of waves of sentences beginning on the one hand ending on the other. There were certainly policy errors in the 1960s, including a huge one in the United States, and they must have left some fingerprints on the 1970s. Inspector Morse’s Sergeant Lewis will no doubt find them. But that cannot be the whole story. There was OPEC after all, and the disruptive oil price increases of 1973-4 and 1979 cannot be blamed on the policies of the 1960s, at least not on the kinds of policies we shall be talking about. I will try to avoid the temptation to waffle, but I run the risk of being unsubtle.