Tag Archives: Tony Crosland

Crosland The Social Democrat

I first became aware of Tony Crosland in 1980 when I watched a TV documentary covering that year’s election for the Labour Party leadership in which Michael Foot narrowly defeated Denis Healey. The programme profiled a Labour MP whom it said had voted for Crosland in the previous contest four years earlier. I later discovered that he came last in that poll garnering only seventeen votes from his fellow parliamentarians, I wrongly concluded from that mere statistic that Mr Crosland wasn’t much of a figure in the Labour Party. How wrong I was.

In fact, from his entry into politics as a young man in the 1940s to his untimely death in 1977 Crosland was a key figure on the progressive centre-left. First becoming an MP in 1950, he went to serve as a minister under both Wilson and Callaghan in a variety of departments ending as Foreign Secretary. His passing resulted in the fast track promotion of one David Owen to that role which some might argue made Owen such a key player subsequently.

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