Anthony Crosland bequeathed a significant intellectual legacy to the Labour Party including his celebrated treatise The Future of Socialism published sixty years ago. In this timely book, Patrick Diamond argues that Crosland continues to serve as a vital reference point for today’s Labour Party. He considers a wide range of Crosland’s writings on the economy and politics, relating his ideas to ideological debates taking place within the Labour Party about egalitarian social democracy, electoral strategy, the European question, and the importance of progressive liberalism on the British centre-left. This is the first substantial work to fully consider Crosland’s legacy for British social democracy.
Written in a clear and persuasive way, it will appeal to a broad audience of thinkers and activists with an interest in the history of the Labour Party and the British Left.
Patrick Diamond spent ten years in various roles at the heart of British government, including Head of Policy Planning and Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, Group Director of Strategy, Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Special Adviser to the Cabinet Office. He is now Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London, Executive Chair of Policy Network and was Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He writes extensively for numerous UK and European newspapers, publications and other media outlets.
Introduction: Crosland’s Legacy;
Crosland: The socialist theoretician as hero;
Egalitarian social democracy: ‘is equality of opportunity enough’?;
Crosland and liberal progressivism: ‘conscience and reform’;
America and Europe in post-war social democracy;
Crosland’s electoral strategy: ‘can Labour win?’;
Crosland and Labour party modernisation: From Kinnock to Blair;
The future of social democracy and the British Left;
Conclusion: A Future for Socialism?.
"Patrick Diamond has written an exceptionally lucid account of the work and legacy of Anthony Crosland, Labour's outstanding revisionist intellectual. Diamond also demonstrates persuasively the relevance of Crosland's approach for politics today." Giles Radice, Labour Peer and author
"Crosland’s revisionist credo continues to be a lodestar for Labour Party ‘modernisers’. In this pithy and insightful work Patrick Diamond critically explores the reasons for its enduring legacy." Hugh Pemberton, University of Bristol
"Tony Crosland continues to fascinate nearly forty years after his untimely death. This new study is authoritatively written by someone who was a senior party advisor turned academic and deserves to be read seriously by scholars and activists alike." Kevin Hickson, University of Liverpool
"Crosland was the leading British socialist intellectual of the post-war period. Patrick Diamond has strong claims to be his nearest equivalent today, and this book will be read with hunger by all those who feel the left has lost its way." David Lipsey, socialist peer and adviser to Anthony Crosland 1972-76
"Tony Crosland was a radical revisionist intellectual but Labour through and through. In this important new study Patrick Diamond explores this paradox and the Croslandite legacy for Labour today." Andrew Gamble, University of Sheffield
“A most timely and topical study of a politician who was also one of Labour’s outstanding theoreticians… vital reading for all interested in Labour’s future.” Eric Shaw, University of Stirling