By Stephen Thornton
Often remembered as a infamous diarist instead of a major political determine, Richard Crossman’s implementing presence in Harold Wilson’s cupboard through the 1964-1970 Labour governments proved, now not least to himself, a sadness. despite the fact that, during this new reassessment, Stephen Thornton rescues Crossman’s political achievements from obscurity. From 1955 to the tip of his lifestyles in 1974, Crossman was once dedicated to an intensive scheme that promised to wreck Britain loose from the prevailing Beveridge version of welfare provision and rework the social protection regime within the united kingdom. even though the scheme as Crossman envisaged it used to be in a roundabout way applied, his activities did steered hugely major differences to either Labour and, extra unusually, Conservative social safety coverage. right here Crossman’s acceptance as a towering determine of the patrician Left is rehabilitated as Thornton argues that during the period of latest Labour, the teachings Crossman discovered from his undertaking of welfare reform are extra necessary and proper than ever.
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Additional resources for Richard Crossman and the Welfare State: Pioneer of Welfare Provision and Labour Politics in Post-War Britain (International Library of Political Studies)
The second of the meso-level ideas to be examined is that of the income guarantee. Again this particular idea enjoyed a number of different guises; furthermore, like national superannuation, it expanded from a concept designed solely for pensioners to one that covered a variety of disadvantaged social groups. The version to be introduced here is the one the Labour Party offered to the public at the 1964 general election. Designed to supplement national superannuation, the income guarantee was a scheme targeted at existing pensioners in poverty.
6 To that end, Beveridge introduced the idea of a ‘national minimum’ with the aim that nobody should live below a particular level of subsistence. Mass means-tested provision was to become a relic of the past. The idea was that, in return for a weekly contribution, the state would secure sufficient income for those whose earnings had been interrupted by unemployment, sickness or an accident. 7 In the popular phrase of the time, Beveridge envisaged the state providing support ‘from cradle to the grave’.
More recently, Anthony Seldon has also suggested that ideas can play a significant role in the political process. 72 However, to continue the theme started earlier in this section, Seldon suggests that the impact ideas have made is, in reality, heavily circumscribed. 73 Seldon’s approach has proved influential in public policy74 and, in the next section, each of Seldon’s ‘four factors in producing change: ideas, individuals, interests and circumstances’75 will be discussed in greater detail. IDEAS With some reservations, Seldon uses Ralf Dahrendorf’s definition of an idea – that is, ‘a notion of where we go from where we are .
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