Labour Government Of 1974-79 Be Viewed As A Failure Essay

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To what extent should the Labour Government of 1974-79 be viewed as a failure? In order to accurately measure the success of the Labour governments of Wilson and Callaghan between 1974 and 1979, one must take into account their accomplishments and mistakes. Furthermore, it is imperative that constraints on them at home and abroad be acknowledged. Once Labour's actions in the 1970s have been examined in the context of the particular circumstances of the time, it will then be possible to conclude the extent to which the government should be viewed as a failure. Labour returned to power in March 1974. The Conservatives, led by Edward Heath, had been in office since 1970. Heath's government had faced many difficulties, including large-scale strikes, and at the time of the election being called, Britain was on a three day working week in order to save electricity. Heath dubbed the 1974 general election, "Who governs Britain?". He claimed it was time for the electorate to decide who runs the country, the democratically elected government or the trade unions? Unfortunately for Heath, Labour won the most seats with 301. This was not enough to give them an overall majority and so for the first time since 1929 there was a hung…show more content…
However, the legislation had been amended by Labour backbenchers against decentralisation. The Cunningham Amendment, as it became known, stipulated that 40 per cent of the entire electorate must support devolution for it to come into effect. The referenda were held in 1979. In Wales a majority actually voted against devolution. In Scotland, 51.6 per cent of those who voted were in favour. However, this was only around 33 per cent of the entire electorate and so it never came to pass. Labour had wasted much time on something that came to nothing. Furthermore, its attempts to quell nationalism had failed. This represented a major shortcoming of Labour from 1974 to
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