There Were More Similarities Than Differences” Assess the Validity of the View of the Domestic Policies of the Conservative and Labour Parties in the Years 1951 – 1970

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It could be argued that both conservative and labour parties between 1951 - 1970 had some similar domestic policies mainly due to the post war consensus. Set up in 1945 by the Attlee government, the consensus meant welfare for the public and nationalisation of businesses which were evidently carried on by the two parties between 1951 - 1970 with the welfare state still existing today. However it could be argued that domestic policies mainly differed. For example economically, Conservative leader, Macmillan focused on funding housing whilst Labour leader, Wilson focused on funding science and technology. Politically, the Conservatives learned to accept the welfare state which adapted from the 1942 Beveridge report. The NHS for example was highly favoured by the public and was clear abolishment of the policy would result in an outrage, so ever since its introduction in 1945 by the Attlee government both parties have agreed to keep the welfare state running in the UK. Also among the two parties there was a consensus that industries such as coal and transport needed levels of investment that only the government could provide. Both parties accepted that some nationalised industries, such as gas and electricity produced services that ought to be available to everyone wherever they lived which meant that there needed to be planned and managed interests of the community rather than run purely for the profit of shareholders. Indeed, it was the Conservative-dominated governments of the inter-war years that had begun this process by extending government control over, and investment in, the coal industry, civil aviation, telecommunications, and transport in London. But the Conservative governments of 1951-64 made no attempt to return any of these industries and services to private ownership. Socially, both parties were committed to education. Conservative, RA Butler
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