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From social contract to 'social contrick' : the depoliticisation of economic policy-making under Harold Wilson, 1974–75

By Chris (Christopher James) Rogers


The 1974-79 Labour Governments were elected on the basis of an agreement with the TUC promising a redistribution of income and wealth known as the Social Contract. However, the Government immediately began to marginalise these commitments in favour of preferences for incomes policy and public expenditure cuts, which has led the Social Contract to be described as the 'Social Contrick'. These changes were legitimised through a process of depoliticisation, and using an Open Marxist framework and evidence from the National Archives, the paper will show that the Treasury's exchange rate strategy and the need to secure external finance placed issues of confidence at the centre of political debate, allowing the Government to argue there was no alternative to the introduction of incomes policy and the reduction of public expenditure

Topics: DA, HC
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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