The Labour Party and the Planned Economy, 1931-1951

The Labour Party and the Planned Economy, 1931-1951

Richard Toye

An exploration of Labour's 1931 pledge to create a planned socialist economy and the reasons for its failure to do so.
In the general election of 1931, the Labour Party campaigned on the slogan "Plan or Perish". The party's pledge to create a planned socialist economy was a novelty, and marked the rejection of the gradualist, evolutionary socialism to which Labour had adhered under the leadership of Ramsay MacDonald. Although heavily defeated in that election, Labour stuck to its commitment. The Attlee government came to power in 1945 determined to plan comprehensively. Yet, the aspiration to create a fully planned economy was not met. This book explores the origins and evolution of the promise, in order to explain why it was not fulfilled.

RICHARD TOYE lectures in history at Homerton College, Cambridge.

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[The author] succeeds admirably in his analysis of economic planning in the British Labour Party from electoral defeat in 1931 to electoral defeat in 1951. JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY

[A] very interesting book. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW

[An] excellent book.... A meticulously researched volume that adds considerably to our understanding of how Labour sought to develop and apply the notion of the planned economy. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW

An interesting, persuasive and fresh analysis of the development of planning in Labour's wider programme. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

[A] stimulating and well-researched study.. A significant contribution to the history of the Labour party, and highly recommended reading. HISTORY

[An] assured study. [.] A valuable book that illuminates a crucial aspect of Labour's identity. ALBION

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