My study blog

Did the Labour five giants achieve their aims?

Posted by lednum on November 21, 2006

In order to asses the issue in discussion the following themes have to be recognised.  The concept of ’squalor’ such as the New Towns Act      of 1946 will be appreciated along with ‘want’ in relation to employment, for example the National Insurance Act.  In conjunction to the above, ‘ignorance’ in the education system will be enfranchised as well as the inexcusable concept of ‘idleness’.  Moreover, the National Health Service Act in relation to ‘disease’ will further be analysed in order for a conclusion to be maintained.

However, before moving on the issue must be placed in it’s relevant historical context.  Prior to 1945, historians argue that post war Britain was dependant on the Government.  It is maintained by accountable historians that it was evident that Britain had turned into a factory of war, content on only victory.  However, despite success in the war it was Winston Churchill who lost the election over Clement Attlee.  Contended by historians it is apparent that the loss was due to Churchill’s consistent mention of the war victory.  From this defeat Churchill adopted a very sinister and negative view of Clement Attlee, for instance

” A sheep in sheeps clothing ”

This statement by Winston Churchill refers to the timidness of Clement Attlee which initiates one amongst many views taken of Attlee. Documented by historians it has been shown that shared experiences of war could bring down class divisions which fulled Clement Attlee’s political campaign. 

Substantiated by D Fraser in hisstudies “The Evolution of The British Welfare State” the theme of ’squalor’ is significant in the topic of concern.  The New Towns Act of 1946laid plans for 14 new towns to be created  including Glenrothes and East Kilbride.  Historians have documented that the prefabricated houses were often away from the cities and recognised as ‘people friendly towns’.  However, it is put to us by historians that many of these prefabricated houses are still non-existent to this very day.  In addition to the above, it is evident that the ‘prefab’ accomodation came with some downfalls, for example

” I was far away from my work, my friends and the town ”

This quotation by Alex Kerr displays the negatives of these houses and also represents that the Labour five giants did not achieve their aims.  Despite this, Labour has escaped significant criticism by historians due the scale of the problem in the form of the ’baby boom’ period. 

Moreover, in his work “The Shaping of The Welfare State” RC Birch rates ‘want’ in employment terms as a substantial concept of the Labour five giant’s success.  Historians consistently site the Beveridge Report as the savour for employment issues, the National Insurance Act of 1946 presented benefits to the sick and unemployed.  In essence, the Beveridge Report advocated equality for all not based on financial terms, despite this there were still complications.  For example, historians contend that the criticism placed upon the scheme was due to the large quantities of officials who were needed to embrace and operate it.  Therefore, the evidence above ultimately suggests that the Labour Five Giants did not achieve their aims thanks to the complex intrinsics of the Beveridge Report.

In conjunction to the prior points, it also argued by M Bruce in his text “The Coming of The Welfare State that ‘ignorance’ played a vital part in the Labour five giant’s success.  The Butler Education Act of 1944 took a major step in providing compulsory secondary education to all.  Historians have presented that this act imposed a strict exam process, for instance those who passed were expected to receive professional jobs where as the failures were presumed to get unskilled jobs.  On the other hand, it has been conveyed  by historians that this act was a failure as the Labour Government was only abiding by the ‘baby boom’ demands in the inner cities and did not seek to establish fundamental education in the countryside.  The thesis put forward above signifies that the Labour five giant’s did not achieve their aims.

Furthermore, it is maintained by D Marsh in his documentation “The Welfare State” that ‘idleness’ was a prominent factor in analysing the success of the Labour five giants.  Put to us by historians such as D Marsh the nationalisation of industries by the Government was a factor to be considered.  Studied by historians the fact that America had to provide Marshall Aid  of £1263 million to prop up our capitalist system implies that the Labour five giants failed to succeed.


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