In the 10th installment of this 12-part lecture series on Britain in the 20th century, professor Vernon Bogdanor focuses on the years 1964-1979. The 1960s saw a new course in British politics – the commitment of both major parties to entry into the European Community, as the European Union was then known, and a conversion to the doctrine of planning. This involved a greater degree of state intervention in the economy, together with the control of incomes and a recasting of the system of industrial relations. This caused problems which put the authority of government in question. In the February 1974 general election, voters were asked to resolve the issue of ‘Who Governs?’ Both Labour and Conservative administrations sought to assert themselves against the trade unions. When, in the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1979, it seemed that government had become too weak to do so, the postwar settlement collapsed.
Professor Vernon Bogdanor
Vernon Bogdanor CBE is EmeritusGresham Professor of Law, current Visiting Gresham Professor of Political History, Research Professor at King's College London, a Fellow of theBritishAcademyand an Honorary Fellow of theInstituteofAdvanced Legal Studies. Prior to 2010, Professor Bogdanor Fellow ofBrasenoseCollege, is Professor of Government atOxfordUniversity.
He has been an adviser to a number of governments, including those of theCzechRepublic,Hungary,Kosovo,IsraelandSlovakia. His books include The People and the Party System, Multi-Party Politics and the Constitution, Power and the People, and Devolution in theUnited Kingdom. He is a frequent contributor to TV, radio and the press and is a sometime special advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities (1982-83), and the House of Commons Public Service Committee. Most recently he was awarded the Sir IsiaiahBerlinprize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies by the Political Studies Association.