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The Liberal Party and the Economy, 1929-1964$
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Peter Sloman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723509.001.0001

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Jo Grimond and the Liberal Revival, 1956–64

Jo Grimond and the Liberal Revival, 1956–64

(p.204) 7 Jo Grimond and the Liberal Revival, 1956–64
The Liberal Party and the Economy, 1929-1964

Peter Sloman

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the transformation of Liberal economic policy which took place under Jo Grimond’s leadership between 1956 and 1964, as the anti-statist liberal Keynesianism of the early post-war period gave way to an activist approach based on indicative planning, public investment, and the pursuit of faster economic growth. Grimond’s vision of social and economic modernization drew on common ‘soft left’ themes associated with John Kenneth Galbraith, Michael Shanks, and Andrew Shonfield, but it also included a distinctively Liberal emphasis on the need to promote competition and join the European Economic Community. This new policy was not the only cause of the Liberal revival, but it helped burnish the progressive image which Grimond sought to create and may have contributed to the party’s growing appeal in both suburban England and the Celtic fringe. It also marked a parting of the ways between the Liberal Party and the neoliberal movement.

Keywords:   Liberal Party, Jo Grimond, planning, modernization, decline, 1960s, neoliberalism, social democracy

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