Giles Radice, Baron Radice

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The Lord Radice
Giles Radice.jpg
Giles Radice at the Policy Network Progressive Governance Conference 2009
Member of Parliament
for North Durham
Chester-le-Street (1973-1983)
In office
1 March 1973 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Norman Pentland
Succeeded by Kevan Jones
Personal details
Born (1936-10-04) 4 October 1936 (age 78)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Children Sophie Radice (author)
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford

Giles Heneage Radice, Baron Radice, PC (born 4 October 1936) is a Labour member of the House of Lords. He was the Labour Member of Parliament for Chester-le-Street from 1973 to 1983 and then North Durham until his retirement in 2001. He was made a Life Peer as Baron Radice, of Chester-le-Street in the County of Durham, on 16 July 2001.[1] He was educated at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He worked as a research officer for the General and Municipal Workers' Union.

Writing and political ideas[edit]

Winchester College
from the BBC programme Westminster Hour, 26 April 2009[2]

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As an advocate of the need for Labour to ditch traditional dogmas, Radice was something of a precursor to Tony Blair. In his 1989 book Labour's Path to Power: The New Revisionism, Radice set out his vision for a modernised Labour Party, which included abandoning Clause IV of the party constitution. His highly influential and widely quoted Southern Discomfort pamphlet in 1992 also argued the case for reform. Using focus group evidence, Radice found that voters in the south believed that Labour was out of touch, extremist and against aspiration. Philip Stephens later wrote in the Financial Times, "At that time, Giles Radice, then an MP, wrote a brilliant essay on what he called Labour's 'southern discomfort'. The party would not win, he argued, unless and until it managed to connect its ambitions for social justice with the individualistic aspirations of the voters in southern England. Here was the template for Mr Blair." [3] Radice returned to this theme following Labour's 2010 defeat: his Southern Discomfort Again pamphlet (with Patrick Diamond) found that voters perceived that Labour had run out of steam, were out of touch (particularly on immigration), unfair and poorly led. In this pamphlet and in Southern Discomfort: One Year On (2011), Radice warned that the 'southern problem' is more than geographical: social change means that Labour support collapsed in other areas, including the Midlands. Giles Radice has been a committed pro-European for many years. He has been a leading member both of the European Movement and Britain in Europe,and wrote a polemic called Offshore in 1992, in which heput the case for Britain in Europe.

After his retirement as an MP in 2001 Radice, wrote Friends and Rivals, an acclaimed triple biography of three modernisers from an earlier generation — Roy Jenkins, Denis Healey, and Anthony Crosland, arguing that their failure to work more closely together had harmed the modernising cause. This was followed by The Tortoise and the Hares, a comparative biography of Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Stafford Cripps, Hugh Dalton and Herbert Morrison. Trio: Inside the Blair, Brown, Mandelson Project was published in 2010. In a review of Trio, Andrew Blick wrote that, "With his previous work Friends and Rivals (2002) and The Tortoise and the Hares(2008), Radice developed a distinctive approach to contemporary history, using group biography ....Radice adds to his historical approach not only a readable writing style, but the judgements of an experienced Labour politician."[4] His diaries, published in 2004, were shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Radice served as Education spokesman in the Labour Shadow Cabinet under Neil Kinnock in the 1980s. As chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Radice helped make the monetary policy committee of the Bank of England accountable to both Parliament and the people for its decisions over interest rates.[5] He is currently a member of the House of Lords European Union Sub-Committee on external affairs.

Other positions[edit]

Lord Radice has been a member of the advisory board of the Centre for British Studies of Berlin's Humboldt University since 1998.[6] He is a member of the Fabian Society. He is a former Chair of the British Association for Central and Eastern Europe (BACEE), and was Chair of the European Movement 1995 - 2001. He is also a former Chairman of Policy Network, the international progressive thinktank based in London.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 56281. p. 8601. 20 July 2001.
  2. ^ "26/04/2009". Westminster Hour. 26 April 2009. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jwxx2. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  3. ^ Financial Times 6th June 2006
  4. ^ Political Quarterly, Vol 82, Issue 2, 2011, pp.322-5.
  5. ^ House of Commons Treasury Select Committee Accountability of the Bank of England, 1st Report 1997 - 1998 and Confirmation Hearings 3rd Report 1997 - 1998
  6. ^ http://www.gbz.hu-berlin.de/the-centre/advisory-council

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Norman Pentland
Member of Parliament for Chester-le-Street
19731983
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Durham
19832001
Succeeded by
Kevan Jones