Alternative Economic Strategy
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The Secretary of State for Industry in the Labour government, Tony Benn, wrote a paper for his Department in January 1975, which he described in his diary: "It described Strategy A which is the Government of national unity, the Tory strategy of a pay policy, higher taxes all round and deflation, with Britain staying in the Common Market. Then Strategy B which is the real Labour policy of saving jobs, a vigorous micro-investment programme, import control, control of the banks and insurance companies, control of export, of capital, higher taxation of the rich, and Britain leaving the Common Market".
With Britain in economic crisis in October 1976, Benn put forward the AES in Cabinet with the partial support of Peter Shore. He claimed the two courses open to the government were the monetarist, deflationary course recommended by the Treasury and "the protectionist course which is the one I have consistently recommended for two and a half years...protectionism is a perfectly respectable course of action. It is compatible with our strategy. You withdraw behind walls and reconstruct and re-emerge". Benn further said that both courses were a "siege economy" but the difference is that in the monetarist course "you will have the bankers with you and the British people, the trade unions, outside the citadel storming you; with mine it will be the other way round". However the Cabinet rejected the AES (along with two other proposals) on 1/2 December and accepted the terms for a loan from the International Monetary Fund on 12 December.
- Tony Benn, Against the Tide. Diaries 1973-76 (London: Hutchinson, 1989), p. 302.
- "IMF crisis forced Labour to consider scrapping Polaris". the Guardian.
- Benn, p. 621.
- Benn, pp. 661-679.
- Tony Benn, Against the Tide. Diaries 1973-76 (London: Hutchinson, 1989).
- Sam Aaronovitch, The Road from Thatcherism: The Alternative Economic Strategy (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1981).
- Alan Budd, The Politics of Economic Planning (London: Fontana, 1978).
- CSE London Working Group, The Alternative Economic Strategy: A Labour Movement Response to the Economic Crisis (CSE Books, 1980).
- Kathleen Burk and Alec Cairncross, Goodbye, Great Britain: The 1976 IMF Crisis (Yale University Press, 1992).
- Kevin Hickson (13 May 2005). The IMF Crisis of 1976 and British Politics: Keynesian Social Democracy, Monetarism and Economic Liberalism: the 1970s Struggle in British Politics. I.B.Tauris. pp. 14–. ISBN 978-1-85043-725-3.
- Stuart Holland, The Socialist Challenge (London: Quartet Books, 1975).
- Mark Wickham-Jones, Economic Strategy and the Labour Party: Politics and Policy-Making, 1970-83 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1996).