Giles Radice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Lord Radice)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Lord Radice

Official portrait of Lord Radice crop 2.jpg
Lord Radice's official parliamentary photo
Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee
In office
17 July 1997 – 7 June 2001
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Succeeded byJohn McFall
Shadow Secretary of State for
Education and Science
In office
2 October 1983 – 13 July 1987
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byNeil Kinnock
Succeeded byJack Straw
Member of Parliament
for North Durham
Chester-le-Street (1973-1983)
In office
1 March 1973 – 7 June 2001
Preceded byNorman Pentland
Succeeded byKevan Jones
Personal details
Giles Heneage Radice

(1936-10-04) 4 October 1936 (age 82)
Political partyLabour
ChildrenSophie Radice (author)
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford

Giles Heneage Radice, Baron Radice, PC (born 4 October 1936) is a Labour member of the House of Lords.

Early life[edit]

Radice was educated at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He worked as a research officer for the General and Municipal Workers' Union.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Radice first stood for Parliament at Chippenham in 1964 and 1966, but came third each time. He was elected Labour Member of Parliament for Chester-le-Street from a 1973 by-election to 1983 and then North Durham until his retirement in 2001.[1]

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.[2] He was a member of the House of Lords European Union Sub-Committee on external affairs until March 2015.[3]

A europhile, Radice was one of only five Labour MPs to vote for the Third Reading of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, defying his party Whip, which was to abstain.[4]

He was made a Life Peer as Baron Radice, of Chester-le-Street in the County of Durham, on 16 July 2001.[5]

Writing and political ideas[edit]

Winchester College

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." [7] 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.[citation needed] A committed pro-European, Radice has for many years been a leading member both of the European Movement and Britain in Europe, and wrote a polemic called Offshore in 1992, in which he put the case for Britain in Europe.[citation needed]

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."[8] His diaries, published in 2004, were shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year.[citation needed]

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.[9]

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.[citation needed]


  • Divide and rule : the Industrial Relations Bill. (with J.O.N. Vickers) Fabian Society, London. 1971 ISBN 0-7163-0406-6
  • Community socialism. Fabian Society, London. 1979
  • Equality and quality: a socialist plan for education. Fabian Society, London. 1986
  • Labour's Path to Power: The New Revisionism Palgrave Macmilan, 1989, ISBN 978-0333480724
  • Offshore: Britain and the European Idea I.B.Tauris, 1992, ISBN 978-1-85043-362-0
  • The New Germans Michael Joseph, 1995, ISBN 978-0718137809
  • Friends and Rivals Octagon Press, 2003, ISBN 978-0-349-11734-8
  • Diaries 1980-2001: The Political Diaries of Giles Radice Orion, 2004, ISBN 978-0-297-84900-1
  • The Tortoise and the Hares: Attlee, Bevin, Cripps, Dalton, Morrison Politicos Publishing, 2008, ISBN 978-1-84275-223-4
  • Trio: Inside the Blair, Brown, Mandelson Project I.B.Tauris, 2010, ISBN 978-1-84885-445-1
  • Southern Discomfort Fabian Society, 1992, 978-0716305552
  • More Southern Discomfort : a year on - taxing and spending Fabian Society, 1993
  • Southern Discomfort Again (with Patrick Diamond) Policy Network, 2010
  • Southern Discomfort Again: One Year On (with Patrick Diamond), Policy Network, 2011


  1. ^
  2. ^ House of Commons Treasury Select Committee Accountability of the Bank of England, 1st Report 1997 - 1998 and Confirmation Hearings 3rd Report 1997-1998
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Tory MPs in record revolt: Lamont leaves door open for ERM re-entry". The Independent. 21 May 1993.
  5. ^ "No. 56281". The London Gazette. 20 July 2001. p. 8601.
  6. ^ "26/04/2009". Westminster Hour. 26 April 2009. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  7. ^ Financial Times 6 June 2006
  8. ^ Political Quarterly, Vol 82, Issue 2, 2011, pp. 322-25.
  9. ^ Humboldt University of Berlin Advisory Council website,; accessed 21 February 2016.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Norman Pentland
Member of Parliament for Chester-le-Street
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Durham
Succeeded by
Kevan Jones
Party political offices
Preceded by
Anthony Lester
Treasurer of the Fabian Society
Succeeded by
John Roper
Preceded by
Colin Crouch
Chair of the Fabian Society
Succeeded by
Dick Leonard