By Henry Drucker
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Additional resources for Developments in British Politics
The institutions of the state were seen to be neutral between substantive political values, and the achievement of socialism is largely a matter of a majority in the House of Commons and the political will to implement socialist objectives. Tony Benn. The Left's critique of this view has been developed by Tony Benn, notably in Arguments for Socialism ( 1979) and Arguments for Democracy ( 1982). On this view, state institutions, particularly the House of Lords, the civil service, the legal system and the police, work against the implementation of Raymond Plant 25 socialist policies.
Labour was slightly protected from the full consequences of defeat, retaining 209 seats. The Alliance secured only 6 SDP and 17 Liberal MPs (around 140 seats short given their share of the vote). But these surface differences remain fairly small scale, and provide little direct indication of the sweeping changes in party Patrick Dunleavy 31 fortunes and electoral behaviour which have occurred since 1979. To understand the deeper-rooted causes and mechanisms of voting change we need to go beyond a consideration of election results and look at the evidence thrown up by the key research tools of political science in this area, survey data and opinion poll results.
Ownership had become diversified and in that respect management control was more important than ownership. On this view, managers were more socially responsible than owners 22 The Resurgence of Ideology and private industry was now more sensitive to social goals and priorities than had been the case. On the 'Crosland-Gaitskell' revisionist analysis, this made public ownership or nationalisation much less relevant to the achievement of socialism. Public ownership of the means of production was not an end in itself but rather one among a number of means to the achievement of social justice and equality which are genuine ends of socialist politics.