In 1960, Nye Bevan managed to bring Labour in line with the grassroots Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament, a mass public movement rising out of the seeds of pacifism planted by the Cold War. Leader Hugh Gaitskell had no time for such fantasies:

I don’t like his economic vision for amending Clause IV – the commitment to the public ownership of industry – and the commitment he sought in 1959 to limit tax rises. He attempted to undermine socialism decades before it was electorally necessary to do so.

But unlike many modern politicians he realised that a leader must persuade, not follow.


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