AHC/WI - UK Labour dominated by the Gaitskellite wing of the party

it is a tough call though fascinated by the idea of Gaitskell living long enough to become PM in 1964, perhaps success would have prompted the likes of Peter Shore to recant his support of the CND (instead of later in life) in order to elevate his position within the party along with other pro/anti-EEC candidates.

One other idea for a Labour dominated decade in the 1950s would be Attlee during the 1945 Elections winning a 1950-like majority only to be defeated a year or so later by Winston Churchill, with the US being more inclined to provide significantly more post-war aid then they did in OTL (where Churchill and others had to basically pursuade the US to provide the post-war aid they did despite the Attlee government holding a large majority). Attlee is thus subsequently replaced by Hugh Gaitskell who after battles over Clause IV, etc eventually leads Labour to dominate the 1950s and thus move the party towards a Gaitskelite direction.
To my knowledge, there was not much of an issue with the scale of US aid to the UK in the post war period. It was the largest beneficiary of the Marshall Plan, despite being significantly less destroyed than most other countries involved. The problem was more that that money was spent on nationalisation and maintaining Britain's place in the world than meaningful long term modernisation of industry, which was what was needed.
Which would have put the UK on a better domestic / economic footing into the next decade (together with adopting Barbara Castle's 1969 In Place of Strife white paper and removing Clause IV) compared to OTL, though am interested in seeing how token British involvement in Vietnam, no Clause IV and adopting In Place of Strife would have affected the Bevanite / Bennite wing on the Labour party and whether we'd see the Bennite equivalent of an independent SDP breakaway emerge (with fractures between the remaining Gaitskellite and Jenkinsite wing over Europe potentially helping to revive the Liberals in tandem with Pro-EEC Tory breakaways).
Pragmatism and a recognition it is better to work within the Labour tent than outside of it are hallmarks of Bevanism, so that side of the party is largely going to stay put.

A Bennite breakaway is hard to do during this period, largely because the hard left were in the ascendancy throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and would therefore have very little reason to leave a party it looked set to inherit anyway. Part of the reason why they rose to prominence can be attributed to the perceived failings of successive Labour governments, which would be less of an issue ITTL, but they were also down to deeper trends like the replacement of one generation of moderate activists with another which had largely been influenced by 1960s counter culture- which is not going away, and would if anything get stronger if Gaitskell involves Britain in Vietnam. Add to that the economic problems we would still probably see in the seventies and trade union resentment at In Place of Strife, and you probably have a recipe for an equally strong hard left insurgency in the late seventies and early eighties.
 
Add to that the economic problems we would still probably see in the seventies
While I generally agree with your analysis, it is probably worth mentioning that Gaitskell would probably have managed the nationalised industries somewhat better than Wilson or Callaghan. He wasn't quite as in thrall to the trade unions and, from his 1945-1952 role, senior civil servants didn't like him because of his penchant for "interfering" (i.e. he would ruthlessly disregard any considerations of seniority and Buggins' turn in the interests of promoting the best man for the job). The only OTL post war PM self-confident enough to regularly take that view was one Margaret Hilda Thatcher (who, even if she was fattening them up for slaughter, most economists agree to have been the best manager of the nationalised industries of any PM).
 
Agreed, the increased US aid and speedier post-war recovery are a few of the things that come to mind with a weaker Attlee government,
Why would there be a speedier recovery and increased US aid? I mean... The UK was already the biggest recipient of US support at this point. Was there really willingness to support Britain even further?

Which would have put the UK on a better domestic / economic footing into the next decade (together with adopting Barbara Castle's 1969 In Place of Strife white paper and removing Clause IV) compared to OTL, though am interested in seeing how token British involvement in Vietnam, no Clause IV and adopting In Place of Strife would have affected the Bevanite / Bennite wing on the Labour party and whether we'd see the Bennite equivalent of an independent SDP breakaway emerge (with fractures between the remaining Gaitskellite and Jenkinsite wing over Europe potentially helping to revive the Liberals in tandem with Pro-EEC Tory breakaways). - https://isj.org.uk/when-old-labour-went-to-war/
Not to mention, what do the unions themselves do?

I can see this turning into a very messy internal civil war, especially if Gaitskell's government has had some major perceived failures.

fasquardon
 
To my knowledge, there was not much of an issue with the scale of US aid to the UK in the post war period. It was the largest beneficiary of the Marshall Plan, despite being significantly less destroyed than most other countries involved. The problem was more that that money was spent on nationalisation and maintaining Britain's place in the world than meaningful long term modernisation of industry, which was what was needed.
Why would there be a speedier recovery and increased US aid? I mean... The UK was already the biggest recipient of US support at this point. Was there really willingness to support Britain even further?
The UK was indeed the largest beneficiary of the Marshall Plan though seem to recall reading there being great reluctance from the US on providing the amount of aid it did to the UK under a post-war majority Attlee government. While the Conservatives were also promising similar reforms (that albeit never went as far as Labour's under Attlee), perhaps the US would have provided more Marshall Plan for the UK under the Conservatives (or with the right PODs possibly a wanked Liberals with a competent Pro-Rearmament leader in place of DLG) to invest in modernizing the country's domestic industry and infrastructure (like France and Germany) whilst maintaining its role as a post-war major power a bit longer (albeit one engaged in a more managed decline compared to OTL)?

Not to mention, what do the unions themselves do?

I can see this turning into a very messy internal civil war, especially if Gaitskell's government has had some major perceived failures.
Gaitskell and/or his ideologically aligned successors in Labour would probably attempt to take on the unions earlier, with the Conservatives seeing Labour's actions against the unions as a green light to crack down harder on the likes of Red Robbo and others before they completely ruin the industries (e.g. leaving only bad management and inferior products to blame / deal with short of the industries and infrastructure being thoroughly modernized beforehand). Even more so if the unions end up resorting to similar levels of violence seen in Italy during the Years of Lead as a response due to not being able to act like they would have wanted to in OTL or citing token British involvement in Vietnam as a excuse/justification.

OTOH providing Gaitskell's ideological heirs dominate Labour and manage to marginalize/purge their opponents in the internal civil war (leading to more electable centrist / right-leaning alternatives to Foot and Kinnock), then the Conservatives would not have the 1980s entirely to themselves under Margaret Thatcher.
 
The UK was indeed the largest beneficiary of the Marshall Plan though seem to recall reading there being great reluctance from the US on providing the amount of aid it did to the UK under a post-war majority Attlee government. While the Conservatives were also promising similar reforms (that albeit never went as far as Labour's under Attlee), perhaps the US would have provided more Marshall Plan for the UK under the Conservatives (or with the right PODs possibly a wanked Liberals with a competent Pro-Rearmament leader in place of DLG) to invest in modernizing the country's domestic industry and infrastructure (like France and Germany) whilst maintaining its role as a post-war major power a bit longer (albeit one engaged in a more managed decline compared to OTL)?
Maybe, but even if that were true, a Tory government would likely see even more money spent on maintaining Britain's status as a great power. Churchill was a very strong imperialist, after all. We would probably see Indian independence happen later, for one thing.
OTOH providing Gaitskell's ideological heirs dominate Labour and manage to marginalize/purge their opponents in the internal civil war (leading to more electable centrist / right-leaning alternatives to Foot and Kinnock), then the Conservatives would not have the 1980s entirely to themselves under Margaret Thatcher.
The PoD we're talking about is several decades before the 1980s. It's unlikely Thatcher would become Tory leader in the first place. It might be that the Conservatives oversee the problems of the late seventies and are then replaced by a Labour administration that holds power throughout the eighties.
 
An interesting thought, might Gaitskell have actually appointed Harold Lever as Chancellor at some stage? Wilson apparently didn't think that his working in the City or marrying a wealthy heiress would play well with the Left. Would Gaitskell have been more courageous?
 
Gaitskell and/or his ideologically aligned successors in Labour would probably attempt to take on the unions earlier, with the Conservatives seeing Labour's actions against the unions as a green light to crack down harder on the likes of Red Robbo and others before they completely ruin the industries (e.g. leaving only bad management and inferior products to blame / deal with short of the industries and infrastructure being thoroughly modernized beforehand). Even more so if the unions end up resorting to similar levels of violence seen in Italy during the Years of Lead as a response due to not being able to act like they would have wanted to in OTL or citing token British involvement in Vietnam as a excuse/justification.
Would it be so simple? The Unions themselves were hardly a uniform political block, and themselves formed an important part of the Labour right.

fasquardon
 
The PoD we're talking about is several decades before the 1980s. It's unlikely Thatcher would become Tory leader in the first place. It might be that the Conservatives oversee the problems of the late seventies and are then replaced by a Labour administration that holds power throughout the eighties.
It is possible though it depends on extent of the potential internal civil war within Labour frustrates the implementation of centrist Gaitskellite policies.

An interesting thought, might Gaitskell have actually appointed Harold Lever as Chancellor at some stage? Wilson apparently didn't think that his working in the City or marrying a wealthy heiress would play well with the Left. Would Gaitskell have been more courageous?
Aside from being referred to as a Tory by Benn (?), was Harold Lever more a Jenkinsite or an Anti-EEC Gailskellite politically in his outlook? How far could he have gone without suffering a stroke?

Would it be so simple? The Unions themselves were hardly a uniform political block, and themselves formed an important part of the Labour right.
Probably not however subversives within the unions like Red Robbo did much damage in OTL to both the industries they worked at as well as to their own reputation in the eyes of the public. ATL Gaitskell and his successor cracking down on the subversives earlier on (followed by the Conservatives doing the mopping up) may or may not provoke a similar reaction as in Italy during the Years of Lord or the unions might be glad to have gotten rid of the malcontents within their ranks (as was the case in latter years - albeit very belatedly).
 
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Updated the following Gaitskellite candidates that could have potentially succeeded Gaitskell as Labour Leader or at least found themselves in higher positions compared to OTL.

Pro-EEC =Brown (if sober or even teetotal), Lever, Jenkins, Crosland, Owen, Williams, Rodgers, Hattersley and Smith
Pro-EEC yet more undecided = Healey and Callaghan
Anti-EEC = Gaitskell himself, Jay, Varley, Shore (provided he recants his support of the CND instead of latter in life)
 
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