Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Roy Sydney George Hattersley, Baron Hattersley, PC (born December 28, 1932), is a British Labour Party politician, published author and journalist from Sheffield, England. He is a life-long supporter of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
Roy Hattersley was a strong socialist and Labour supporter from his youth, electioneering for his local MP and city councillors from 1945. His mother became a city councillor and later was Lord Mayor of Sheffield (1981). He won a scholarship to Sheffield City Grammar School and went from there to study at the University of Hull. Initially intending to read English at Leeds, he was diverted into reading economics when he was told it was necessary for a political career.
At university Roy Hattersley joined the Socialist Society (SocSoc) and was one of those responsible for changing it to the Labour Club and affiliating it with the IUSY rather than the IUS . Hattersley became chairman of the new Club and later treasurer then chairman of the National Association of Labour Student Organisations . He also joined the executive of the IUSY.
Member of Parliament
After graduating Hattersley worked briefly for a Sheffield steelworks and then for two years with the Workers' Educational Association. In 1956 he was elected to the City Council as Labour representative for Crookesmoor and was, very briefly, a JP. On the Council he spent time as chairman of the Public Works Committee and then the Housing Committee.
He was aiming for a Westminster seat and was selected for Labour in Sutton Coldfield in 1958, facing a 17,000 Conservative majority he lost to Geoffrey Lloyd in 1959. He kept hunting for prospective candidacies, applying for twenty-five seats over three years. In 1963 he was chosen as the PPC for the multi-racial Birmingham Sparkbrook constituency, replacing local 'character' Jack Webster and facing a Tory majority of just under 900. On October 16, 1964 he was elected by 1,254 votes, beating Leo Amery. He was to hold that seat for the next eight general elections.
At first he was PPS to Peggy Herbison , the Minister for Pensions. His maiden speech was on a housing subsidies bill. Still a Gaitskellite he also joined the 1963 Club . He also wrote his first Endpiece column for The Spectator (the column moved to the Listener in 1979 and then The Guardian).
Despite the support of Roy Jenkins and Tony Crosland he did not gain a Ministerial position until 1967, joining Ray Gunter at the Ministry of Labour. Apparently he was disliked by Harold Wilson as a Jenkinsite. The following year he was bumped up to Under Secretary in the same ministry, now led by Barbara Castle, and become closely involved in implementing the unpopular Prices and Incomes Act . In 1969 after the "fiasco" over In Place of Strife he was promoted to deputy for Denis Healey, the Minister of Defence, following the death of Gerry Reynolds . One of his first jobs, while Healey was hospitalised, was to sign the Army Board Order - putting troops into Northern Ireland and later Hattersley agreed the forming of the Ulster Defence Regiment, as an attempt to create a non-sectarian replacement for the B-Specials.
European Common Market
The Labour defeat of 1970 ended the period of sustained Labour government. Hattersley was to hold his seat, often increasing his majority, but for the next twenty-six years as MP he was to spent twenty-one in Opposition. He was made Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman, again under Healey, which meant a lot of foreign travel if nothing else. He also took a Visiting Fellowship to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. During this time he also became an enthusiastic supporter of the Common Market, his "drift to the political centre" put him at odds with much of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). He was one of the sixty-nine 'rebels' who voted with the Conservative government for entry into the EEC, which precipitated the resignation of Jenkins as deputy leader (April 10, 1972) and eventually a permanent split within Labour. For 'standing by' the party Hattersley was made Defence Spokesman and later Shadow Secretary of State for Education (the one in-government post he always aspired to).
In the first Labour government of the 1970s he was the non-Cabinet Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in 1975 he was made a Privy Councillor. Hattersley headed the British delegation to Reykjavik during the "Cod War", but was primarily tasked with renegotiating the terms of Britain's membership of the EEC. Following the resignation of the Prime Minister he voted for Jim Callaghan in order to stop Michael Foot (a man "[that] for all his virtues... could not become Prime Minister"). Under Callaghan he finally made it into Cabinet as Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, a position he held until Labour's defeat in the 1979 General Election.
Labour did not regain power for a long time. "Election campaigns all have distinct characteristics. For Labour, 1983 was ludicrous, and 1987 was desperate. At least 1979 was only dismal." In 1979 Hattersley was appointed to shadow Michael Heseltine at Environment, contending with him over the cuts in local government powers and the "right to buy". Following the rise of the 'hard left', as demonstrated at the 1980 Labour Conference, Callaghan resigned. The leadership contest was between Healey and Foot, with Hattersley organising Healy's campaign. "An electorate [the PLP] deranged by fear" elected Foot. Healy was made deputy leader and Hattersley was appointed Shadow Home Secretary, but felt that Foot was "a good man in the wrong job", "a baffling combination of the admirable and the absurd." Healey was challenged for his post in 1981, following electoral rule changes, by Tony Benn, retaining his post by 50.426% to 49.574%. "The Bennite alliance [although defeated]... played a major part in keeping the Conservatives in power for almost twenty years." Hattersley also had very little regard for those Labour defectors who created the SDP in 1981. He helped found Labour Solidarity (1981-83) and credits the group with preventing the disintegration of the Party.
Following the devastating defeat of the 1983 general election Foot declined to continue as leader. Hattersley stood in the subsequent leadership election, John Smith was his campaign manager and a young Peter Mandelson also impressed Hattersley. The other competitors were Neil Kinnock, Peter Shore and Eric Heffer . Hattersley had the support of most of the Shadow Cabinet, but the majority of the PLP, the constituency groups and the unions were in favour of Kinnock. In the final counting Kinnock secured around three times the votes of second placed Hattersley - as was standard practice at the time Hattersley became deputy leader. The combination was sometimes seen as a "dream ticket" with Kinnock a representative of the left of the party and Hattersley of the right.
Hattersley remained deputy for eight years and also Shadow Chancellor until 1987 and then Shadow Home Affairs. At this time his raised profile led to him being portrayed on the satirical television puppet programme Spitting Image as someone who showered his audience with saliva each time he spoke, Hattersley had a slight problem with sibilants. Others were worried at the harm this did to his reputation, Hattersley apparently found it rather entertaining.
Kinnock and Hattersley worked to rehabilitate Labour, after the hiatus of the Miners Strike they purged the Liverpool Militants and in 1988 finally ended the ambitions of Tony Benn. Defeat in 1987 was expected, by 1992 it was clear that the qualities that had brought Kinnock into power were making him unelectable, "the voters would not have him." They both resigned after the defeat in 1992. Hattersley supported his friend John Smith in the leadership contest.
Hattersley was long regarded as being on the right of the party, but with "New Labour" in power he found himself criticising a Labour government from the left. He is the author of many books including novels, biographies and also the diaries of his dog, Buster. He (Hattersley) is also a convcted criminal, having been fined £75 after Buster killed a goose in one of London's royal parks. Hattersley pleaded self-defence on behalf of Buster.
A failure to appear on the satirical television programme Have I Got News For You in 1993 famously led to his place being taken by a tub of lard.
- The Edwardians: Biography of the Edwardian Age (2004) ISBN 0316725374
- John Wesley: A Brand from the Burning (2002) ISBN 0316860204
- Buster's Diaries (1999) ISBN 0751529176
- Blood and Fire: William and Catherine Booth and the Salvation Army (1999) ISBN 0316851612
- 50 Years on: Prejudiced History of Britain Since the War (1997) ISBN 0316879320
- No Discouragement: An Autobiography(1996) ISBN 0333649575
- Who Goes Home?: Scenes from a Political Life (1995) ISBN 0316876690
- Between Ourselves (1994) ISBN 0330325744
- Skylark's Song (1993) ISBN 0333556089
- In That Quiet Earth (1993) ISBN 0330323032
- The Maker's Mark (1990) ISBN 033347032X
- Choose Freedom: Future of Democratic Socialism (1987) ISBN 0140104941
- A Yorkshire Boyhood (1983) ISBN 0701126132
- Press Gang (1983) ISBN 0860512053
- Goodbye to Yorkshire (1976) ISBN 0575022019
|Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection|
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details