Searching Finance is delighted to announce that later this year we are to publish Lessons from a Short Parliament: Wilson’s Minority Government of 1974 by Max Skjönsberg.
More about the book
A study of the only time in post-war Britain when a government has decided to form a minority administration after an indecisive general election.
The subject is highly topical, as the first election in 1974 gave the same uncertain outcome as the 2010 election, and many pundits are now speculating that hung parliaments will become more frequent.
Unlike David Cameron, the then Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath failed to form a coalition with the Liberals, and instead Harold Wilson, whose Labour Party won four more seats than the Tories, entered Number 10 for the second time.
The 1970s are also relevant for readers as the economic difficulties were at least as dire as today; the biggest problem at the time was high inflation, which peaked at 26 per cent in June 1975 (compared with the current rate of 2.7 per cent). The minority government that took office in 1974 faced a raft of other problems: a miners’ strike, a state of emergency, a three-day working week because of energy shortage, sky-rocketing oil prices, and deteriorating world trade as most of the developed world deflated their economies. Labour’s main instrument to deal with the situation was something called the Social Contract – an informal but very important agreement between the government and the trade unions.
More about the author
Max Skjönsberg is a journalist, but is currently studying a master’s degree in History of Political Thought and Intellectual History at Queen Mary, University of London and University College London.
He has previously studied contemporary history, also at Queen Mary, and that is when his interest in British political and economic history was awakened as he chose to specialise in British post-war history.
Before commencing his current studies, he worked as a reporter at WealthBriefing and FamilyWealthReport between 2011 and 2012, writing about financial news as well as UK and international politics and current affairs. Max moved to the UK from Sweden in 2008. In his native country, he worked as a reporter for various sports websites.
Lessons from a Short Parliament: Wilson’s Minority Government of 1974 by Max Skjönsberg will be published by Searching Finance in September 2013