"Yes, Minister! No, Minister! If you wish it, Minister!" - Richard Crossman, "Diaries Vol. 1". As a politician and personality, Richard Crossman was anything but the deferential public servant he mocked so concisely. This revealing biography of the dedicated radical Labour politician offers the most complete picture of his colourful life and demonstrates many fascinating connections between his political thinking and the formation of New Labour. Richard Crosssman served as an MP from 1945 until shortly before his death in 1974 and is remembered as a fiery speaker, dedicated leftist and author of the controversial three-volume "Diaries of a Cabinet Minister" - published in the face of strong legal opposition from the government.This comprehensive new biography explores the connections between his personal history and his political convictions. His life not only highlights a formative period in British politics but also gives insights into contemporary British politics. Crossman's life not only highlights a formative period in British politics, but also gives insights into contemporary British politics.
Weaving together the private and public, Honeyman unveils a politician who fought with dedication for his political beliefs while persistently trying to shake up the organisation of the Labour party. Over the course of his twenty-five years in Parliament, Crossman held various position, including Leader of the House of Commons, Chairman of the Labour Party, and Secretary of State for Social Services.In this new biography, Victoria Honeyman places Crossman in the context of his party and his times while also examining his impact on the development of the Labour party. Often dismissed as fickle, this portrait of Crossman reveals an intellectual politician who worked with conviction for the improvment of his party and country. His life not only highlights a formative period in British politics, but also gives insights into contemporary British politics. Crossman's chief interests included social democracy, international relations and constitutional reform. This biography details his tireless work on these issues and assesses his impact.
Rather than the Crossman of popular myth, Honeyman has uncovered a dedicated politician who made serious intellectual contributions to his party's policy and whose influence is still felt today. This biography is essential reading for anyone interested in British contemporary political history.
Stephen Thornton is Lecturer in Comparative Politics in the School of European Studies at Cardiff University. He has written widely about the British Labour Party and social security policy, including work published in 'Contemporary British History' and 'Public Policy and Administration'.