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We three would-be kings

Crosland, Jenkins and Healey were the reforming leaders Labour never had. They ruined each other's chances of saving the party from its wilderness years

By Dick Leonard   October 2002

Book: Friends and Rivals Author: Giles Radice Price: Little, Brown ?20

In the 1960s and 1970s the Labour Party had in its ranks three supremely gifted figures, each of whom was dedicated to modernising the party and freeing it from the doctrinaire commitment to nationalisation which was sapping its popular appeal. If any one of them had succeeded in becoming party leader, something approaching the New Labour transformation would have occurred a generation earlier, to the immense benefit of party and nation.

This is the theme of Giles Radice’s brilliant triple biography of Tony Crosland, Roy Jenkins and Denis Healey,…

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