Before becoming Prime Minister, Clement Attlee had been an LSE academic. This Department of Economic History public event explored the lessons from Attlee’s time in office for the UK today.
After World War II, Britain faced issues which are familiar today: strengthening the welfare state, dealing with an inflated public debt, improving productivity performance, underpinning support for the market economy, and credibly promising a better future. The Attlee government has been widely praised for its handling of this difficult situation and it is often said that we should remember the lessons of the 1940s. But what are the lessons we should learn, how successful were the policies of the time, and should we really try to go back to the future?
This LSE public event, Play it Again Clem? Lessons from the 1940s for post-COVID Britain, was hosted by the Department of Economic History on Thursday 6 October 2022 online and in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House. The speaker was Nick Crafts, Professor of Economic History at the University of Sussex Business School, Emeritus professor at the University of Warwick, and current President of the Royal Economic Society. The event was chaired by Patrick Wallis, Professor of Economic History at LSE.