What was "the longest suicide note in history"?


What was it that the late Gerald Kaufman MP called "the longest suicide note in history"?

Gerald Kaufman MP, who died on 26 Feb 2017, described the 1983 Labour Party manifesto as "the longest suicide note in history" because of the radical left-wing policies it contained. These included:

  • Unilateral nuclear disarmament, even though it was the height of the Cold War

  • Increases in income tax for the well-off

  • Abolition of the House of Lords

  • The renationalisation of British Telecom and other formerly nationalised industries

The manifesto also included withdrawal from the European Community, the forerunner to the European Union. Though thought of as "suicidal" in 1983, its time was to come with the Brexit referendum of June 2016.

The resulting election was a landslide for Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party and is held as the contemporary lowpoint for Labour popularity.

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