Twelve Wasted Years. Labour Party Research Department, 10s.

The Labour Party Publication Twelve Wasted Years which collects statistics and quotations covering the past twelve years of Conservative rule performs a useful service in facilitating our task of confronting past promises and present achievements, of delineating the incoherent and almost blind zigzag of their policy shifts. Divided into five sections (The Economy, Social Policy, Europe, External Affairs, and Parliament and Politics) and 36 chapters, it is most revealing of the Conservatives in the first sections and most revealing of the least attractive aspects of official Labour ‘thinking’ in the last (pseudo-structural) sector—chapters being, The Labour Party, the Conservative Party, the Liberals, the Communist Party, and Parliament. Just to take an example, it points out with democratic scorn the ‘Bans and Proscriptions’ of the Communist Party and the latter’s subordination to ‘full-time bureaucrats’ but does nothing to suggest that similar phenomena might exist rather nearer home. And why do we not have an equally solid account (470 pages) of Labour Party policy from, say, 1945 onwards? But we should not be ungrateful for this handy arrangement of telling political ammunition. t.w.