By P. Deveney
An account of ways one Labour celebration baby-kisser, after affliction the most important setback of his political profession, used the anti-Vietnam battle demonstrations in Grosvenor sq., the conflict over alternate union reform and the concerns in Northern eire to propel himself to No 10.
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Additional info for Callaghan’s Journey to Downing Street
The Times had also scooped the competition with a page-one story the day before the march headlined, “Students Enter Britain Illegally for Rally” (The Times, 26 October 1968). 90 Although the march was targeted against the United States and not the British government, the whole issue of US involvement in Vietnam was a contentious one for the Labour government and caused deep divisions within the party. 92 The romantic way that McCaffrey depicts Callaghan’s role in that event is the way the public perceived it as well, given the ﬂattering coverage in the media and the laudatory reactions in Parliament, which had been the icing on the cake of Callaghan’s triumph.
70 All of the sabre rattling in the press had had an effect on public opinion as well. 73 The photographs 70 PRO, HO 376/158. Memo to Brian Cubbon from PR Ofﬁce, 8 October 1968. Although McCaffrey’s name is not on the memo, the tone of the document and the directives within it make it clear that it emanated from him. 71 NOP Bulletin, September 1968. 72 British Parliamentary Debates, Fifth Series, Vol. 722, Col. 1060–1061. In fact, Callaghan told Parliament that foreign governments saw the British government’s response as “a very useful lesson in how this kind of exercise should be conducted”.
366. 59 (Manchester) Guardian Archive, C5/334. Note of a discussion between Hetherington and Crossman, 21 March 1968. 60 In early 1968, Callaghan – while clearly unpopular in comparison with Jenkins, who had seemingly done a better job as Home Secretary and now was seen as doing a better job as Chancellor – had taken a characteristically cautious stand on both immigration and race relations. 61 Nonetheless, Callaghan’s position had anticipated public opinion. 62 The crisis was triggered by Kenya’s post-colonial Africanisation policy and in the ﬁrst couple of months of Callaghan’s tenure at the Home Ofﬁce thousands of people fearful of losing their livelihoods in Kenya used their British passports to enter and settle in England.