The campaign for democratic socialism 1960-1964.
In early 1960 it seemed likely that the official Labour Party defence policy would be defeated by a unilateralist resolution at the Scarborough Conference. In response to this possibility the Campaign for Democratic Socialism, or CDS, was established. The CDS projected the image of a grass-roots movement inspired by Gaitskell's "fight and fight again" speech. But it was run by a Campaign Committee which included leading members of the Party like Tony Crosland, Roy Jenkins and Patrick Gordon Walker, as well as less well known members like Bill Rodgers, Dick Taverne, Philip Williams, Brian Walden, Denis Howell and David Marquand. This highly talented group launched an elaborate and successful lobbying, publicity and briefing operation which was influential in overturning the unilateralist vote at the Blackpool Conference of 1961. After Blackpool the Campaign helped many of its leading members find seats in the House of Commons while continuing to put the "revisionist" case through its newspaper Campaign. The importance of the CDS in the history of the Labour Party is, primarily, as the first internal pressure group organised by the right of the Party. It was also the first internal Party group to use such sophisticated lobbying techniques. Moreover, the subsequent careers of the leading members of the Campaign influenced the development of the Labour Party. The CDS was an important formative political action for many of them. Finally many of the CDS supporters set-up or joined the SDP when it was launched.
- Theses