| Anthony Crosland |
|Born||29 August 1918|
St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, England
|Died||19 February 1977 (Age 58)|
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Cause of death
|Alma mater||Trinity College (Oxford)|
UK Labour MP. In 1956 wrote The Future of Socialism, which became a seminal work for the right wing of the party. In the book he outlines the need for socialism to adapt to modern circumstances. Closet homosexual in the 1950s when it still was illegal.
Charles Anthony Raven Crosland was a British Labour politician and author.
A social democrat on the right wing of the Labour Party, he was a prominent socialist intellectual. His influential book The Future of Socialism (1956) argued against many Marxist notions and the traditional Labour Party doctrine that expanding public ownership was essential to make socialism work, arguing instead for prioritising the end of poverty and improving public services. He offered positive alternatives to both the right wing and left wing of the Labour Party of his day.
Having served as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Gloucestershire from 1950 to 1955, Crosland returned to Parliament for Great Grimsby (1959–1977). During Harold Wilson's governments of 1964–1970 he served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury (1964), then Minister of State for Economic Affairs (1964–1965). Entering the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education and Science (1965–1967), he led the Labour campaign to replace grammar schools with comprehensive schools that did not use the eleven-plus for the selection of pupils. He later served as President of the Board of Trade (1967–1969), then Secretary of State for Local Government and Regional Planning (1969–1970).
When Labour returned to power he served as Secretary of State for the Environment (1974–1976) and briefly as Foreign Secretary (1976–1977). In that role he promoted détente with the Soviet Union. He died suddenly in February 1977 of a cerebral haemorrhage, aged 58.
Crosland benefited from the patronage of Hugh Dalton, who, in 1951, wrote to Richard Crossman: "Thinking of Tony, with all his youth and beauty and gaiety and charm... I weep. I am more fond of that young man than I can put into words." According to Nicholas Davenport, Dalton's unrequited feelings for Crosland became an embarrassing joke within the Labour Party.
Crosland married Hilary Sarson in November 1952, divorcing after five years, though the marriage had effectively ended after a year. Crosland had numerous affairs with other women. He remarried on 7 February 1964 to Susan Catling, an American from Baltimore resident in London whom he had met in 1956, and, in contrast to his first marriage, this was very happy and content. Susan Crosland was a successful journalist and writer. There were no children of either marriage, although Crosland's second wife had two daughters from a previous marriage. He persuaded his step-daughters to abandon their elite private schools to attend Holland Park Comprehensive. Susan Crosland died on 26 February 2011.
- Campbell, John (2014). Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life. Jonathan Cape. p. 66.
- Bloch, Michael (2015). Closet Queens. Little, Brown. p. 230.
- Davenport, Nicholas (1974). Memoirs of a City Radical. Weidenfeld. p. 171.
- Obituary, The Times, London, 21 February 1977