To read this long-overdue and welcome biography of Peter Shore is to undergo a journey from Labour’s eurosceptic heights in the 1960s to its demise as a party of the nation state in the 1990s. Titled Labour’s Forgotten Patriot, patriotism is a theme which constantly recurs and, to a considerable extent, defined Shore’s political life.
Peter Shore has been a rather neglected figure. This is odd since he had considerable influence over Labour politics for two decades and was probably the staunchest defender of Britain’s independence. A Cambridge Apostle, rising star in the Labour Research Department of the 1950s and part author of three consecutive Labour general election manifestos, Shore came to national prominence as parliamentary private secretary to Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Shore almost certainly wrote the famous ‘white heat’ speech).