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This paper is an historical analysis of ideational change in the British Labour Party. It briefly examines two critical phases of economic policy formation: the aftermath of the Great Depression and the MacDonald administration's implosion in 1931 until the outbreak of the Second World War; alongside Labour's experience following the 2008 financial crisis and electoral defeat in 2010 through to Jeremy Corbyn's emergence as leader. Throughout both periods, the aftershocks of financial crises stimulated a ferment of new thinking about the management of the British economy. Think tanks, universities and professionally trained economists aided the left in devising a new economic narrative and programme. For all the criticism of Corbyn's performance as leader, it was only after his victory in 2015 that a serious debate about ideas emerged within the party, more than seven years since the great financial crisis.