Gerald Frankel

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Gerald Frankel was the Chair of the Labour Industry Forum. Frankel’s obituary (he died in 2003 according to the Guardian)[1] states that he was one of the unsung architects of Labour's remarkable 1997 election victory, through the Industry Forum, which he created in 1993. Frankel “built a bridge between Labour and business, and helped the party's credibility in its weakest area.” After the 1992 election defeat Labour leader John Smith suggested Frankel join the Labour Finance and Industry Group.

The Industry Forum, was a new body for Labour-business dialogue that worked as part of the lead-up to the 1997 election, through the Forum, people across industry and finance exchanged views with shadow ministers and "developed a wide range of policy". Julia Hobsbawm, in a 2005 Diary piece in the New Statesman, states that Frankel was a mutual friend of her and Robin Cook. David Osler in his 2002 Labour Party plc: New Labour as a Party of Business mentions Frankel in connection with Hobsbawm’s ‘fund-raising’ 1000 Club.

Frankel has friends in the intelligence field and his business activities were related to this. According to the obituary, in the mid-1950s his microfilm enlarger attracted “An old friend, William Casey, later director of the CIA,” who “was so impressed he funded a New York subsidiary with his own cash.” The obituary also states that with his 'outspoken wife Dolly', "they held endless parties filled with British and American writers, artists and movie people, including Zero Mostel, Topol, blacklisted emigré screenwriters and old friends Shirley Anne Field, Denis Norden and gold-painted Bond girl Shirley Eaton."[2]

He chaired the National Economic Development Office's micrographic and computer manufacturing groups. Kenneth BakerLink title, minister of information technology in Margaret Thatcher's administration, inspired Frankel in 1985 to form the British Office Technology Manufacturers' Alliance, which included ICL, BT, and arms companies Ferranti and GEC.[3]