Guest Writers

Three Lights Shining in Buckinghamshire

BY PAUL RICHARDS The leafy lanes and pretty Chiltern villages surrounding Chesham and Amersham are not immediately redolent of Labour history. Swan Bottom is a long way from Clydeside, and Cholesbury is no Tolpuddle. Yet growing up in the area, I was always fascinated by the stories of three Labour titans who were drawn to… Continue reading Three Lights Shining in Buckinghamshire

John Smith · New Labour

The Scottish Titan: The Prime Minister Britain Never Had

By Tom Chidwick When the death of John Smith, the fourteenth Leader of the Labour Party, was announced twenty-seven years ago today, a wave of warm and affectionate tributes lamented the premature passing of a decent and courteous, dogged and supremely self-confident man—‘a Labour loyalist by instinct, and a pragmatist by inclination’, as his widow,… Continue reading The Scottish Titan: The Prime Minister Britain Never Had

Anthony Broxton

Back to School: Labour and the Great Education Debate

The Great Debate about education is a fascinating episode, both in the context of James Callaghan's Premiership and the ongoing argument about the purpose and practice of education. BY MARK WILLIAMS The Great Debate can be seen as a sequence of events, running from late 1976 to 1977. The critical moment was Callaghan's high-profile speech… Continue reading Back to School: Labour and the Great Education Debate

Anthony Broxton

Maureen Colquhoun (1928-2021): “My sexuality has nothing to do with my ability to do the job”

In the 1970s, the Daily Mail “outed” Maureen Colquhoun – making her the first openly lesbian MP in British political history. But she wasn’t accepted in society so easily. Maureen Colquhoun was born on 12 August 1928 and joined the Labour Party aged 18 She read for a degree in Economics at the LSE before… Continue reading Maureen Colquhoun (1928-2021): “My sexuality has nothing to do with my ability to do the job”

Anthony Broxton

“Come Referendum Day” – The Story of the 1979 Scottish Referendum (Part Three)

This is the third part of @tomchidwick look at the 1979 Scottish Referendum. The first part can be read here and the second here.  Reflecting on his boyhood in Fife in Before the Oil Ran Out, Ian Jack, former editor of the Independent on Sunday, explained that, as a result of his father’s part in Scotland’s heavy industrial workforce, ‘the past… Continue reading “Come Referendum Day” – The Story of the 1979 Scottish Referendum (Part Three)

Anthony Broxton

“All say Yes or Tinkerbell will die” – The Story of the 1979 Scottish Referendum (Part Two)

This is the second part of @tomchidwick look at the 1979 Scottish Referendum. The first part can be read here Campaigning had begun in earnest over two years before the referendum, with The Guardian reporting in January 1977 that even during Hogmanay, 'delirious Scots' were subjected to 'a barrage of publicity from the Bill's opponents'. The Hogmanay… Continue reading “All say Yes or Tinkerbell will die” – The Story of the 1979 Scottish Referendum (Part Two)

Guest Writers

“A Kingdom on the Brink” – The Story of the 1979 Scottish Referendum (Part One)

By Tom Chidwick On 10 January 1979, after a six-day summit in Guadeloupe with President Jimmy Carter, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, an avuncular British Prime Minister James Callaghan touched down at Heathrow Airport to be met with a pack of the Fourth Estate. With severe frosts and heavy snowfall, a mean… Continue reading “A Kingdom on the Brink” – The Story of the 1979 Scottish Referendum (Part One)

Uncategorized

Back to the Future: A Defence of the Social Contract

Britain's standard image between 1974 and 1979 is one where overmighty trade unions, enabled by Labour's Social Contract, ran the country; this is banal. By Alex Maguire However, the Social Contract, and its eventual fate, is an important and interesting part of Labour Movement history. The Social Contract ran across two different Labour ministries and… Continue reading Back to the Future: A Defence of the Social Contract