The Tides of History project was forged in the aftermath of the 2016 E.U referendum, to better understand the events that took the country towards that historic moment.
The referendum laid bare various divisions in British society, but none more emotive than the identity crisis at the heart of the Labour movement and in working class life more generally. The disconnect between Labour and its traditional voters in its heartland towns of the Midlands and the North of England just added to its woes in Scotland, where the traditional power base had just collapsed.
Since Tides began, in 2017, Labour has gone on to suffer its hardest and perhaps most important electoral defeat since the 1930s. It was symbolic of a much longer historical trajectory of the post-war era, in which the party has often struggled to capture the mood of the politics and culture of the age. The recurring political question of the 20th century – Must Labour Lose? – again confronts us.
At a time of complex and uncertain political change, an understanding of the party’s heritage can hopefully play a role in Labour’s eventual revival. At the heart of our research is an attempt to understand where Labour is situated in the lives of the voter, as a cultural entity and as part of wider ideas about identity.
IIt aims to offer fresh approaches to its subjects through essays and online discussions. By providing archival resources, we hope to make a fundamental contribution to the study of both the contemporary and historic politics of Britain
And whilst the Conservative Party already have a large range of archival documents online – such as the vast Margaret Thatcher foundation – the Labour Party has yet to match it with an equivalent online project – something we are looking to rectify by building an online archive alongside the Labour Party Graphic Designers at https://www.labourdesign.co.uk. (Who have also supplied us with this stunning artwork)
In the coming months we will be launching a new podcast looking at Labour’s Opposition Years between the fall of Harold Wilson and the rise of Tony Blair. We are also working with LPGD on various projects, so keep an eye out for those.
Write For Us
We always encourage upcoming writers, historians and enthusiasts to contribute to the project. If you have an idea for an article we would be delighted to publish your work and give you space and a platform to promote your ideas. Any work does not have to be the finished article or argument but can instead be used to test your thoughts and instigate debate online.
The purpose of the project is to encourage people to craft their skills as historians/commentators and contribute to the broad debates about politics, culture and wider society. We welcome submissions on any topics that would be of interest to our readership.
For an article pitch, please include:
The title you think would work best for the article. (This title should be the subject of your email to us)
A broad thrust of your topic and why it is interesting
A rough estimate of what you think the length should be.
Any relevant information about yourself
Unfortunately, we cannot pay writers for their work at this stage as this is a voluntary project but we can help edit your work, support your research and give you exposure via the @labour_history twitter page, which has over 28,000 followers and has a broad media profile.
We would particularly like to help those making their first steps into the world of work and education – who will not have access to internships within politics and the media – but would like to have a writing credit to put on a CV and some experience of writing to a mass audience. We need more working class voices and the site would be grateful to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to this
Please send any ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you