This article originally appeared on Political Betting on 4th May 2021 The modern era of political betting began in 1963 when Ladbrokes’ Ron Pollard opened up a book on the Conservative Party leadership contest. Shrewd punters could back the outsider Alec Douglas-Home at 16/1 over the hot 5/4 favourite Rab Butler….. In recent years we … Continue reading The Great Unknown: A Betting History of the Great British By-election
Rob Burrow approaches MND like he did Rugby League: with bravery and without fear It was October 2011, and as they do at the end of every season, thousands of rugby league fans descended on Old Trafford to see which way the League title would be decided. Since the creation of a play-off and Grand … Continue reading Robert the Lion Heart: Rob Burrow and Too Many Reasons to Live
This article originally appeared in The Times on 28 September 2021 Forty years ago this week Labour members across the country packed up their suitcases and headed down to Brighton to decide their party’s fate. Over the summer of 1981, Denis Healey and Tony Benn fought their deputy leadership battle in every newspaper column, television … Continue reading Benn, Healey and the Labour contest that never ends
This article originally appeared in The Times on 6th May 2021 The voters in Hartlepool will soon pass judgment on the Boris Johnson era. In the months that have passed since the Conservative Party hammered away at Labour’s Red Wall there has been much talk of a “new normal”. In the first contest of the … Continue reading By-election lessons from Warrington to Hartlepool
This year, Christmas and the New Year might still feel a bit different than usual. But while it may be tough not seeing our relatives and friends , most of us can hopefully look forward to a festive break in secure homes where we can feel safe, warm, and well-fed. Not everyone in Britain has … Continue reading Help Feed a Family this Christmas: The Labour Movement Charity Calendar
Twenty years ago, the Conservative Party was at its lowest ebb. But on the night of New Labour’s greatest triumph, one man promised to revive their fortunes… As the sunset on eighteen years of Conservative rule in May 1997, Tony Blair had already set his sights on his next task. His primary focus was to … Continue reading New Labour and the Making of Boris Johnson
Taking an opposition party into government is a rare feat in British politics. At the 1979 General Election, the first-time voters who witnessed Mrs Thatcher take power are now in their sixties. In the intervening period those voters have seen the government change hands just twice. Keir Starmer is the latest in a long line … Continue reading One year of Sir Keir: How does Starmer compare to Thatcher, Blair and Cameron?
As Super League celebrates its 25th birthday, rugby league is further away from its founder’s vision than ever. As Britain approached the end of the 1970s there was much talk about the “managed decline” of a once-great powerhouse. As debts spiralled out of control and the creditors came knocking at the door, the future looked … Continue reading Super League at 25: The unfinished revolution?