Victor Grayson: Labour’s Lost Revolutionary?

Review by Tom Chidwick Having been in government for thirty-two out of the last one hundred years, the Labour Party occupies more than its fair share of the pews in the pantheon of unjustly forgotten parliamentarians of the previous century. From ILP stalwarts George Barnes and John Wheatley to devolutionist Scots of the Seventies John … Continue reading Victor Grayson: Labour’s Lost Revolutionary?

What if Scotland voted “Yes” to an Assembly in 1979?

Tom Chidwick wonders what would have happend if Scotland had voted Yes in the 1979 referendum...... As the country’s first referendum campaign drew to a close, Gordon Brown, the chairman of the Labour Party’s official ‘Labour Movement Yes’ campaign, warned that ‘to be swayed now by the scaremongering and false fears peddled by the money … Continue reading What if Scotland voted “Yes” to an Assembly in 1979?

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

“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)

“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)

“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)