All general elections produce their winners and losers. Landslide victories are often remembered for their scale and become personal vindications for Prime Ministers. As we reach the 30th anniversary of the 1992 election @scottcresswell1 wonders whether this was one that Labour were glad to lose... Whether it be Attlee in 1945, Thatcher in 1983, or … Continue reading 1992 at 30: What if Kinnock had won it?
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
In the aftermath of election defeat, David Miliband emerged as the clear front-runner. Bookmakers priced DM at 4/7, Alastair Darling 8/1, Alan Johnson 10/1, Ed Miliband 11/1, Ed Balls 12/1. Andy Burnham 14/1, 16/1 Jon Cruddas, 25/1 James Purnell, 33/1 Liam Byrne, 40/1 John Denham, 50/1 Yvette Cooper Reflecting on thirteen years In office, Peter … Continue reading Bloodied Brothers: The Milibands and the Battle for New Labour’s Legacy
Whether it's the collective imagery of Dunkirk, 1945, Thatcherism or the Iraq War, our political discourse remains wedded to the imagery of the past. The stories we tell ourselves are the glue that hold us together. But as Richard Jobson's new book argues, it is also holding us back. CONTENTS 1. Introduction - Labour, nostalgia and 'nostalgia-identity' … Continue reading Prisoners of the Past: Nostalgia and the Post-War Labour Party
The party insiders urged him to call it. David Cameron challenged him to it. Gordon Brown tried to play politics with it for a short term gain. Eventually the hesitancy destroyed a carefully crafted reputation, and Labour have looked like the opposition ever since. So why didn’t Brown call that General Election of 2007? As Gordon … Continue reading Election? What Election? How Brown’s dithering ended the New Labour era
On the morning of September 11th 2001, Tony Blair was on his way to the TUC conference in Brighton, for a dramatic showdown with the trade unions. Emboldened by another landslide just 3 months earlier, the prime minister was determined to make the most of his second term by pushing through with controversial public service … Continue reading An “absurd denial of self-interest” – The lost Blair speech that backed the Euro…but was never given
Twenty years ago this week, Tony Blair hosted a drinks reception at Number 10 that seemed to capture the essence of a “New Britain” hurtling fast towards a new millennium. In the 3 years since he had become leader of the party, Tony Blair had constantly spoken of his vision for a “young country” as … Continue reading Totally Cool: Pop, Politics and the revival of Britain
Hugh Gaitskell, Barbara Castle, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Tony Benn, Neil Kinnock, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Jeremy Corbyn all have one thing in common. They have all advocated withdrawal from the EEC/EU at some point in their long political careers. But only Jeremy Corbyn can see it through to fruition. It begs the question, why … Continue reading The End of a Thousand Years of History – Labour’s Long March To Brexit