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?
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?
Holding together working- and middle-class voters has been Labour’s historic Achilles’ heel. Can Keir Starmer do what Clement Attlee couldn’t in 1950? In April 1946, the Attorney General, Sir Hartley Shawcross, told Conservative MPs in a Commons debate, “We are the masters” and will be “for a long time to come”. Labour had just become … Continue reading Masters No More Masters Clement Attlee and the ‘Revolt of the Suburbs’
“Austerity is repealed for a day as Britons swarm to the pubs” The story of 1966 – the last time England were in a major a final Harold Wilson launched the tournament at a meeting of FIFA in London and claimed England had a good chance of winning. “England are playing together as a team. … Continue reading Route 66: Have you noticed how we only win the World Cup under a Labour government?
When the death of John P. Mackintosh, the Labour Member of Parliament for Berwick and East Lothian, was announced on 31 July 1978, William Russell, the Glasgow Herald’s man in SW1A, reflected on the premature passing of a man ‘who looked a winner but failed to conquer’. Aged only 48 but having been an MP since … Continue reading Labour Lives: The Story of John P. Mackintosh
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
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
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