Back to School: Labour and the Great Education Debate

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

Maureen Colquhoun (1928-2021): “My sexuality has nothing to do with my ability to do the job”

In the 1970s, the Daily Mail “outed” Maureen Colquhoun – making her the first openly lesbian MP in British political history. But she wasn’t accepted in society so easily. Maureen Colquhoun was born on 12 August 1928 and joined the Labour Party aged 18 She read for a degree in Economics at the LSE before … Continue reading Maureen Colquhoun (1928-2021): “My sexuality has nothing to do with my ability to do the job”

“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)

Back to the Future: A Defence of the Social Contract

Britain's standard image between 1974 and 1979 is one where overmighty trade unions, enabled by Labour's Social Contract, ran the country; this is banal. By Alex Maguire However, the Social Contract, and its eventual fate, is an important and interesting part of Labour Movement history. The Social Contract ran across two different Labour ministries and … Continue reading Back to the Future: A Defence of the Social Contract

Labour’s Turning Points: The Unions and “In Place of Strife”

By Daniel Esson            As most Labour governments tend to be, the Wilson ministry of 1964-70 was far from tranquil. Taking power in 1964 with a wafer-thin majority of just four, the Wilson years were a time of significant change in Britain with the trade unions central to debates. Graeter change could have come, if now-forgotten … Continue reading Labour’s Turning Points: The Unions and “In Place of Strife”