“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”

The Nation’s Favourite: Why Coronation Street Matters

As Coronation Street celebrates its diamond jubilee, is it time to take it seriously as the chronicler of our times?  On 9 December 1960, workers across the country clocked off after a week’s toil on the factories, steel plants and coal mines that made up much of heavy-industrialised Britain. With their wage packets, many would … Continue reading The Nation’s Favourite: Why Coronation Street Matters

What Spitting Image did to British politics

As Spitting Image returns to our screens, its original impact has not been forgotten  It’s February 1984 and English television is still ruled by just four stations. Regular political programming consists of the evening news, Panorama and a new debate show called Question Time, while television cameras are not yet allowed into the House of … Continue reading What Spitting Image did to British politics

The Brink: “I’ll tell you and you’ll listen” The Neil Kinnock speech that lives on

The moment of pure political theatre that endures its legacy thirty-five years on  It was at Preston railway station, in September 1985, as he made his way back to London from the TUC Conference that Neil Kinnock realised his time had come. Picking up the Lancashire Evening Post, the Labour leader read of the latest saga … Continue reading The Brink: “I’ll tell you and you’ll listen” The Neil Kinnock speech that lives on