"And we need to change, and we will change, the way we behave. I'm fed up with the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster, the name calling, backbiting, point scoring, finger pointing." David Cameron's Conservative victory speech, December 2005. It's over a decade since Tony Blair left Downing Street and forewent the weekly ordeal of… Continue reading Book Review: Punch and Judy Politics – An Insiders’ Guide to Prime Minister’s Questions
"In Lancashire, babies don't toddle, they side-step. Queuing women talk of 'nipping round the blindside'. Rugby league provides our cultural adrenalin. It's a physical manifestation of our rules of life, comradeship, honest endeavour, and a staunch, often ponderous allegiance to fair play." Colin Welland The quote from Oscar-winning writer Colin Welland has been repeated amongst… Continue reading Seize The Day: Twelve Ways To Make Rugby League Great Again
It is rare that a government introduces a policy to near-universal acclaim. But political experts agree that the minimum wage (NMW) is the most successful government policy of the past 40 years. However, it's introduction was fraught with political vulnerability and predictions of economic catastrophe. Labour could have easily jolted from it in the face of… Continue reading The Minimum Wage at 20: How The Tories Used Project Fear To Try And Stop It
There were just 79 days between Germany's surrender and Attlee’s arrival at 10 Downing Street. Labour shocked the world by ousting Churchill, and had a manifesto to radically alter British working life. For the first time in the party’s history, they had a majority to do it. Yet the 1945 election almost never happened. And when… Continue reading Britain Is A Socialist Country: How Labour Won The 1945 Election
After the sudden death of John Smith in May 1994, Tony Blair defeated John Prescott and Margaret Beckett for the leadership. The real battle had already been won, when Gordon Brown pulled out. I discussed this in Granita 1994 : The Night New Labour Was Born…And A Bromance Died. When Blair came to power he… Continue reading “The Tories have lost the nation’s trust. But that does not mean we inherit it automatically. We have to work for it. We have to earn it.”
Labour’s shock defeat in 1992 had a profound impact on the party and was the catalyst for future modernisation. But before the death of John Smith it did not look that way. In 1994 the Labour leadership thought they could achieve power by sitting back and watching the Tories implode. They thought ‘one more heave’ would be… Continue reading In 1994 Tony Blair Ditched ‘One More Heave’ and Won Big. Is It Time For Corbyn To Do The Same?
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 Book Review: Prisoners Of The Past – Nostalgia And The Post-War Labour Party