2017 · Denis Healey · Tony Benn

Two Tribes: Healey, Benn and The Battle For the Soul of the Labour Party

The 1981 Deputy Leadership battle between Denis Healey and Tony Benn has been described as the most important contest in Labour’s history. For the right of the party, it represented a battle for Labour’s soul, an election to determine the direction, perhaps even the salvageability, of the Party as a competitive political force. For the… Continue reading Two Tribes: Healey, Benn and The Battle For the Soul of the Labour Party

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1960s · 1970s · 1980s · 1990s · 2000s · 2017 · Conference

Labour’s Top 40 Conference Moments: Everything you always wanted to know but…

Conference can make or break a party leader and has been the scene of some of the most extraordinary moments in the Labour's history. Here is a rundown of the 40 most important conferences since 1900.  This weekend, the party faithful will head down to Brighton for the annual Labour conference. We can trace its… Continue reading Labour’s Top 40 Conference Moments: Everything you always wanted to know but…

2017 · Book Review · New Labour

Book review: Things Can Only Get Worse? Twenty Confusing Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter by John O’Farrell

The sequel to 1998’s bestselling Things Can Only Get Better takes us through a crazy twenty years with the decline of New Labour through to Corbyn, Brexit and Trump. When Things Can Only Get Better was released in 1998, it propelled its author John O’Farrell into the world of minor political celebrity. In 2010, The… Continue reading Book review: Things Can Only Get Worse? Twenty Confusing Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter by John O’Farrell

2017 · Brexit · Euro · Gordon Brown · New Labour · Tony Blair

An “absurd denial of self-interest” – The lost Blair speech that backed the Euro…but was never given

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

1970s · 1980s · 2017 · General Election 1979 · James Callaghan · Tony Benn

Waiting at the church: Why Callaghan failed to call the 1978 general election

By the summer of 1978, Jim Callaghan had a big decision to make. After four tumultuous years in power, his party had finally nudged ahead in the opinion polls. An election was expected, but to the shock of the world, Callaghan abandoned his plan. It became the most significant miscalculation in Labour's history For most of 1976… Continue reading Waiting at the church: Why Callaghan failed to call the 1978 general election