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 Prisoners of the Past: Nostalgia and the Post-War Labour Party
Baddiel and Skinner's Three Lions has connected with a new generation of Football fans, with the tongue in-cheek 'Its Coming Home' taking the duo back to Number One. Three Lions recounts the trials and tribulations of being an England fan through time. Unlike the faux optimism of other chart efforts (Back Home, Going All the Way,… Continue reading All Those Oh-So-Near’s: England’s World Cup Heartbreaks Since 1966
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Britain showed the world that a universal health care system was possible. Here is how Nye Bevan’s vision came to fruition and how the National Health Service Act was guided through parliament. On the 5th July 1948, a young girl was admitted to Park Hospital in Manchester, to be… Continue reading New Jerusalem: How Labour Built the NHS