In 1988, Tony Benn challenged Neil Kinnock for the leadership of the Labour Party. The story of the campaign often overlooked by historians. -------------------- Rumours began in January 1988 that Kinnock would face a challenge from the left of the party. Tony Benn claimed Kinnock was ‘increasingly intolerant’ and ‘authoritarian’ in his manner and ‘gave a… Continue reading Kinnock v Benn: Labour’s Final Battle of the 1980s
This morning Labour has its fewest number of MPs in Parliament since 1935. That election was one of progress, with Labour winning 102 seats and setting itself back on course for government. A more apt comparison is 1931, when the party was reduced to just 52 MPs. The party lost 235 seats following the formation… Continue reading After the Landslide: In 1983 Jeremy Corbyn claimed “everything had been fudged.” Now, Labour must learn from another huge defeat
It was in the Summer of 2017 - at the hedonistic setting of Glastonbury - that Jeremy Corbyn predicted he would be Prime Minister by Christmas. He later claimed he would do it within twelve months. Experts now agree that October will be an 'Autumn of Discontent' for the Tories. The door could indeed be opened for… Continue reading Will Corbyn be Prime Minister by Christmas? History Would Suggest Not…
"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 Punch and Judy: In Defence of Prime Minister’s Questions
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
Jeremy Corbyn never really wanted the top job. And, as we so often forget, his implausible ascent to the top of the Labour party almost fell at the first hurdle. Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/light-relief/two-years-ago-today-jeremy-corbyn-made-onto-labour-leadership-ballot/
Twenty five years ago the Conservative's passed the Railways Bill which ushered in the privatisation of British Rail. Labour promised to fight it every step of the way. Once in government they baulked. There will be no backtracking this time. This week the government announced that it will intervene to manage the East Coast rail… Continue reading It’s Coming Home: The Labour Party’s Journey Back To British Rail