John Smith, New Labour

The Scottish Titan: The Prime Minister Britain Never Had

By Tom Chidwick When the death of John Smith, the fourteenth Leader of the Labour Party, was announced twenty-seven years ago today, a wave of warm and affectionate tributes lamented the premature passing of a decent and courteous, dogged and supremely self-confident man—‘a Labour loyalist by instinct, and a pragmatist by inclination’, as his widow,… Continue reading The Scottish Titan: The Prime Minister Britain Never Had

Anthony Broxton, Gordon Brown, New Labour

Ghosts of Labour Past: ‘The minimum wage will benefit no one’

In 1999, Labour won the battle to introduce the minimum wage. The change gives a pay rise to over two million people - more than half of them in the service sector The Conservatives maintain it will add to business costs and lead to job losses. Labour claim it is a key step in combatting… Continue reading Ghosts of Labour Past: ‘The minimum wage will benefit no one’

2000s, Anthony Broxton, Labour Leadership Contests, New Labour, Tony Blair

Bloodied Brothers: The Milibands and the Battle for New Labour’s Legacy

  In the aftermath of election defeat, David Miliband emerged as the clear front-runner. Bookmakers priced DM at 4/7, Alastair Darling 8/1, Alan Johnson 10/1, Ed Miliband 11/1, Ed Balls 12/1. Andy Burnham 14/1, 16/1 Jon Cruddas, 25/1 James Purnell, 33/1 Liam Byrne, 40/1 John Denham, 50/1 Yvette Cooper Reflecting on thirteen years In office,… Continue reading Bloodied Brothers: The Milibands and the Battle for New Labour’s Legacy

Anthony Broxton, John Smith, Labour Leadership Contests, New Labour, Tony Blair

Blair’s Triumph: The 1994 Labour Leadership Contest

Below is a thread on the 1994 Labour Leadership Contest.   Looking back through the archives it is remarkable how the divide between the Bennites (then Corbyn, Abbott, Milne) and the Blairites was as clear and as similar then as it is today. The left viewed Blair with deep suspicion and claimed the country was more left-wing… Continue reading Blair’s Triumph: The 1994 Labour Leadership Contest

Anthony Broxton, Book Reviews, New Labour

All Mod Cons: How Labour and the Democrats Learnt to Win Again

As the Labour Party enters its ninth year in opposition, comparisons are being drawn to the 1980s and how it took them, and the Democrats, over a decade to win elections again. As Richard Carr argues in his timely book, it was the special relationship between the moderates on both sides of the Atlantic that underpinned their fightback. … Continue reading All Mod Cons: How Labour and the Democrats Learnt to Win Again

1990s, General Election 1997, New Labour, Tony Blair

The Minimum Wage at 20: How The Tories Used Project Fear To Try And Stop It

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

Book Reviews, Jeremy Corbyn, New Labour, Nye Bevan

Prisoners of the Past: Nostalgia and the Post-War Labour Party

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

Book Reviews, Margaret Thatcher, New Labour, Working Class Culture

Broken Dreams: The Rise and Fall of British Council Housing

In 1979 42% of the British population lived in a council house. Today the figure is less than 8%. The drop has led to an inflated housing market, insecure tenancies and a sustained cultural attack on the working class. As Britain endures its worst housing crisis since the war, with 1.8m households on the waiting list, can Labour revitalise the municipal dream? Municipal… Continue reading Broken Dreams: The Rise and Fall of British Council Housing