This book examines the impact that nostalgia has had on the Labour Party’s political development since 1951. In contrast to existing studies that have emphasised the role played by modernity, it argues that nostalgia has defined Labour’s identity and determined the party’s trajectory over time. It outlines how Labour, at both an elite and a grassroots level, has been and remains heavily influenced by a nostalgic commitment to an era of heroic male industrial working-class struggle. This commitment has hindered policy discussion, determined the form that the modernisation process has taken and shaped internal conflict and cohesion. More broadly, Labour’s emotional attachment to the past has made it difficult for the party to adjust to the socioeconomic changes that have taken place in Britain. In short, nostalgia has frequently left the party out of touch with the modern world. In this way, this book offers an assessment of Labour’s failures to adapt to the changing nature and demands of post-war Britain.
The Liberal Party was the dominant party of British Government from its emergence in the 1850s until the Great War, but by the 1950s it was virtually wiped off the political map. Controversy still rages over the reasons and responsibility for the collapse. Defections played a significant part in the decline, but until now they have never received detailed attention from historians or political analysts. This book studies all the defections of serving and former Liberal MPs from 1910 to 2010. The sheer scale of the exodus is striking: one in every six people elected as a Liberal MP defected at some point from the party. Each defection is explored, providing new perspectives on the controversies surrounding party leadership, divisions over policy and the impact of the Great War. The book sheds light on the long-term relationship between the Liberals/Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives and the Labour Party. The definition of an inward defector has been taken as one who served as an MP for another party or as an independent before becoming a Liberal or Liberal Democrat MP. In the cases of both outward and inward defectors the person must have served as an MP before the defection and in both cases must have served at some stage as a Liberal or Liberal Democrat MP. However, this inevitably means that the criterion for qualifying as an inward defector is more stringent.
Reinventing the Labour Party, 1983–92
New Labour’s ‘year-zero’ approach to politics and its advocacy of the
idea that it represented a fundamental rupture with the party’s past
meant that it was never entirely comfortable locating the genesis of its
‘modernising’ programme in the years during which Neil Kinnock was
party leader. As we shall see in the next chapter, Tony Blair made it clear
that he believed he (and, effectively, John Smith before him) had inherited
a party that was still in thrall of its nostalgia. Central to this analysis
When Ed Miliband was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2010 he sought to turn the page on New Labour and use the global financial crisis as an opportunity to renew social democracy. With great intellectual and ideological gusto Miliband and his team searched, adopted and adapted new and old ideas that would address the policy puzzles left open by the global financial crisis. This book seeks to determine whether Ed Miliband was successful in his task by analysing the different ideas that were adopted and adapted by the Labour Party in the period 2010-15. Using discursive institutionalism and historical institutionalism, this book will map the political ideas and will identify the main ideational, institutional and political constraints that impacted and shaped the Labour Party’s political agenda. The book argues that the Labour Party under Ed Miliband tried but failed to renew social democracy. The timing, the prevalence of the neoliberalism in public discourse as well as Miliband’s inability to find a coalition of supporters for his transformative agenda and his own shortcomings as party leader led to a watered down political agenda that lacked boldness, clarity and definition. This lack of definition and clarity was one of the reasons why Milibandism was so overwhelmingly rejected by voters in May 2015.
This is the second book in a two-volume study tracing the evolution of the Labour Party's foreign policy throughout the twentieth century to the present date. It is a comprehensive study of the history of the Labour Party's worldview and foreign policy. The study argues that Labour's foreign policy perspective should be seen not as the development of a socialist foreign policy, but as an application of the ideas of liberal internationalism. Volume Two provides a critical analysis of Labour's foreign policy since 1951. It examines Labour's attempts to rethink foreign policy, focusing on intra-party debates, the problems that Labour faced when in power, and the conflicting pressures from party demands and external pressures. The book examines attitudes to rearmament in the 1950s, the party's response to the Suez crisis and the Vietnam War, the bitter divisions over nuclear disarmament and the radicalisation of foreign and defence policy in the 1980s. It also examines Labour's desire to provide moral leadership to the rest of the world. The last two chapters focus on the Blair and Brown years, with Blair's response to the Kosovo crisis and to 9/11, and his role in the ‘war on terror’. Whereas Blair's approach to foreign affairs was to place emphasis on the efficacy of the use of military force, Brown's instead placed faith in the use of economic measures.
As students of political parties are well aware, questions of internal party organisation, structure, decision-making processes and procedures, and opportunities and openings for membership participation, involvement and control are never simply administrative questions. They are highly political matters, and impinge upon the nature and identity of parties. In this chapter we investigate some of the organisational, structural and procedural characteristics of the EL, as well as aspects of its modus operandi , with a view, above all, to asking how such issues
Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of Acid House. The End-of-the-Century Party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from New Pop to the Political Pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, Post-Political Pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity. This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, which asks how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.
Principals, agents, and the delegation of
power inside political parties
This chapter sets out the principal–agent framework of power delegation that will
be applied to the Labour Party, Parti Socialiste (PS), and the Sozialdemokratische
Partei Deutschlands (SPD) in Chapters 5, 6, and 7. Over a hundred years ago,
the German sociologist Robert Michels (1911) pioneered the study of centre-left
party organisations, with a focus on the SPD. He argued that, due to the growing membership size, members could no longer participate directly in the parties
Centre-left parties and the European
Union: what next?
Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of
intra-party democracy? This book has provided an insight into the dynamic
power relationships inside the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party,
and the German Social Democratic Party. It has demonstrated that European
integration –as an external constraint –cannot be held solely responsible for
the erosion of intra-party democracy. Rather, the three centre-left parties have
(to varying degrees) missed the
‘White heat’ and the Labour Party, 1963–70
The 1964 to 1970 Labour Governments have traditionally been
associated with modernisation and the idea of scientific and technological
revolution. Looking back on the General Election of 1964, David
Butler and Anthony King noted that ‘The party sought to be regarded
as efficient, energetic and up-to-date.’1 Harold Wilson’s 1963 ‘white
heat’ speech at the Labour Party Conference in Scarborough has
been understood to reflect his overarching commitment to modernity.
Kenneth Morgan has described how Wilson’s ‘remarkable