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The parliamentary right of the British Labour Party 1970–79 and the roots of New Labour

This study is concerned with the ‘Old’ Labour right at a critical juncture of social democratic and Labour politics. It attempts to explain the complex transition from so-called ‘Old Right’ to ‘New Right’ or ‘New Labour’, and locates at least some of the roots of the latter in the complexity, tensions and fragmentation of the former during the ‘lean’ years of social democracy in the 1970s. The analysis addresses both the short- and long-term implications of the emerging ideological, organisational and political complexity and divisions of the parliamentary Labour right and Labour revisionism, previously concealed within the loosely adhesive post-war framework of Keynesian reformist social democracy, which have been neglected factors in explanations of Labour's subsequent shift leftwards, the longer-term gestation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the evolution of ‘New’ Labour. It establishes the extent to which ‘New’ Labour is a legatee of at least some elements of the disparate and discordant Labour right and tensions of social democratic revisionism in the 1970s. In so doing, the analysis advances our understanding of a key moment in the development of social democracy and the making of the contemporary British Labour Party. The book represents a significant departure in analyses and explanations of both the problems and demise of post-war social democracy and decline of ‘Old’ Labour and the origins and roots of ‘New’ Labour.

Rank-and-file movements and political change in the Durham coalfield
Author: Lewis H. Mates

This book analyses the ideological battle for control of the prestigious, influential and important ––regionally and nationally– Durham Miners’ Association in the fascinating "Great Labour Unrest" period before the outbreak of the Great War. In assessing the complex relations between structure and agency it recognises that the socialists of the ILP before 1910 made some progress in a particularly hostile environment, thanks to the dominance of liberal paternalism and Methodism. But the miners’ eight hour day, a socialist demand brought into effect by the Liberal government, caused tremendous strife in a coalfield, especially with the imposition of a three-shift working system that it entailed. The emergence of syndicalist activists in the coalfield, largely rejecting mainstream ‘political’ action for industrial agitation and revolutionary trade unions also threatened the ILP from the left. With the emergence of a new generation of younger, more radical and often well-schooled ILP activists after 1911, the ILP was able to harness the anger over the three-shift system to the renewed demand for a minimum wage. In doing so, these ILP activists created a mass coalfield rank-and-file movement that, after the minimum wage was won, sought to extend the struggle more firmly onto the ‘political’ plane. In deploying a militant, aggressive and class-based rhetoric they managed to outflank the syndicalist challenge and win over growing numbers of Durham miners to their cause. By 1914, these young ILP activists were beginning to reap the rewards of their labours, having forged tremendous progress since 1911.

Ideas, knowledge and policy change
Author: Alex Balch

Labour migration has become one of the hot topics in Europe, especially since 2000 with the shift from restriction to managed migration. This book provides an account of policy change over labour migration in Europe during this new era of governance. It has implications for debates about the contemporary governance of labour migration in Europe, and questions about the impact of an emergent EU migration regime in the context of a globalising labour market. The key findings offer a deeper understanding of the linkages between those engaged in policymaking and the kinds of communities that produce usable knowledge.

From indecision to indifference
Author: Thomas Prosser

European labour movements in crisis contends that labour movements respond to European integration in a manner which instigates competition between national labour markets. This argument is based on analysis of four countries (Germany, Spain, France and Poland) and two processes: the collective bargaining practices of trade unions in the first decade of the Eurozone and the response of trade unions and social-democratic parties to austerity in Southern Europe. In the first process, although unions did not intentionally compete, there was a drift towards zero-sum outcomes which benefited national workforces in stronger structural positions. In the second process, during which a crisis resulting from the earlier actions of labour occurred, lack of solidarity reinforced effects of competition.

Such processes are indicative of relations between national labour movements which are rooted in competition, even if causal mechanisms are somewhat indirect. The book moreover engages with debates concerning the dualization of labour markets, arguing that substantive outcomes demonstrate the existence of a European insider–outsider division. Findings also confirm the salience of intergovernmentalist analyses of integration and point to a relationship between labour sectionalism and European disintegration.

Gay rights and video nasties
Paul Bloomfield

3 Labour’s liberalism: gay rights and video nasties Paul Bloomfield The social liberal reforms introduced by the Labour Party in the mid-1960s encountered increasingly determined opposition from the Conservative right in the 1980s. In the midst of the turmoil of the 1970s, a section of the Conservative Party aimed to provide an alternative to the post-war liberal consensus on moral questions. It was a contradictory melange of the radical and the reactionary, which the historian of sexuality Jeffrey Weeks described as ‘a revival of evangelical moralism, fired by

in Labour and the left in the 1980s
Steven Fielding

2 Labour’s organisational culture The purpose of this chapter is to establish the institutional context for Labour’s response to cultural change.1 It surveys the character of the party’s organisation and the nature of its membership on the verge of the 1960s, and in particular highlights the activities and assumptions of those most responsible for the party’s well-being. Before that can be done, however, it is necessary to outline Labour’s organisational structure and identify some of the issues to which it gave rise. The basic unit in all 618 constituency

in The Labour Governments 1964–70 volume 1
Essays to celebrate the life and work of Chris Wrigley

This book reflects upon the wide range of Chris Wrigley's research and publications in the study of the various aspects of British labour history. It presents a set of themes revolving around the British labour movement and the lives of those connected with it. The book begins with a discussion on biography in the shape of George Howell's work on trade unions and presents Herbert Gladstone's view that the unions emerged from the medieval workers guilds. Chris was also interested in political figures connected with progressivism and the labour movement, which is reflected in the examination of Gladstone's role in the Liberal Party. There is an examination of the Co-operative Party in the north-east of England, the 1911 National Insurance Act, and the relationship between the unions and the Labour Party. The inter-war British labour politics is covered by the disaffiliation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) from the Labour Party and by a study of the Progressive League. British and German working class lives are compared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Female trade unionism is dealt with a focus on Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS). The contribution of the Lansburys is brought by an essay on the role of the family members in working-class politics, including women's enfranchisement. The book also deals with the attempt by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) to engage with punk music, and ends with a discussion on the theme of Labour disunity.

Understanding bioprecarity

This volume is concerned with the ways in which bioprecarity, here understood as the vulnerabilization of people as embodied selves, is created through regulations and norms that encourage individuals to seek or provide bodily interventions of different kinds. We explore this in particular in relation to intimacy and intimate labour, such as in the making of families and kin and in various forms of care work. Advances in biotechnology, medical tourism and the visibilization of minoritized communities have resulted in unsettling the norms around the gendered body, intimate relations and intimate labour. Bodily interventions have sociocultural meanings and consequences both for those who seek such interventions and for those who provide the intimate labour in conducting them. The purpose of this volume is to explore these. This exploration involves sociocultural questions of boundary work, of privilege, of bodily ownership, of the multiple meanings of want (understood both as desire, for example the desire to have children or to change one’s bodily appearance; and as need – as in economic need – which often prompts people to undertake migration and/or intimate labour). It also raises questions about different kinds of vulnerabilities, for those who engage, and those who engage in, intimate labour. We use the term ‘bioprecarity’ to analyse those vulnerabilities.

Prisoners of the past
Author: Richard Jobson

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.

Trying but failing to renew social democracy
Author: Eunice Goes

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.