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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.

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.

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.

Labour’s foreign policy since 1951

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.

Abstract only
Geoff Horn

2 Labour moderate Prentice’s early career provided few indications of his future status as one of the most controversial figures in Labour history. During his first fifteen years as an MP, from 1957 to 1972, he remained a conventional politician, committed to pursuing a quietly effective parliamentary career. He attracted few column inches in the national press, reflecting a tendency to focus his energies upon worthy but unglamorous political causes, often related to his knowledge of industrial relations and concern for the most vulnerable groups at home and

in Crossing the floor