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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.

Open Access (free)
Janelle Joseph

physical displacement. Nostalgia, from the Greek nostos (return home) and algia (longing), is an important dimension of the production of Afro-Caribbean identity and community. Nostalgia, once portrayed as a private, pathological, physical illness characteristic of those forced from their homes or unable to return to them (i.e., soldiers, slaves and refugees), evolved to be considered a normal

in Sport in the Black Atlantic
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The Tudorbethan semi and the detritus of Empire
Deborah Sugg Ryan

5 Nostalgia: the Tudorbethan semi and the detritus of Empire Why are you, or perhaps your neighbours, living in an imitation Tudor house with stained wooden slats shoved on the front door to make it look like what is called a half-timbered house? Those slats have nothing to do with the construction of the house. They are just applied as ornaments. The house does not look like a real half-timbered house and it never can. It has been built in quite a different way from a real Tudor house. Why do we live in this sort of half-baked pageant, always hiding our ideas

in Ideal homes, 1918–39
Revindicating Spanish actors and acting in and through Cine de barrio
Duncan Wheeler

8 The future of nostalgia: revindicating Spanish actors and acting in and through Cine de barrio Duncan Wheeler In the list of the most-​watched films on Spanish television in 2011, only two from the top hundred emerged from within the national cinema industry: Fuga de cerebros/​Brain Drain (Fernando González Molina, 2009) and Agora (Alejandro Amenábar, 2009). If we carry on down the list, the next five most popular domestic films were all over forty years old and broadcast as part of the Cine de barrio [neighbourhood cinema] slot: La ciudad no es para mí

in Performance and Spanish film
Love and Summer
Heidi Hansson

13 Character, community and critical nostalgia: Love and Summer Heidi Hansson William Trevor’s novel Love and Summer (2009) is a lyrical, evocative story of the emotional turbulence that lies underneath the surface of everyday life in a small Irish town in the 1950s. Initially, the reader is told that ‘Nothing happened in Rathmoye, its people said’, only to be informed immediately afterwards that the fact that ‘nothing happened was an exaggeration too’ (3).1 The tension between the inner turmoil of the characters and a paralysed environment where nothing seems

in William Trevor
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Richard Jobson

Conclusion Labour’s nostalgia has provided the emotional adhesive that has held the party together. Yet it has also served to constrain the party’s political development and restrict Labour’s ability to communicate effectively with the modern demands of British voters. Memories of Keir Hardie and an era of male traditional industrial working-class struggle might resonate within the party. Outside the confines of Labour’s unique group identity, they are largely met with indifference. Given the continued strength of its historical attachments, there remains a

in Nostalgia and the post-war Labour Party
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Richard Jobson

principles and mission. On the campaign trail at the Durham Miners’ Gala in July, Corbyn recalled the struggles and sacrifices of the Labour 2 Nostalgia and the post-war Labour Par ty Party’s industrial working-class past.3 Eight days later at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival in Dorset, he urged the labour movement to ‘remember where we come from. Our cultural roots, our cultural heritage, our cultural expression … Let’s lift our sights up. Lift our spirits up. Lift our hopes up for a decent, better world. That’s what our forebears fought for. That is what we proudly

in Nostalgia and the post-war Labour Party
Richard Jobson

5 The New Labour era, 1992–2010 New Labour emphasised the nostalgic and backward-looking dimensions of Old Labour and, up until this point, the analysis presented has centred on an assessment of the validity of these claims. This chapter will move on to assess New Labour’s relationship with the same type of nostalgia that it believed had previously limited the party’s political progression. As highlighted in this book’s introduction, the idea that New Labour actively distanced itself from the past has been put forward by both historians and political scientists

in Nostalgia and the post-war Labour Party
Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

1 1 Nostalgia, invisible clothes and hidden motivations I first met the Emberá dressed in full traditional attire. Emerging from the rainforest of Panama with their painted bodies, decorated with beads and adornments, reminiscent of pictures from old anthropology texts, icons of quintessential indigeneity. At first sight I was filled with exhilarating enthusiasm; this gaze brought to mind myriad questions. Had these people turned their back on the enticing temptations of modernity? I wondered . . . were they resisting what I had failed to resist, the lure of

in Exoticisation undressed
Richard Jobson

4 Reinventing the Labour Party, 1983–92 Introduction 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 was the

in Nostalgia and the post-war Labour Party