James Callaghan

Corbynomics redux?

Roger Liddle  |  5 October 2016

One of the (few) positives of the leadership election and the Liverpool conference is that they forced Jeremy Corbyn to make speeches about policy. Up to then Corbyn had behaved like an Old Testament prophet who rails against austerity, inequality and social injustice. This appeal never loses its emotional power, but what is extraordinary about …

4 Comments Read more

Westminster Diary: A Reluctant Minister Under Tony Blair

Andrew Harrop  |  26 July 2016

I had not known that Bernard Donoughue was a junior minister in the opening period of Tony Blair’s premiership. The affable peer will always be best known for the part he played in the turbulent Wilson and Callaghan years, as the head of the No 10 policy unit – the subject of two earlier volumes …

0 Comments Read more

Saving the ‘lost generation’

Clive Soley  |  16 June 2016

We must not let history repeat itself In May 1979 the defeated prime minister, James Callaghan, said to me that he felt sorry for new members of parliament like myself as we would be in opposition for 10 years. He was wrong. It was 18 years. Callaghan thought the arrival of North Sea oil and …

0 Comments Read more

Harold Wilson: The Unprincipled Prime Minister?

Barry Sheerman MP  |  7 April 2016

As I read this collection of essays on the life of Harold Wilson I became acutely aware of the particular influence Harold had had on the whole of my life, from the time I was born. Starting with his key wartime role as a civil servant and moving on to his close working relationship with …

2 Comments Read more

British Liberal Leaders

Roger Liddle  |  16 October 2015

This book is the third in an impressive series on political leadership in Britain’s mainstream parties which we owe to an imaginative initiative of Charles Clarke’s. Though the books make good reading for anyone interested in politics, this sustained reflection by historians, political scientists and practising politicians is particularly timely for Labour as the party …

0 Comments Read more

‘Political action is both necessary and worthwhile’

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP  |  7 October 2015

I interviewed Denis Healey as part of the research for my biography of Aneurin Bevan in February 2011. He immediately seized on Bevan’s remark that ‘the right kind of leader for the Labour party is a kind of dessicated calculating-machine’. While Clement Attlee was still leader at the time the remark was made in September …

0 Comments Read more

British Labour and Conservative Leaders

Richard Carr  |  2 October 2015

At the last five general elections the British public has voted in favour of a prime minister who offers centrism, charisma, competence and confidence. Labour’s response to this has been to replace Ed Miliband with Jeremy Corbyn. For some it may be difficult to know where to begin with that. Fortunately BiteBack’s edited volumes on …

0 Comments Read more

The gilded cage

David Butler  |  29 September 2015

Labour can no longer let its intellectual conservatism hold it back, writes David Butler Labour finds itself within a gilded cage of intellectual conservatism. The party must understand and offer solutions to a range of complex issues: the productivity puzzle and secular stagnation which threaten to curtail future growth prospects; the problems of an aging society …

2 Comments Read more

One hundred per cent of nothing

Paul Farrelly MP  |  26 September 2015

What Hammer of the Left can tell us now John Golding, employment minister in James Callaghan’s government and my predecessor-but-one, died all too prematurely, aged just 67. His funeral took place on the day my eldest was born, so I paid my last respects by writing John’s obituary for the Guardian and publishing, posthumously, his …

0 Comments Read more

Osborne’s to lose?

Adam Harrison and Richard Angell  |  1 September 2015

Fixed-term parliaments still create a lot of unknowns in British politics. The royal prerogative, exercised by the sitting prime minister to abolish the legislature and go to the country, was always a double-edged sword for the occupant of No 10. The longer the parliament, the worse the result. Labour governments – not that there have …

6 Comments Read more