Neil Kinnock

Smell the coffee

Paul Richards  |  28 January 2016

Labour still needs a proper post-mortem In 1987, following an election when Labour won the campaign but lost the election, Philip Gould and his team presented an assessment of Labour’s defeat to a joint meeting of the shadow cabinet and the National Executive Committee. He recalled, ‘We were about to tell the party that 70 years of history had …

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The Last Word: On logic, loyalty and lying

Jamie Reed MP  |  8 January 2016

Bright eyed optimists and seasoned hacks alike are now becoming weary of the chaos engulfing the Labour party, and this week’s tantric reshuffle represented the latest self-inflicted disaster in what now feels like an internal war without end. I’ve never attacked Jeremy Corbyn personally – in common with scores of Labour members of parliament. I …

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Richard Angell  |  29 October 2015

Time to put the last Labour government to bed Kitty Ussher, Jacqui Smith, Anne Begg, Stephen Twigg and Mike Gapes assess how Labour did The last Labour government was the Labour party’s greatest electoral success. It transformed our public realm and brought into being a Britain more relaxed with itself. It had a record of improvement and innovation in the public services that no other …

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Keep asking till you get the ‘right answer’

Richard Angell  |  2 October 2015

We need to talk to about what happened with Trident this week at Labour party conference. Before we do, it is worth remembering the reccurring horror show that this debate has long been for Labour. The last time Labour was in the wilderness, its unilateral disarmament stance was cited regularly by voters as a reason …

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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 …

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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 …

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Power of speech

Robert Philpot  |  28 September 2015

Thirty years after Neil Kinnock’s Bournemouth speech, Robert Philpot recalls the fight to save the Labour party from the hard left In September 1985, two years after Neil Kinnock was elected its leader in the wake of the devastating landslide defeat which saw Margaret Thatcher re-elected with a majority of 144, the Labour party gathered for its …

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The price of a seat in parliament

The Progressive  |  28 September 2015

Mandatory reselection could reduce Labour MPs to the status of delegates The idea of mandatory reselection of Labour members of parliament was born out of the frustration with the 1960s and 1970s governments which, according to the Labour left, routinely ignored Labour conference decisions and the policies carefully crafted by the National Executive Committee. Specifically, …

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Argue your case

Paul Richards  |  26 September 2015

Labour’s moderate tradition defends constant values, not outdated policies The creation of a special section in the Labour leadership election for people who do not support the Labour party has released forces into the mainstream of the party like a plague. It is like a horror film when the construction of a new underground railway unearths a deadly bacillus which …

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Staying power

Olivia Bailey  |  26 September 2015

Lessons for today from Fightback! Fightback! Labour’s Traditional Right in the 1970s and 1980s, by Dianne Hayter, tells the story of the ‘stayers’. Of those who remained in the party after the Social Democratic party split of 1981, and with courage and determination won back the levers of power within the Labour party. It explains, with …

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