Neil Kinnock

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 …

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Who’s got their party back?

The Insider  |  25 August 2015

Well, that escalated quickly. When he entered the Labour leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn was best known to historians of British parliamentary rebellions. While he has long been a doughty campaigner for the British left, they had not seen him as being at the very front rank of their depleted ranks. In past elections, John McDonnell, Diane …

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Could Labour have stopped Thatcher?

The Progressive  |  14 August 2015

Labour must not leave the field to the Tories as it did in the 1980s The period from Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1979 to Labour’s utter rout in 1983 has come under renewed scrutiny. Moderates have sought to use it as a dire warning of what happens when the Bennites are ascendant: political irrelevance and …

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Apathy is not fixed by leaving the centre-ground

Christabel Cooper  |  13 August 2015

On 8 May 2015, 34 per cent of those entitled to vote did not bother to turn up to the polling station. As Labour faces up to the dilemma of how a leftwing party can win the next election given that the electorate chose to give power to the right, these non-voters could offer a …

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The trade unionist who helped save the Labour party

Dianne Hayter  |  1 July 2015

When the full history of trade unions and the Labour party gets to be written, one of its unsung heros will surely be included. Bill Sirs (January 1920-June 2015) was general secretary of Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, one of the ‘triple alliance’ which, in concert with the miners and the train workers, supplied the …

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An SNP or Green vote is one for the Tories

Rich Durber  |  26 March 2015

The great American progressive lawyer Louis Brandeis wrote that, ‘in a democracy the most important office is the office of citizen’. This was, he explained, because democracy requires all individuals to look beyond their own narrow personal interest and consider the common good. In his budget last week George Osborne set voters a test. A …

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Launch party

Paul Richards  |  21 September 2014

The pre-election conference season can herald victory or spell defeat for political parties. Paul Richards examines the lessons of history The party’s conferences have often been a case study in how to lose votes and alienate voters. Before Labour’s worst-ever defeat in 1983, Labour’s conferences had been horrible spectacles of recrimination and extremism. The party …

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Five of the best Labour conference speeches

Rich Durber  |  16 September 2014

This time next week Ed Miliband be will giving his last speech to Labour party conference before the general election. The conference speech remains a moment of high drama and tension for any speaker and quite often the audience as well. To get you in the mood for what could be an election defining party …

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The start of a summer of speeches

John McTernan  |  25 July 2014

It’s good to see Ed taking a leaf out of Margaret Thatcher’s book. Going on the intellectual offensive was how – in 1986 – the Tory party turned the tables on Neil Kinnock the first time and overhauled Labour’s poll lead. A barrage of big speeches with big ideas at the Tories’ 1986 conference revived …

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Summer of ‘94

Paul Richards  |  18 July 2014

The birth of New Labour was an electrifying ride into the future, recalls Paul Richards Before Iraq, before the ludicrous calls for impeachment and citizens’ arrests, before the avalanche of hate, there once was a leader of the Labour party who did a most incredible thing. He created a political force which dominated politics for …

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