50 years ago, the conflict between the Harold Wilson Labour Government & the trade unions over the Barbara Castle White Paper ‘In Place of Strife’ was one of the pivotal moments of post-war British Industrial Relations. It pitched voluntarist ideas of ‘free collective bargaining’ against ideas of economic planning & public policy concerns about strikes, inflation and restrictive practices. The white paper followed the 1968 Donovan Report & preceded Heath’s Conservative 1971 Industrial Relations Act. In response to Peter Dorey’s new book on In Place of Strife, this seminar has two parts. In the morning there is a historical reassessment of the political episode. In the afternoon, we consider the implications for current Labour Party policy on trade unions, as the Manifesto promises to ‘roll out sectoral bargaining’. The seminar is held at the Modern Records Centre, the largest UK trade union & industrial relations collection, which will be introduced to us.
11 December 2018 - 13:00 pm - 18:00 pm
King's College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS
History & Policy exists to put historians in touch with policy makers, encourage historically informed comment in public policy debate and put excellent history at the heart of policy making. Although we are the only project of our kind in the UK we are far from being the only one in the world. For this conference, which will be open to policy makers and the public, we are partnering with the American Historical Association and Australian Policy & History for a day of panels and discussion to explore how history informs public policy debate in different countries. What are the success stories, how do policy makers vary in their receptiveness, what can historians learn from each other and from the policy makers they talk to, and have particular topics got more traction in some places than others?
14 November 2018 - 18:00 pm - 19:30 pm
Council Room, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS
The Haldane Report, which sees its centenary this year, was a landmark in early twentieth century thought about how the machinery of modern government should function, the principles that should underpin policy formation, and executive accountability. It famously concluded that: 'in the sphere of civil government the duty of investigation and thought, as preliminary to action, might with great advantage be more definitely recognised.' The report also proposed that Whitehall departments be organised on functional lines; it advocated limited changes in the direction of gender equality within the Civil Service; and tentatively suggested the introduction of specialist committees in Parliament to facilitate more effective oversight of the executive.
In 1868, while suffering under major legal restrictions, the British trade unions teamed up to found a central body to lobby for their wider social and industrial aims and rights. Today, when unions are again subject to severe legal disadvantage, it is timely to recall the first Trades Union Congress (TUC) and unions’ achievements, and to look forward on union prospects for the future.
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H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, the Open University, and the University of Sheffield.
We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.