Opinion Articles

H&P encourages historians to use their expertise to shed light on issues of the day. The H&P office can help historians to publish Opinion Articles in the national media or on this website. We currently have 148 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


The Imperial Legacy of the Scottish Independence Referendum

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The Health and Safety at Work Act, 40 years on

History shows that hackneyed rhetoric about 'health and safety gone mad' fails to understand the benefits of the 1974 Act, which has saved untold numbers of lives since it was passed 40 years ago this week. Dr Mike Esbester of Portsmouth University investigates. 

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‘From magic sponge to magic spray’: football and sports medicine

In the wake of the 2014 World Cup, Dr Neil Carter, of De Montfort University, examines the historical developments underpinning the relationship between sport, particularly football, and medicine. 

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How did he get away with so much for so long? The press and Jimmy Savile

It's not only the NHS and BBC that can learn lessons from the Savile investigations. Dr Adrian Bingham, of Sheffield University, argues in an new opinion piece co-published with Opendemocracy that press culture at the time contributed to Savile's ability to abuse.

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The UK khat ban: ‘protecting vulnerable communities’?

As khat is banned in the UK today, Dr Luke Gibbon, of Strathclyde University, considers past prohibitions of the herbal stimulant in colonial Aden and Kenya - which had unintended negative consequences and ended in failure. 

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Regulating housing: neither new nor radical

Instead of lambasting Labour's proposed reforms to the private rental housing sector, critics should look to the past to understand why regulation is needed, argues Phil Child of Exeter University.

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Military working dogs, past, present and future

They were messengers in the First World War, jumped over Normandy on D Day and detected mines in Afghanistan and Iraq. Military working dogs have played a key role in conflicts and been decorated for their service in the British Armed Forces. As Kim Brice of King's College London explains, they are likely to remain a mainstay. 

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The diplomatic glass ceiling

‘The introduction of a girl’, warned diplomat Ralph Stevenson in 1934, ‘would be a very disturbing factor and quite possibly impair the efficiency of the Chancery machine.’ Attitudes and rules have changed dramatically since the interwar years, but today women still fill only 25% of top posts in the British Diplomatic Service. Dr Helen McCarthy, of Queen Mary University of London, explores the legacy of a profession established in the nineteenth century for elite white men supported by uncomplaining spouses.

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The highs and lows of drinking in Britain

Could the fall in serious violence announced recently be related to declining alcohol consumption in Britain since the mid-2000s? Dr James Nicholls considers changing drinking levels, licensing laws and social mores over 400 years to understand the complex effects on violence and health. In doing so, he punctures the myth of boozy Britain and binge drinkers.

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The forgotten Benn

Professor Steven Fielding considers Benn's challenge to the Labour Party to respond to the transformations of the 1960s and galvanise a grassroots progressive politics.

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H&P is a unique collaboration between the Institute of Contemporary British History at King's College London and the University of Cambridge.

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.

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