Opinion Articles

H&P encourages historians to use their expertise to shed light on issues of the day. If you are interested in submitting an opinion piece for publication, please see our editorial guidelines. We currently have 246 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


Wars on waste, then and now

Henry Irving finds a precedent for today's proposed measures against plastic waste in Second World War recycling and salvage - but will the public respond today with the same willingness?

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Lost files, history thieves and contemporary British history

Daniel Lomas sets the recent loss of historical papers by the government in context - cock-up or conspiracy?

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Open diplomacy? New embassies and old on the Thames

As the new US embassy is unveiled in London, Carl Bridge and Eileen Chanin look at a historical example of a truly "open" embassy building.

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Are employment rates of disabled people “at the highest level since records began”?

Lucy Delap shows that the history of disabled employment may not be the steady upward progression the government would like to suggest

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Brexit and the great British breakfast

James P. Bowen and John Martin identify the agricultural sector's challenges - seasonal fruit-pickers are the best publicised part of the problem, but the permanent workforce will be affected too.

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Britain’s hundred-year housing crisis: a century of uneven spending

Peter Shapely shows how housing policy initiatives since 1919 have been sunk by the same problem of investment disappearing in lean periods, and suggests housing should be a basic constant spending priority alongside health.

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The 2017 General Election in history

As the dust settles on the outcome of the 2017 General Election, Martin Farr looks at other key moments of electoral uncertainty and uneasy coalition.

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After Grenfell, what can we learn from the housing policies of the 1970s?

David Ellis suggests the 30-year-old consensus on what makes for politically acceptable housing policy may be breaking down in the way of the Grenfell disaster - opening the door to policies last employed in the 1970s.

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Lessons from the Grenfell Tower disaster: the historic failures of the state in fire safety

The role of the state in fire safety is not a settled matter - Shane Ewen shows how improved fire safety has tended to follow a preventable disaster in the past, so the lessons for policy makers, following a recent period of deregulation, should be clear.

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The Grenfell fire and the destruction of the British council estate

Sam Wetherell shows how the original unified vision of council estate architects was picked apart by housing legislation in the 1980s and 1990s, resulting in the patchwork of managing bodies we see today.

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About Us


With long-established offices in King's College London and the University of Cambridge, H&P is an expanding Partnership currently supported by 6 Higher Education Institutes: King’s College London, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds, 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.

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