Under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, New Labour was in power longer than any previous Labour government. However, its economic and employment policies have remained controversial. These include ‘third way’ concepts like the enabling state and flexible labour markets, as well as a new emphasis on individual employment rights and the National Minimum Wage. A decade on, this event explores some policy lessons from the New Labour experience, read in three historical contexts: the prior experience of Thatcherism and the UK’s transition to a service economy; the earlier history of Labour in power; and wider trends in European social democracy. The day will also consider New Labour’s influence on the Conservative-led governments that followed and current political debates about work, from a variety of perspectives.
0:00 Welcome | Philip Murph (Director of History & Policy, Institute of Historical Research)
5:11 Session 1 | New Labour at work: framing the debate
Chair: John Edmonds (former Gen Sec GMB)
• Peter Ackers (Industrial Relations historian)
21:09 Session 2 | Witness Panel: New Labour’s contested legacy
Chair: Helen Hague (journalist)
• Jon Cruddas (Labour MP)
• John Monks (former Gen Sec TUC & ETUC)
2:00:13 Session 3 | After New Labour: wider policy lessons
Chair: Helen Hague (journalist)
• Anne-Marie Greene (Industrial Relations academic)
• Sarah Veale (former TUC head Equality and Employment Rights)
3:10:25 Session 4 | After New Labour: wider policy lessons
Chair: Philip Murphy (Director of History & Policy, Institute of Historical Research)
• Patrick Diamond (Historian of New Labour)
• Adrian Williamson (Historian of post-war Britain)
Corruption and Standard in British Politics: The launch of The Many Lives of Corruption: The reform of public life in modern Britain c. 1750-1950 edited by Ian Cawood & Tom Crook
How has corruption shaped - and undermined - the history of public life in modern Britain? We take this new collection of essays as the starting point for an examination of this question. It will consider two and a half centuries of history, from the first assaults on Old Corruption and aristocratic privilege during the late eighteenth century through to the corruption scandals that blighted the worlds of Westminster and municipal government during the twentieth century. And it will reflect on the emergence of the concept of standards of governance in modern Britain and identify potential parallels between the challenges of the era which the book covers and those facing UK politics today.
Joining the editors Dr Ian Cawood (University of Stirling) and Dr Tom Crook (Oxford Brookes University) to discuss the book was:
This event was chaired by Professor Philip Murphy, Director of History & Policy.
2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the passing of the 1872 Ballot Act which introduced the requirement for a secret ballot in British parliamentary and local elections. Our symposium will take this as the starting point for a broader examination of the history of voting reform. It will consider the culture and conduct of Victorian elections and the circumstances that led to the passing of the Act; it will deal with the debates around the secret ballot, the impact of the Act at home (especially in Ireland), its influence abroad, and the subsequent history of electoral administration, relating some of these issues to currently debated questions of electoral fraud and voter identity.
The symposium seeks to bring together historians, political scientists and representatives from organisations such as the Electoral Commission and the UK Boundary Commissions. It is being held in honour of Valerie Cromwell who was Reader in History at the University of Sussex and Director of the History of Parliament Trust between 1991 and 2001. It is being jointly organised by History & Policy at the IHR and the History of Parliament, and has been made possible thanks to a generous donation by Lady Valerie’s husband, Sir John Kingman.
his seminar will explore the history of Trade Union Education - both learning for activists and broader learning for members. It will discuss current issues and how to shape future Trade Union Learning. It aims to guide the planning for a much larger all-day conference in early February 2023.
Join us for a lively debate on a highly topical area. The loss of the Union Learning Fund and almost all Trade Union Education funding was of course deplorable. On the other hand, the Unison College shows the appetite for growth and new ideas. There is almost universal agreement that UK skills are comparatively low, yet government funding in Adult Education and employer investment in skills remain completely inadequate. The Pandemic has shown the capability of online learning, helping thousands of Union members and activists to access education, including many women and others who might previously have found it difficult to find time to travel to a classroom - but is this at the cost of face to face solidarity? What is the role for Unions in their members’ education?
Chair: Professor John Holford of Nottingham University who will both Chair and provide an initial historical overview, looking at the key issues including the role of employers, funding from government, the Trade Union Curriculum, the role of the TUC and meeting the needs of a rapidly changing trade Union membership.
Twenty years since its foundation in 2002, History & Policy welcomes back its founding members, Simon Szreter, Pat Thane, Alastair Reid and Virginia Berridge, as well as the key figures in the subsequent development of the network, including Mel Porter, Lucy Delap, Andrew Blick and Philip Murphy. This event will follow the format of the Radio 4 series ‘The Reunion’, as founding members discuss the aims behind H&P, its achievements over the past two decades and its plans for the future. Over the course of two panel discussions and a drinks reception H&P will examine its past, present and future, and give thanks to the network of members whose contributions and engagement have made it all possible.
Welcome Claire Langhamer (Director of the Institute of Historical Research) & Opening Remarks Sir Anthony Seldon
Chair: Philip Murphy (Current H&P Director)
Speakers: Pat Thane, Simon Szreter, Alastair Reid and Virginia Berridge (Co-Founders).
Chair: Simon Szreter (Co-Founder and Editorial Director).
Speakers: Duncan Needham, Mel Porter, Lucy Delap, Andrew Blick, Fiona Holland and Chris Williams (Deputy Director and Senior Associates).
Page 1 of 6 pages
H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.
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.