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.
On the 27th October 2021 History & Policy hosted an online event: Recovering from the Pandemic - A workshop on The Future for Employment and Skills. The workshop was organised by the History and Policy Trade Union and Employment Forum, a group of senior trades unionists and academics, and is sponsored by History & Policy at the Institute for Historical Research.
As we chart our way out of the current crisis what are the lessons of history? How can we build a fairer and stronger economy better able to withstand future shocks, not least from climate change? How can we overcome labour shortages and ensure that everyone has the chance to gain the skills we need? How can we help those hardest hit by the pandemic: women, the low paid and unskilled? We hear from the General Secretary of the UK’s largest Trade Union, from a leading historian, from an expert on Labour Law, from a leading Employer representative, from the TUC and from the Labour Party shadow minister for FE and skills.
Professor Claire Langhamer (Director of the Institute of Historical Research)
Chair: Professor Philip Murphy (Director of History & Policy, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study)
Chair: Sarah Veale (CBE, former Head of Equality and Employment Rights at the TUC)
ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH
Recorded on 24 March 2021
The History & Policy Trade Union & Employment Forum is launching an important new biography of this former giant of the Labour movement - Walter Citrine: Forgotten Statesman of the Trades Union Congress. The author, Dr Jim Moher, a former national trade union official and now historian, will be launching it in conjunction with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London and his colleagues in the History and Policy Trade Union & Employment Forum.
Lord John Monks, a distinguished former General Secretary of the TUC (and European TUC), who has a Foreword in the book, will interview Jim about Citrine. This will be followed by questions and a general discussion with full audience participation.
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.