Seven labour history anniversaries in 2022

In 2022, as every year, it is possible to look back and see significant milestones in labour history taking place 25, 50 or 100 years ago. Here we recall seven memorable events, each a quarter of a century further back in time. They include labour movement victories and defeats, and like all of history their interpretation and significance continue to be contested – the role … Continue reading Seven labour history anniversaries in 2022

Radical ambition: Ramsay MacDonald and the 1895 general election

David Hanson reflects on the political trajectory of a firebrand would-be Labour MP whose early radical ambitions were set out during his first foray into electoral politics in 1895 James Ramsay MacDonald fought his first parliamentary election in 1895. The Independent Labour Party had been founded just two years earlier, and though not a founder member, MacDonald had joined early on after gaining political experience … Continue reading Radical ambition: Ramsay MacDonald and the 1895 general election

Mick Ekers (Essex) on Burston strike school master Tom Higdon and labour activism between the wars

Mick Ekers visits Norfolk Record Office to research the life in politics of Tom Higdon, one of the two teachers at the heart of the famous Burston School Strike which lasted from 1914 to 1939. The story of the Burston School Strike is quite well known. In 1914 Annie and Tom Higdon, two teachers in a village school in Norfolk, were sacked as a result … Continue reading Mick Ekers (Essex) on Burston strike school master Tom Higdon and labour activism between the wars

Red Wedge badges: from Constructivism to Neil Kinnock and the Style Council

Red Wedge brought both music and the most cutting edge designs to Labour politics in the mid 1980s. Mark Crail looks at the badges coveted by a generation – and at the organisation that produced them. The platform was too small for the numerous politicians and musicians intent on making their presence felt in front of a battery of press cameras. But despite the crush, … Continue reading Red Wedge badges: from Constructivism to Neil Kinnock and the Style Council

The Copenhagen connection: Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag and Labour European policy

Labour’s European policies in the Wilson era were shaped not just in Whitehall but by formal and informal links between key players in the party and its Danish counterpart, says Dr Matt Broad, author of Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958–72 Continue reading The Copenhagen connection: Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag and Labour European policy

Daily Herald’s front page reports the first Labour government and the death of Lenin

What a day to be a headline writer on a Labour newspaper. On 23 January 1924, the TUC-owned Daily Herald led its news coverage with the formation of the first ever Labour government. But big as it was, the story had to share the front page with news from Moscow of the sudden death of Lenin. Born out of a strike bulletin first published by … Continue reading Daily Herald’s front page reports the first Labour government and the death of Lenin

Labour Party League of Youth members’ badge

The Labour Party began to recruit individual members in 1918, and youth sections appeared in a handful of divisional party organisations soon afterwards. But it was not until 1924 that the National Executive Committee formalised their existence and established a Labour Party League of Youth to act as a national co-ordinating body – albeit one with strictly limited representation and voice within the party’s structures. … Continue reading Labour Party League of Youth members’ badge

Fifty years a labour historian: SSLH President Keith Laybourn on half a century at Huddersfield University

As a school leaver, Keith Laybourn was told, “Don’t be too ambitious”. This year, the SSLH President marks thirty years as a professor and fifty as an academic at the University of Huddersfield. We asked him about a lifetime in labour history Continue reading Fifty years a labour historian: SSLH President Keith Laybourn on half a century at Huddersfield University

Jessica Kumar (Liverpool John Moores) on exploring the League of Nations Union in the North-West of England

A generous bursary from the Society for the Study of Labour History enabled me to gather invaluable material for my master’s dissertation regarding the League of Nations Union (LNU) in the North-West of England, a project I am undertaking at Liverpool John Moores University Continue reading Jessica Kumar (Liverpool John Moores) on exploring the League of Nations Union in the North-West of England