History

Liberalism and Social Democracy

Political history doesn’t start in 1945. Most accounts of the post-war consensus pay tribute to the liberal influences of Keynes and Beveridge, and increasingly to the role of national and imperial sentiment in the myth of “Old Labour”. But more should be made of the UK’s largely forgotten first social democratic government; a government that united liberals and social democrats in finding,…

No Country for Old Labour

The concept of Old Labour is vague, but comforting. It conjures up images of a time when values weren’t compromised. A time when the party knew what, and most importantly, who it stood for. Sustaining this legend requires a number of instances of racism at the core of Labour policy in both foreign and domestic spheres to be ignored, and a gross…

In the Shadow of Beeching

I’ve lived near the railway all my life. Saying that may conjure up rose-tinted images of the Railway Children; the reality is more high-speed trains 50 feet from my back door rattling the glass on my desk every half hour. The village where I’ve lived and grown up these past 19 years sprung up in the 1850s around the railway station. At…