Neil Kinnock

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pages: 458 words: 136,405

Protest and Power: The Battle for the Labour Party by David Kogan

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, Brixton riot, centre right, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, falling living standards, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, open borders, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War

For the first time, it was to consider the transfer of control over the party manifesto from the leader of the party to the NEC. Although the resolution passed by 800,000 votes, the NEC debated the issue and decided, by one vote, that it would defer the final decision to 1980. By all accounts, the key vote was cast by the Tribunite Neil Kinnock. Jon Lansman: Possibly only one of the crucial votes, but certainly one of those in favour of withdrawing, was that of Neil Kinnock. In many ways, Neil Kinnock can be held responsible for the fact that the NEC does not have ultimate control for drafting the manifesto: that is a significant crime. This wouldn’t be the last time the two would be in conflict. It further exacerbated the split between the Tribunite left and the New Left. Conference then focused on how the leader should be appointed.

They were also pro-European, pro-NATO and pro-US, believers in traditional Labour social and economic values and solidly of the Labour movement. To their left was the Tribune group led in the 1960s by Michael Foot, Barbara Castle and Ian Mikardo, later joined by Neil Kinnock in the 1970s. Named after the Tribune newspaper, this group was closely aligned with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and believed in redistributive economics driven by taxation and public spending. It operated as a rebellious group within the mainstream of Labour politics in parliament. In the 1960s Foot had refused a ministerial job under Harold Wilson, preferring to be the leader of the left from the backbenches. Neil Kinnock also refused a ministerial job under James Callaghan in the 1970s over Welsh devolution and public expenditure cuts. The Tribune Group was radical, non-Marxist, but balanced between the centre and the New Left that emerged from 1970 with a more aggressive view of economic and industrial policy.

Lightly regulate, you pay the tax, we do the redistribution. Everyone’s happy. For Spencer Livermore, it was a necessary correction to the past: It was about reconnecting the Labour party both to its traditional values and to the people it was founded to represent. Prior to Neil Kinnock, the Labour party had gone on a sort of ideological holiday, where it indulged itself in all of that sort of dogma. This amused the middle-class intellectual socialists but had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with real people. Except some traditionalists like Neil Kinnock himself saw it as a rebrand without a real soul: It was a title for victory, not for rule . . . They made an ideology of the absence of ideology. Peter Mandelson, unsurprisingly, had an opposite view: It was a modernising, radical, social democratic project, based upon a progressive alliance of people on the centre and the left of British politics.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

As Benn went around collecting the necessary nominations to challenge Healey for the deputy leadership, word reached Neil Kinnock, Robin Cook and others of the Left whose loyalty was now to Foot, and who thought that a bitterly fought deputy leadership contest would be like an oxygen tent for the SDP. They planned to get fellow left-wing MPs to call upon Benn to back off, but he forestalled them by arriving in the parliamentary press gallery at 3 a.m. on 2 April to give a press release, announcing his candidature to the astonished gallery reporters working the night shift. For seven months, the Labour Party was convulsed by a frenetic campaign, fought out before the television cameras with little restraint or mutual respect. The main casualty was Michael Foot, caught between two powerful figures backed by large well-organized factions. A small number of MPs, including Neil Kinnock, tried to carve out an independent position for him by putting up a third candidate, John Silkin, who gathered almost no support outside Parliament.

The Labour Party suddenly felt the presence of very determined young black activists, especially in London. Patricia Hewitt, the former general secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties, who had become Neil Kinnock’s press secretary in 1983, was lobbied by a group of recently enlisted party members, including Sharon Atkin, a Lambeth councillor, and Diane Abbott. They persuaded her that the way to get around the reluctance of people of black and Asian descent to participate in meetings dominated by whites was for them to form separate black sections, which would be recognized as affiliated organizations entitled to be represented at every level of the party. Hewitt came close to persuading Neil Kinnock of the case, but the whole idea came up against a wall of opposition, not least from established leaders of the Asian communities who had already developed their own ways of operating, almost invisibly, within the party.

The first symbolic move was for Labour to abandon the policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament that it had adopted in a blaze of publicity at the start of the decade. Neil Kinnock, who had been a unilateralist all his political life, announced a change of mind during 1988, then apparently reneged when the giant TGWU threatened to give John Prescott its block vote in the deputy leadership contest. However, he returned to the fray and put a resolution to the 1988 party conference, which was only narrowly defeated. The unilateralist policy was dropped a year later. Labour’s next move was to cull many policy documents, removing almost anything that might increase public spending. Before the 1987 general election, Conservative researchers had gone through Labour policy documents adding up what they reckoned the many pledges would cost, and came up with a figure of £35 billion, which would have represented a substantial rise in taxes. Neil Kinnock put the powerful combination of John Smith and Gordon Brown in charge of the opposition Treasury team.


pages: 497 words: 161,742

The Enemy Within by Seumas Milne

active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Kickstarter, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, union organizing, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, éminence grise

But Greenslade remembers that the Labour leader already knew all about them when he first arrived to take over the editorship at the beginning of February. Alastair Campbell told me Neil Kinnock was already fully informed and was neutral on the subject – in other words, he wanted to see it in print. He wasn’t neutral in reality. The Labour hierarchy enjoyed Arthur’s discomfiture. It seemed to justify their hostility to the strike. There was certainly no question of the Labour leader warning Scargill about the allegations in advance. On the first day of the campaign, Kinnock immediately stepped in to make a carefully worded call for an inquiry. His flunkeys were despatched to brief the slavering press with the appropriate spin. ‘There was no collusion’, a Labour Party ‘source’ was quoted as saying. ‘But Neil Kinnock will not have lost any sleep over what happened last week. The NUM strike was a major diversion and probably set back the Kinnock project to reform the Labour Party by a year or eighteen months.

Once again, we were in a world where miners’ flying pickets were ‘storm troopers’ and ‘hit squads’ and their leaders’ tactics a ‘blitzkrieg’ (all terms used in the commentary on a Channel Four television documentary about the strike, When Britain Went to War, broadcast in 2004); where Arthur Scargill, not Margaret Thatcher, was to blame for the shutdown of the coal industry and the hardships of the miners (who bafflingly still elected and re-elected him); where the miners’ cause was ‘futile’ – but would nevertheless have surely been won if only the NUM leadership had called a national ballot or strikers had not fought running battles with strikebreakers and the police. It was the same story at the time of the twenty-fifth anniversary. From Thatcher’s close ally Norman Tebbit, who recalled the strike as a ‘war on democracy’, to the former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, who was still denouncing the miners’ leaders’ ‘madness’, to the BBC broadcaster Andrew Marr, who blamed Scargill’s ‘incompetence’ for coal’s early demise, an Alice-in-Wonderland consensus stretched across the media mainstream. The strike had caused the breakneck rundown of mining, they all agreed against the evidence, not the government that ordered it. It is a measure of the enduring impact of the miners’ sacrifice and the potential power of radical trade unionism – even in a very different industrial and economic context – that, a generation after the event, it is still felt necessary to paint the strike as a dismal morality tale and its leadership as the epitome of megalomaniacal self-delusion.

The Scargill Affair depended on a coincidence of purpose between an exotic array of interests, foremost among which were the Thatcher administration and the Labour leadership. The government was determined to privatize the coal industry and continued to regard Scargill – acknowledged in the City of London to be a significant turn-off for potential buyers – as a malign influence from the past. Neil Kinnock, who later described how he had felt impotent and humiliated during the 1984–5 strike, saw the miners’ leader and all he represented as a deeply unwelcome presence in the new-model Labour Party he was trying to create. Robert Maxwell, the slippery-fingered media baron, was, as ever, happy to do favours for both of them.46 The hares set off by Maxwell’s Daily Mirror and the Cook Report in 1990 were subsequently chased with great relish by the rest of the media, Tory and Labour MPs, Scargill’s opponents inside the NUM, the Fraud Squad, the courts, the government-appointed Certification Officer and Commissioner for Trade Union Rights, the UDM and the maverick right-wing electricians’ union, Cabinet ministers, the TUC, an eccentric alliance of Soviet trade-union bureaucrats and dissident union breakaway outfits, the Inland Revenue, even Colonel Gaddafi, as well as a vast array of accountants and lawyers – who, needless to say, made a fortune out of the affair.


pages: 1,013 words: 302,015

A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, centre right, deindustrialization, demand response, Desert Island Discs, endogenous growth, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, global village, greed is good, inflation targeting, lateral thinking, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

The fact that the electorate failed to extend that logic into the general election the following year by voting in sufficiently large numbers for the Labour Party – which was promising to put up taxes in order to raise money for precisely these causes – was a source of considerable discomfort in some quarters. There were those who attributed the gap between professed belief and practical expression to hypocrisy, others who saw the problem as being a lack of credibility on the part of the Labour leader, Neil Kinnock. But surprisingly few were prepared to give much credit to John Major, the successor to Thatcher, who had softened the harsher edges of her policies and, in the process, ushered in a new era for the country. When, in 1990, Major set out his stall in a bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party, he promised to ‘make changes that will produce across the whole of this country a genuinely classless society, in which people can rise to whatever level their own abilities and their own good fortune may take them from wherever they started’.

He made far less play of that dubious merit than did Blair, giving the appearance of someone who had been middle-aged for some considerable time. There was too, when he became prime minister in November 1990, a higher cultural premium placed on experience than was to become the norm, and it was more important for him to emphasise his record in government, in contrast to that of the two opposition leaders – Neil Kinnock and Paddy Ashdown – though both were older than he was. That record, however, was so compressed that it resembled a crash course in statesmanship. Major had never been in opposition, having entered Parliament in the 1979 general election that brought Margaret Thatcher to power. He had served as foreign secretary and then as chancellor of the exchequer, but these had been only brief appointments.

On air at the time of the change in leadership, the programme’s first attempt to depict Major showed him with a radio antenna on his head, so that Thatcher could operate him by remote control, but when the show returned for its next series in 1991, it had devised a more enduring incarnation: a puppet sprayed all over with grey paint who had an unhealthy obsession with peas and starred in a new feature, ‘The Life of John Major – the most boring story ever told’. The greyness became the defining public image of the man so that when, in 1992, someone drew a Hitler moustache on a portrait of Thatcher in the House of Commons, Neil Kinnock could joke on Have I Got News for You: ‘Next week they’re going to colour in John Major.’ He was by common consensus dull, boring and lacking in glamour; in 1996 readers of the BBC’s Clothes Show Magazine voted him ‘the person they would least like to see in his underpants’. Major’s voice, too, with its slightly strangled, expressionless tone and its tendency to pronounce the word ‘want’ as ‘wunt’, came in for mockery.


Corbyn by Richard Seymour

anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, first-past-the-post, full employment, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, liberal world order, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Philip Mirowski, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, working-age population, éminence grise

The popular support for Thatcherism was real enough, however exaggerated by the electoral system.57 Thatcher had rebounded from the doldrums of 1981 on the basis of a global economic revival beginning in 1982, and in her case linked to martial triumph in the Falklands. But it was the Liberal/SDP alliance which decisively fractured Labour’s base, put it on the defensive, ensured that Labour’s 1983 vote was the lowest it had gained since 1918, and prevented any recovery until Blair had finally effected the coup de grâce. The ‘modernisation’ project initiated under Neil Kinnock almost as soon as he was elected leader in 1983, continued by John Smith and consummated by Tony Blair, may have been forced on Labour by other means and in other circumstances. The transformation of social democracy into what has been called ‘social liberalism’ – a hybrid of traditional social democratic organisation with neoliberal politics – is not peculiar to Britain. It is conceivable that a Left government could have been elected only to see its programme flounder in the face of economic turmoil and resistance from business, thus empowering business-minded ‘moderates’ to force through a more cautious ‘modernisation’ agenda.

This project was supported by a union leadership which had swerved sharply to the right, enjoining a ‘new realism’ according to which unions should seek harmonious relations with all governments, and take a more conciliatory line with employers. This doctrine, unavailing when it was initially unveiled in 1983, proved ideal for a union leadership desperate to avoid conflict after the mauling visited on the miners. And it sufficed for Neil Kinnock, as he and his allies executed an often shambolic, unconvincing retreat from anything which could be considered a left-wing policy, from full employment to unilateral nuclear disarmament. In a sense, it is difficult to see what else Kinnock could have done. ‘Everyone agreed’ that these were the steps necessary to make Labour electable, the only worthwhile objective from his point of view. Of course, nothing is ever so simple or so innocent.

The voters who had deserted the party to support the SDP–Liberal alliance now appeared ready to return in droves, alongside a swathe of disaffected Conservatives. Labour seemingly had only to remain firm in opposition to the tax in order to preserve the advantage. The problem they faced, however, was that the areas where opposition to the tax was most concentrated were working-class boroughs run by Labour councils. There, the leadership demanded that councils take an unyielding line against non-payment. Just as Neil Kinnock had advocated a ‘dented shield’ strategy for Labour councils struggling to fund local services in the face of rate-capping, urging that local authorities set strictly legal budgets within the parameters set by the government, so Labour now sought to burnish its constitutionalist credentials by prosecuting non-payers. The Tribune, a magazine of the party’s soft Left, argued that those Labour members who supported the non-payment campaign represented the ‘biggest threat’ to Labour’s electoral advantage.


pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

A doyen of the Conservative Party had more or less confessed that it was the political arm of the rich and powerful. It was there to fight the comer of the people at the top. It was waging class war. Asked to picture a 'class warrior', perhaps most people would see a chubby union leader in a flat cap, becoming progressively redder in the face as he denounces 'management' in a thick regional accent-not well-bred men with sleek suits and clipped accents. When Iasked former Labour leader Neil Kinnock if the Conservatives were the class warriors of British politics, he shook his head gravely. 'No, because they've never had to engage in a class war,' he said. 'Largely because we signed the peace treaty without realizing that they hadn't.' The demonization of the working class cannot be understood without looking back at the Thatcherite experiment of the 1980s that forged the society we live in today.

The Tories had made a big deal out of the fact that unemployment had reached a million under Labour in 1979, employing ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi to design their famous 'Labour Isn't Working' poster. But under Thatcher, some estimates put the number out of work as peaking at four million. The terror oflosing your job suppresses any temptation to fight back. 'The major catalyst for Thatcher's alterations in labour law was unemployment,' says former Labour leader Neil Kinnock. 'Stupid bourgeois people, like the ones who write the newspapers, say that four million unemployed means an angry, assertive workforce. It doesn't. Itmeans at least four million other very frightened people. And people threatened with unemployment don't jeopardize their jobs by undertaking various acts oflabour militancy-they just don't do it.' When I asked Thatcher's first chancellor of the exchequer, Geoffrey Howe, if mass unemployment had a role in restraining union power, he agreed. '1 think it had in demonstrating the emptiness of continuing to behave as they were behaving.'

'I think that the miners' strike remains a wet dream for various leftists ... I think the only legacy it's had really has been to say to other great forces of organized labour, you take on the government at your peril.' Even today, a quarter of a century later, trade union leaders still feel haunted by the Strike. Trade union leader Mark Serwotka says that its 'legacy was years of despondency and defeatism' . . Many miners and their supporters vilified Neil Kinnock for refusing to support the Strike. Today, he sticks to his 'plague on both your houses' attitude towards Scargill and Thatcher, but reserves most of his vitriol for the miners' leadership. But even he is under no illusions as to the consequences, describing it as a 'salutary' defeat for the labour movement. Trade unions 'saw that if the Tory government could pul- verize the coal mining industry, they could do it to anybody.


pages: 872 words: 259,208

A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Beeching cuts, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brixton riot, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, congestion charging, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, loadsamoney, market design, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open borders, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Piper Alpha, Red Clydeside, reserve currency, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Within a couple of days, they could be ready for moving into. The thirteen designs, such as Arcons, Spooners and Phoenixes, had subtly different features – some had larger windows, some had porches, some had curved roofs, some looked almost rustic – but they were all weatherproof, warm and well lit. People did complain about rabbit hutches or tin boxes but for many they were hugely welcome. The future Labour leader Neil Kinnock lived in one, an Arcon V, from 1947 until 1961, and remembered the fitted fridge and bathroom causing much jealousy: ‘Friends and family came to view the wonders. It seemed like living in a spaceship.’ As they spread around the country, in almost all the big cities and many smaller ones too, they came to be regarded as better than bog-standard council housing. Communities developed in prefab estates which survived cheerfully well into the seventies.

The third kind of school originally planned in 1944 was to have been the technical school, teaching specific practical skills on German lines, but these had been forgotten. In practice there was therefore a sharp, public, sheep-and-goats division of the country’s children which took place at eleven years old through the ‘eleven-plus’ examination. It in turn was based on an IQ test supposed to scientifically measure intelligence. Among those who made it to the grammar schools, many hated being separated from their old friends – George Best and Neil Kinnock being among the innumerable examples of eleven-plus successes who then bunked off or frittered their school days in a mood of rebellion. Many of the majority who were rejected and sent to the secondary moderns never got over the sense of rejection and failure. John Prescott never forgot that his brother passed, and was given a bicycle while he failed and wasn’t. Rifts opened in families. Siblings turned on each other.

The left-wing devaluers hoped to turn Labour at last into a proper socialist government. They preferred to keep Wilson as leader but would have ditched him if necessary. The pro-European devaluers would have liked to replace Wilson with Roy Jenkins. The ironies are multiple: as the arguments raged, some on the left toyed with leaving Labour and setting up a new left-wing party based on the trade unions to be called the Social Democratic Party. One of them was the young Neil Kinnock, who would later as leader unleash a ferocious war on another ‘party within the party’. The title SDP would later be taken not by the left but by Jenkins and many of the pro-Europeans who followed him. Meanwhile the devaluation crisis turned into an ungainly and undignified dance as George, Harold and Jim, with Roy and the rest joined hands, lurched away from each other, formed new sets and jigged towards humiliation.


pages: 475 words: 156,046

When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches That Shape the World – and Why We Need Them by Philip Collins

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collective bargaining, Copley Medal, Corn Laws, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, invention of the printing press, late capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rosa Parks, stakhanovite, Thomas Malthus, Torches of Freedom, World Values Survey

Martin Luther King was a well-regarded figure when he stood up to the podium. By the time he stepped off he was a legend. NEIL KINNOCK Why Am I the First Kinnock in a Thousand Generations? Welsh Labour Party conference, Llandudno 15 May 1987 Neil Kinnock was the saviour of the Labour Party, at least temporarily. To anyone who grew up caring at all about Labour in its dark days in the 1980s Kinnock was a hero. Migrating from left to right in the party, he took it from the brink of the abyss to the threshold of power. He was not able to take it further, but the governments that followed, led by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, would have been inconceivable without the preparatory work done by Neil Kinnock. Kinnock was born in 1942 in Tredegar, Wales, to a coal miner and a district nurse. After a short spell as a tutor for the Workers’ Educational Association he became Labour MP for Bedwellty in 1970.

Kennedy: Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You, Washington DC, 20 January 1961 Barack Obama: I Have Never Been More Hopeful about America, Grant Park, Chicago, 7 November 2012 Pericles: Funeral Oration, Athens, Winter, c. 431 BC David Lloyd George: The Great Pinnacle of Sacrifice, Queen’s Hall, London, 19 September 1914 Woodrow Wilson: Making the World Safe for Democracy, Joint Session of the Two Houses of Congress, 2 April 1917 Winston Churchill: Their Finest Hour, House of Commons, 18 June 1940 Ronald Reagan: Tear Down This Wall, The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, 12 June 1987 Elizabeth I of England: I Have the Heart and Stomach of a King, Tilbury, 9 August 1588 Benjamin Franklin: I Agree to This Constitution with All Its Faults, The Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, 17 September 1787 Jawaharlal Nehru: A Tryst with Destiny, Constituent Assembly, Parliament House, New Delhi, 14 August 1947 Nelson Mandela: An Ideal for Which I Am Prepared to Die, Supreme Court of South Africa, Pretoria, 20 April 1964 Aung San Suu Kyi: Freedom from Fear, European Parliament, Strasbourg, 10 July 1991 William Wilberforce: Let Us Make Reparations to Africa, House of Commons, London, 12 May 1789 Emmeline Pankhurst: The Laws That Men Have Made, The Portman Rooms, 24 March 1908 Isidora Dolores Ibárruri Gómez (La Pasionaria): No Pasarán, Mestal Stadium, Valencia, 23 August 1936 Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream, The March on Washington, 28 August 1963 Neil Kinnock: Why Am I the First Kinnock in a Thousand Generations?, Welsh Labour Party conference, Llandudno, 15 May 1987 Maximilien Robespierre: The Political Philosophy of Terror, The National Convention, Paris, 5 February 1794 Adolf Hitler: My Patience Is Now at an End, Berlin Sportpalast, 26 September 1938 Fidel Castro: History Will Absolve Me, Santiago, Cuba, 16 October 1953 Václav Havel: A Contaminated Moral Environment, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1 January 1990 Elie Wiesel: The Perils of Indifference, The White House, Washington DC, 12 April 1999 PROLOGUE THE PERILS OF INDIFFERENCE The Birth of Rhetoric The beautiful ideas of rhetoric and democracy were born in the same moment, in the winter of 431 BC in Athens, when the statesman Pericles stood to deliver his Funeral Oration.

It was fitting that such a speech should have been made in Manchester, which is the first place that the question of the condition of the people was raised. The Dream of Progress The material condition of the people is a standard subject for the political speech. Many speeches have been made on the topic, but only the rare ones survive in the canon. The best recent example was made by the man who made Blair’s leadership of the Labour Party possible, Neil Kinnock. In Llandudno in 1987, Kinnock described the dream of equal life chances in poetic style. As a speaker, Kinnock is the apotheosis of the reformist Left, in that he reserved his most magnificent scorn for the battle against the revolutionaries in his own party. Kinnock might, though only might, have been gentler on Dolores Ibárruri, the Spanish revolutionary who went under the rhetorical guise of La Pasionaria.


pages: 309 words: 85,584

Nine Crises: Fifty Years of Covering the British Economy From Devaluation to Brexit by William Keegan

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, congestion charging, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial thriller, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, inflation targeting, Just-in-time delivery, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Parkinson's law, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, South Sea Bubble, The Chicago School, transaction costs, tulip mania, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War

It so happened that I was at Ascot the day before the general election with the economist Roger Bootle, and we were so sure that Labour would win that we did not take up the bookmakers’ offer of 6 to 1 against the Conservatives – that is, six pounds for every one pound staked! We have been kicking ourselves ever since. David McKie, then at The Guardian, was on night editorial duty that week and maintained that it was clear that things were going against Labour even before the Sheffield rally, at which Labour leader Neil Kinnock was considered to have been fatally triumphalist. It was an amazing feat for Major to win a general election while the economy was still bogged down in the second biggest recession since the 1939–45 war. The Tories seemed to be good at this. Had they not won the 1983 election after the biggest recession since the war, with unemployment high and still rising? Of course, then the opposition had been divided between Labour and the SDP, and Labour itself had campaigned on a wildly unpopular manifesto.

Major was helped in 1992 by the dubious but effective campaign run by the Conservative Party chairman Chris Patten, with its emphasis on ‘Labour’s tax bombshell’ – a sensational but effective way of castigating Labour for having the cheek to suggest that taxes had to go up to finance public spending. The sad thing for Labour was that they were trying to show fiscal responsibility by explaining how their manifesto pledges would be financed. Ironically, Patten, who had so successfully undermined Neil Kinnock’s electoral hopes, became good friends with Kinnock when, later, they served as British commissioners in Brussels. Both were strongly pro-European. The other twist was that Patten himself, having masterminded the nationwide Tory victory, lost his own seat in Bath – hence his sojourn in Hong Kong as the last Governor, from 1992 to 1997. But before we move on from the election of May 1992 to Black Wednesday that September, it is worth going back to aspects of the pre-Maastricht picture and the build-up to ERM entry in October 1990.

These lunches took place in the Gay Hussar restaurant in Soho, long a haunt of politicians of left and right, with caricatures of many of the regular diners on the walls. On one such occasion, one of us, perhaps tactlessly, made a passing reference to Kaufman’s ‘suicide note’ remark. Quick as a flash, Michael quipped, ‘He got elected on it though.’ In fact, the former leader had long since repudiated his 1983 stance and become a passionate European, along with his successors Neil Kinnock, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (although it has to be admitted that Gordon went out of his way as Chancellor, when fighting his corner in Brussels, to disguise his pro-Europeanism). Yet, once again, when Cameron called the referendum that did not bring peace and quiet to the Tory ranks, a strain of Euroscepticism resurfaced in the Labour Party. And, unfortunately for the pro-European cause, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s support for Remain was lukewarm at best, with many long-time students of his career maintaining that he was and remained a Eurosceptic.


pages: 323 words: 95,492

The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost Its Way by Steve Richards

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, David Brooks, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, housing crisis, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, obamacare, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley

In his campaign manifesto his pitch was relentlessly focused on a class that happened to comprise most voters, separating off only the very wealthiest: For more than a decade our government has been rigged in favour of the rich… While the wealthiest Americans get rich, middle class Americans work harder and earn less while paying higher taxes to a government that fails to produce what we need: good jobs in a growing economy, world class education, affordable health care, safe streets and neighbourhoods…3 The juxtaposition worked triumphantly. Clinton spoke for the many and not for the few – as the UK Labour Party was to put it, equally triumphantly, in the 1997 election. After the Conservatives won the UK election in the spring of 1992, with their fourth successive victory, there was a widespread assumption that Labour would never form a government again. Its leader, Neil Kinnock, had changed his party with heroic determination over nine turbulent years. By 1992 Labour had different positions on Europe, public spending, taxes, nationalization and unilateral nuclear disarmament from those it held when Kinnock became leader in 1983. Kinnock had worked tirelessly on internal reforms and on the way the party was projected to the media. But Labour was still slaughtered, in terms of votes cast, even if the result was much closer in relation to the number of seats each party won.

His proposal to launch a Living Wage was also accompanied by such severe cuts in welfare spending that they were defeated in Parliament, with many Conservative MPs regarding them as too brutal. They also remained Eurosceptic enough not to challenge their party on Europe until it was far too late. And yet it was the Conservative Party’s militant, obsessive Euroscepticism that had brought down a succession of party leaders. These self-proclaimed modernizers did not want to address that issue. As such, they were far more timid internal reformers than Neil Kinnock, the Labour leader in the 1980s who dared to challenge his party on all the thorny issues of that era, from ending support for unilateral nuclear disarmament to scrapping Labour’s opposition to the UK’s membership of the EU. It was the failure of Cameron and Osborne to discover a new approach to public spending and tax, the size and role of the state that undermined their modernization project most of all.

Here was supposedly the most powerful leader in the world admitting that his sense of office sometimes prevented him from moving the ‘ball down the field’ in the areas that he cared about most deeply. After eight years Obama was reflecting on the powerlessness of power. He had lost his principled beliefs amidst the glamour of office. The office constrained him. He could not be himself. On a much smaller part of the political stage, the then leader of the UK Labour Party, Neil Kinnock, was asked the following question in a BBC interview in 1988: ‘As leader of the Labour Party you are reviewing the party’s commitment to unilateral nuclear disarmament, but what is your personal position?’ Kinnock had been a passionate supporter of unilateralism, but without hesitation he replied, ‘Being leader of the Labour party and having personal views is a contradiction in terms.’12 He was no longer allowed to have personal views.


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The politics of London: governing an ungovernable city by Tony Travers

active transport: walking or cycling, congestion charging, first-past-the-post, full employment, job satisfaction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, urban sprawl

In many cities beyond London (such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle) the Tories held no seats at all. Within the capital, only Westminster, Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea remained impregnable. New Labour and the legacy of the 1980s London had been different from the rest of the country, at least until 1994. There had been a visible ‘Labour Effect’ in London, which had depressed the Party’s vote in London councils in 1986 and 1990. Neil Kinnock’s leadership of Labour had been badly blighted by the impact of some of its urban councils. The Conservatives had been able to use the threat of London Labour leaders such as Ken Livingstone (GLC), Ted Knight (Lambeth) and Linda Bellos (Lambeth) to frighten the electorate. There is no doubt that the quality of services in a number of Labour-controlled boroughs collapsed because of the failure of political leadership.

Even though the bulk of Labour-controlled and other authorities were administered in much the same way as they had been in the past, the actions of a handful of radical councils came to dominate Labour policymaking. The fact that many ministers, MPs and civil servants lived in a number of the more problematic London boroughs did not help matters (Jones and Travers, 1996). It profoundly affected New Labour’s approach to local government after 1997. The Blair view of local government went well beyond the distaste felt by senior Labour politicians such as Neil Kinnock and John Cunningham as they had battled with the left during the 1980s (Butler et al., 1994, pp. 256–7). By 1997 virtually the whole of local government – including former hot-spots of militancy such as Liverpool and Lambeth – was under the control of mainstream party politicians, whether Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, or otherwise. A number of the more militant councillors from Liverpool and Lambeth had been surcharged and barred from public office.

Many senior Labour figures had been badly traumatized by the experience of the 1981–6 regime at County Hall, and were anxious never again to suffer the agonies of an oppositionist, extremist, Labour administration in control of a major local authority. The Party’s commitment in 1987 and 1992 was to introduce an elected council for Greater London, along the lines of traditional local government elsewhere in the country: there would be members elected for wards. These elected members (presumably from a majority political group) would then choose a leader for the council. Under both Neil Kinnock and John Smith, the policy was consistent. The death of John Smith in May 1994 brought Tony Blair to the leadership of the Labour Party. Blair, a far more presidential figure as Labour leader than his predecessors, had an instinctive affinity with the concept 46 The Politics of London of a directly-elected mayor, to provide strong executive leadership as part of a transformation of traditional local government.


The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A Twentieth-Century History by David Edgerton

active measures, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, corporate governance, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, Donald Davies, double helix, endogenous growth, Etonian, European colonialism, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, full employment, imperial preference, James Dyson, knowledge economy, labour mobility, land reform, land value tax, manufacturing employment, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, packet switching, Philip Mirowski, Piper Alpha, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, trade liberalization, union organizing, very high income, wages for housework, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor

The fight was closer than is often imagined – had the dockers struck, as they nearly did, and the National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS), as they nearly did, the outcome could very easily have been different. It would undoubtedly have been messy – for it would have been a victory against the might of the state, and against the unsympathetic Labour Party parliamentary leadership, not least its leader, Neil Kinnock. The miners agreed to return to work unconditionally in March 1985, as the drift back became an issue of survival for the union. The great miners’ strike of 1984–5, like the lockout of 1926, was not an offensive, but a last redoubt, the tail end of a period of some trade union influence. It was understood by all that a defeat for the miners was the defeat of the organized working class as a whole, for the left too.

It was not true; it is not true; it never has been; and all our history shows that – from the great industrial development and nationalization acts of the Attlee government, which gave this country a post-war industrial basis, through to the Wilson government’s investment schemes and initiatives that brought new life to where I come from, to South Wales, to Scotland, to the Northeast, to Merseyside, to the new towns of the Southeast, right through to the actions of the last Labour government, which ensured that at least we retained a British computer industry, a British motor industry, a machine tool industry, a shipbuilding industry. We … need give no apology for being the party of production. Neil Kinnock, speech to the 1985 Labour Party Conference The great British–American alliance led the way – morally as well as militarily – in both world wars. Margaret Thatcher, speech to the English-Speaking Union in New York, 1999 You are Neville Chamberlain, I am Winston Churchill and Saddam is Hitler. Tony Blair to an official 2002/31 I think it’s my job to maximise global welfare, not national welfare.

Labour left office claiming to be the saviour of the nation but was not called to save it again. As the party of the nation, it found life in a post-national economy and society difficult to adjust to or respond to. After the electoral defeat of 1983 the leadership of the Labour Party passed from Michael Foot to a so-called dream ticket combining the soft left and the right. The new leader and deputy leader were figures of much less substance than those they replaced. Neil Kinnock was neither an intellectual nor a worker, and for all the claims made for him as orator and parliamentarian, he was merely more prolix than Michael Foot. Roy Hattersley, the deputy leader with strong support in the parliamentary Labour Party, was a littérateur (like Michael Foot) rather than a robust specialist in international relations, as was his predecessor, Denis Healey.12 Kinnock and Hattersley were both formed by residues from the Labour Party of the 1950s: Hattersley by Croslandite reformism, Kinnock by Bevanism.13 The potential leaders of the left formed by the politics of the 1960s and 1970s, Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone, could not stand because neither were at that moment members of parliament.


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The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Neil Kinnock, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent

All of which is hardly a surprise, given that their owners are themselves part of that elite, ideologically committed to the status quo. Because of how and by whom they are run, much of the media today serves as a highly partisan defender of the interests of those with wealth and power. It was the tightest election campaign in Britain for a generation. In April 1992, after thirteen years in the electoral wilderness – years of mass unemployment, union-bashing and the selling off of public assets – Labour and its leader Neil Kinnock were on the cusp of regaining power from the Conservative Party, led by Thatcher’s successor John Major. On 2 April – a week before voters were due to march to schools and village halls to cast their ballots – one poll projected that Labour was on course for a 6-point win. But the creeping jubilation of the party’s grassroots was matched only by the horror of Britain’s media elite at the prospect of a Labour victory.

The speculators had taken on an elected government and won, with George Soros alone making $1 billion at the country’s expense. It was an instructive lesson in the new balance of power between government and finance. It was not just the Tories who had courted the City: the entire political elite would come to pay homage to Britain’s financial kingpins. It is certainly true that, traditionally, Labour had an ambivalence towards the financiers. When Neil Kinnock became a Labour MP in the 1970s, Harold Lever, an ally of the then Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, told Kinnock: ‘You can easily rise to the top of the Labour Party, young man, if you are knowledgeable about the City or about cows. Because if there’s two areas in the Labour Party about which people know fuck all, it’s the City and agriculture.’ But as the party was pummelled by the Thatcherite juggernaut, Labour dramatically shifted its position.

‘This action will be seen as intervention by a Western country in the internal affairs of a small independent nation, however unattractive its regime,’ she messaged the US President, adding that she was ‘deeply disturbed’ by Reagan’s communications on the issue.5 Despite these hiccups, the 1980s witnessed the development of a new ideological bond between the British Establishment and US elite. It was a new relationship that was not yet embraced by the entire political elite. Under the leaderships of Michael Foot and then Neil Kinnock, the Labour Party in the 1980s was committed to a defence strategy that included nuclear disarmament. This was seen as unacceptable in Washington. When I asked Kinnock whether the US response involved interventions in British internal affairs, he was unequivocal. ‘Yes, no doubt at all about that,’ he recalls. ‘This was organized by, I heard, Thatcher’s people here or by the Conservative central office.


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Reaching for Utopia: Making Sense of an Age of Upheaval by Jason Cowley

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, coherent worldview, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, liberal world order, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Right to Buy, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia

‘The problem is the same today as it was a year ago: the leadership of Gordon,’ one former member of the cabinet told me. ‘Without him, we’d have a very good chance of winning this election. With him, it’s a question of damage limitation, though we are doing better the further north you go.’ Another former cabinet minister said: ‘My fear has long been that all the work we did rebuilding the party, stretching back to Neil Kinnock, will be wasted if Gordon leads us to a generational defeat. I always knew we couldn’t win with Gordon. Can a big defeat be averted?’ While we were in the north-east, I travelled in one of the dark-windowed cars in the Prime Minister’s motorcade but also on the media bus. There was little excitement among the journalists on the bus. The mood was apathetic. Nor was the bus full: there were uncollected lunches in brown paper bags scattered across the empty seats and many newspapers had not bothered to send reporters or photographers.

UKIP is attracting support in the party’s old working-class northern English heartlands and winning converts in key Home Counties swing seats that Labour would once have hoped to win. In Scotland the SNP has become the natural party of government. In a recent interview, Alex Salmond was scathing about Miliband, describing him as ‘more unelectable’ than Michael Foot. He had none of ‘Foot’s wonderful qualities or intelligence. He’s more unelectable than Neil Kinnock was; and Kinnock had considerable powers of oratory, and didn’t lack political courage.’ One would expect Salmond to be dismissive of a Labour leader but it is worrying for the party that even allies now speak similarly of him and his failings. Miliband is losing the support of the left (to the SNP, to the Greens) without having formed a broader coalition of a kind that defined the early Blair-Brown years.


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Next Stop Execution: The Autobiography of Oleg Gordievsky by Oleg Gordievsky

active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Ronald Reagan, union organizing, urban sprawl, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, working poor

Your appendix proved that you could extract good information even from a hopeless contact. It was incredible! I was very impressed.’ I looked at Pozdnyakov with close interest, thinking what an extraordinary difference a couple of glasses of wine can make. Because Jack Jones produced so little I met him only five or six times in all, and mostly we exchanged harmless talk about the unions and the Labour Party. But we also discussed Neil Kinnock a good deal, because he was leader of the opposition. Curiously enough, Dmitri Svetanko had shown a flash of intuition in Moscow back in 1981, when I was in the process of joining the British desk. A report from the London Residency had named Kinnock as the Labour politician to watch, and Svetanko had endorsed the suggestion, cabling back that he was regarded as the man of the future, and should be carefully observed.

One such was Stuart Holland, the high-profile Labour MP who specialized in foreign affairs. Moscow told me I should get hold of him as it was hoped that he might become an asset to the KGB, but although I once had a long talk with him, nothing came of it, and it was clear that the Centre had been wrong. Moscow was also eager that I should make contact with Dick Clements, the author and journalist who had been editor of Tribune from 1961 to 1982, and then became a senior adviser to Neil Kinnock. After years of attempts at cultivation by others, he was taken over by Kobaladze but the KGB decided to abandon him. Yet another public figure in whom Moscow showed interest was the author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg. One day in London we received a long letter about him from the Centre, saying that the KGB had monitored him while he was visiting East European countries: they had not yet tried to contact him but, after studying his record, they had come to the conclusion that he was good material for cultivation, as he was progressive (that is, in Moscow’s eyes, friendly to the Soviets), and also influential in the British media.

After that I felt less tense, and the atmosphere lightened. I was impressed by his warmth and cordiality, but as I was speaking I noticed that a look of bafflement occasionally came into his eyes, and I wondered if he understood what I was saying, or whether he had any real interest in matters of detail which lay beneath the most general facts. In any case, I got twenty-two minutes of his time (the Labour politicians Neil Kinnock and Denis Healey got eighteen), and the all-important moment came at the end, when he put his arm round my shoulder and said, ‘We know you. We appreciate what you’ve done for the West. Thank you. We remember your family, and we’ll fight for them.’ As he said goodbye, he repeated something similar, and the British head of station was delighted. ‘You’ve got it!’ he said. ‘You’ve got it!’ When I met Mr Reagan’s successor, George Bush, two years later, the format was exactly the same.


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State of Emergency: The Way We Were by Dominic Sandbrook

anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Doomsday Book, edge city, estate planning, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, financial thriller, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, global pandemic, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, sexual politics, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Winter of Discontent, young professional

To their critics, they were selfish and domineering, run by Communists and extremists, and single-handedly responsible for the decline of the British economy. On the right they were often loathed; on the left they were the objects of deep and often unconditional love and respect. ‘You don’t get me I’m part of the union,’ sang the folk-rock band the Strawbs in a single that reached number two in February 1973, its lyrics often taken as a celebration of working-class trade unionism, although they were almost certainly meant sarcastically. Neil Kinnock even had it blaring out of the windows of his car as he toured his South Wales constituency a year later. What the song captured was the fact that, as the Marxist critic Raphael Samuel put it, trade unionism was ‘not only a cause’, it was ‘something approaching a workers’ faith’. Behind the mind-numbing discussions of basic rates and differentials and working-to-rule, he thought, there was ‘a quasi-religious impulse at work’, with the strike as a religious revival, the mass picket ‘a ceremonial demonstration of strength’, the hated scab who defied the picket ‘a category of folk devil’.

Twenty-five times the Speaker, Selwyn Lloyd, tried to call for order, while Whitelaw stood at the dispatch box, ‘roaring like the stag at bay’, as The Times colourfully put it. Four days later, when the guillotine motion was actually debated, the atmosphere was even worse, with speeches on both sides frequently interrupted by jeers and abuse while Lloyd and his deputy, Sir Robert Grant-Ferris, struggled vainly to keep order. At the centre of the disturbances was a young Welsh MP called Neil Kinnock, who savagely denounced the government’s ‘class-directed legislation’, and at ten o’clock led an extraordinary demonstration in which thirty Labour MPs gathered shouting in front of the Speaker’s table, refusing all entreaties to sit down, some calling Lloyd a ‘bloody hypocrite’ and ‘bloody twister’. Even after the session resumed, the abuse continued. ‘It appears to me, Mr Deputy Speaker,’ said Labour’s Tom Swain, ‘that when a man becomes a right hon.

This was, after all, an age in which there was no dirtier word in the socialist lexicon than ‘multinational’, with companies being excoriated not just because they were pillars of capitalism but because they were owned by foreigners. The EEC was therefore the perfect target – not least because it was so close to the despised Heath’s heart. It was a ‘rich nations’ club’, Michael Foot told the voters of Ebbw Vale, opposed to ‘the interests of British democracy [and] the health of our economy’. It would destroy ‘the real power of the people to control their destiny’, agreed Neil Kinnock – this, of course, some years before he became a European Commissioner himself. ‘Beating capitalism in one country is enough of a task. Beating it in several countries – without even having a solid domestic base – goes too far even for me.’29 It was in the unmistakably English surroundings of Blackpool, at the Labour conference in October 1970, that Wilson first realized he had a serious problem on his hands.


The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991 by Robert Service

active measures, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

Foot was courteous, Healey so boisterous that he chipped in while Brezhnev was in midsentence.32 There had been discussion among Soviet officials about how to address Foot, whether as ‘Mr’ or as ‘comrade’. Foot resolved the problem for them by shaking Brezhnev’s hand warmly and, while holding on to it, addressing him as ‘comrade’. Neither Foot nor Healey mentioned Afghanistan.33 The MP Stuart Holland went to Moscow three years later on behalf of British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, who wanted to know the official Soviet standpoint on nuclear disarmament before his own planned visit. The Kremlin had a strong interest in encouraging Kinnock. This was a man who might become Prime Minister and declare the United Kingdom a ‘nuclear-free zone’.34 By the time of Kinnock’s visit the Politburo had come to a definite policy: Soviet leaders would offer to reduce their arsenal of warheads by the same number as the British agreed to remove; they would also cease to point any of the remainder at the United Kingdom.

Nell Hyett was his political adviser at the time, and at a secret meeting with officials from the USSR’s London embassy, Scargill asked for the money to be forwarded to Hyett’s account at the Dublin branch of the First National Bank of Chicago. When Scargill also grumbled that the United Kingdom remained able to buy coal from abroad, Counsellor Parshin and First Secretary Mazur pointed out that the USSR had ceased to supply coal or any other fuel. Scargill denounced a large section of the British labour movement. In his eyes, Labour Party leaders Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley were purveyors of Tory propaganda, and Scargill declared a preference for the Communist Party of Great Britain and certain left-wing Labour militants.36 The Kremlin leaders pursued this policy without thought for the damage it caused to Anglo-Soviet relations. They felt that they had nothing to lose at that time. Détente was dead and America under Reagan had never been more combative.

And secondly, I think we both believe that they are the more likely to succeed if we can build up confidence in one another and trust in one another about each other’s approach, and therefore, we believe in cooperating on trade matters, on cultural matters, on quite a lot of contacts between politicians from the two sides of the divide. But Gorbachëv showed a rougher side to Labour Party leaders. At lunch with Neil Kinnock, the two sides called each other ‘comrades’; but when Kinnock read out a list of Soviet human rights cases, Gorbachëv turned red in the face and let forth a spate of expletives.78 He warned that the British would get it ‘right in the teeth’ if they insisted on denouncing the USSR’s record on human rights. He called dissenters like Anatoli Shcharanski ‘turds’.79 Gorbachëv let nothing spoil his mood.


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The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew

active measures, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, G4S, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, post-work, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent

In reality, instead of orchestrating a plot, he spent his final years in MI5 before retiring in January 1976 ‘mostly going through the motions’.97 Though Wright had effectively discredited his own evidence, Spycatcher persuaded many who had dismissed Wilson’s conspiracy theories a decade earlier that there must have been something to them after all. The former Home Secretary Roy Jenkins noted that ‘the publication of Peter Wright’s tawdry book . . . nonetheless chimed in with a chorus of other allegations.’98 Callaghan reached a similar conclusion. So did the official biographers of both Wilson and Callaghan. The DG, Sir Antony Duff, recorded after a meeting on 31 March 1987 with Callaghan and the then leader of the Labour Party, Neil Kinnock: ‘Callaghan fixed me with a fairly penetrating, not to say hostile glance, and said that even if only a tenth of what Wright had said about destabilising the Wilson government was true, it was still a “bloody disgrace” that it had happened. I said that it was all in any case untrue.’ Though not all Callaghan’s suspicions seem to have been laid to rest, he acknowledged ‘Wilson’s “paranoia” and said that Marcia and others had been responsible for a lot of it’.99 The stringent internal inquiry ordered by Duff, which examined all relevant files and interviewed all relevant Security Service officers, both serving and retired, concluded unequivocally that no member of the Service had been involved in the surveillance of Wilson, still less in any attempt to destabilize his government.

Rees revealed that he favoured a scheme to redraw constituency boundaries in order to get rid of the city-centre constituencies which, he believed, were those most easily exploited by subversives.41 By 1977 Militant Tendency was believed to have gained a foothold in some eighty-eight CLPs and to pose a threat to twelve sitting MPs.42 Secretly recorded by the Security Service, Peter Taaffe told the annual conference that Militant cadres, despite disappointing recruitment figures, were the ‘spinal column of the future mass revolutionary organisation’, which would be ‘an indispensable weapon of the Revolution in Britain’.43 Militant members of CLP delegations to the annual Labour Party conference increased from thirty-five in 1976 to fifty-five in 1978.44 Though MT membership was still below 1,500 in 1978,45 Taaffe made the wildly exaggerated claim that year that MT played a decisive influence in 100 CLPs and a significant role in 225.46 Despite the concern felt by Rees and Callaghan about Militant entryism, there were powerful voices on the NEC opposed to any serious action to prevent it, among them those of Callaghan’s two immediate successors as Labour leader, Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock. In November 1975 the Labour Party national agent, Reg Underhill, presented a report to the NEC on extreme left-wing infiltration of the Labour Party which concluded that Militant was an independent political organization and therefore clearly contravened the prohibition in Labour’s constitution on Party members joining organizations with their ‘own programmes, principles, and policy for distinctive and separate propaganda’.47 The MT leadership gave much of the credit for sidelining the Underhill report to one of its members, Nick Bradley, the LPYS representative on the NEC, who, it believed, succeeded in persuading the Organization sub-committee that the report should ‘lie on the table’.48 When the report eventually reached the NEC, the Committee voted by sixteen to twelve to take no action.49 As late as 1981 Neil Kinnock believed that, within the Labour Party organization, ‘there was neither the will nor, more important, the organisational capacity to undertake a systematic attack on Militant.’50 The divided views within the Labour leadership about the threat of Militant entryism produced frustration among the F Branch officers concerned with the investigation of subversion in the Labour Party.

In November 1975 the Labour Party national agent, Reg Underhill, presented a report to the NEC on extreme left-wing infiltration of the Labour Party which concluded that Militant was an independent political organization and therefore clearly contravened the prohibition in Labour’s constitution on Party members joining organizations with their ‘own programmes, principles, and policy for distinctive and separate propaganda’.47 The MT leadership gave much of the credit for sidelining the Underhill report to one of its members, Nick Bradley, the LPYS representative on the NEC, who, it believed, succeeded in persuading the Organization sub-committee that the report should ‘lie on the table’.48 When the report eventually reached the NEC, the Committee voted by sixteen to twelve to take no action.49 As late as 1981 Neil Kinnock believed that, within the Labour Party organization, ‘there was neither the will nor, more important, the organisational capacity to undertake a systematic attack on Militant.’50 The divided views within the Labour leadership about the threat of Militant entryism produced frustration among the F Branch officers concerned with the investigation of subversion in the Labour Party. It was unclear to the Security Service how much of the Callaghan government shared Rees’s close interest in MT.


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The Extreme Centre: A Warning by Tariq Ali

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, labour market flexibility, land reform, light touch regulation, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, obamacare, offshore financial centre, popular capitalism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck

This, in turn, produced huge salaries and bonuses for the top layers and a few crumbs for the former industrial regions of the country. Blair’s subsequent electoral triumphs were used to cement the New Labour project. But the political geography, when decoded, told a different story. The figures revealed a decline in voting, marking a growing alienation from politics. New Labour’s popular vote in 2001 was down by 3 million and less than the 11.5 million won by Neil Kinnock when Labour suffered its defeat in 1992. The 71 per cent turnout that had been considered low even in 1997, now dropped to 59 per cent. Only 24 per cent of the total electorate voted for another Blair government. Unsurprisingly, there were 2.8 million Labour abstentions in Britain’s former industrial heartlands – the metropolitan vastnesses of Tyne and Wear, Manchester, Merseyside, the West Midlands, Clydeside and South Wales.


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The European Union by John Pinder, Simon Usherwood

Berlin Wall, BRICs, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, failed state, illegal immigration, labour market flexibility, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, non-tariff barriers, open borders, price stability, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

But there have been serious defects when it has been required to administer expenditure programmes without the staff who can do this properly, resulting in defects either in its own work or in that of consultants hired to do it, with sometimes bad and in a few cases fraudulent consequences. This stimulated not only the 1999 resignation, but also the ongoing reforms to the administration set out by Neil Kinnock in the early 2000s, aimed at improving recruitment, training, promotion, and audit practices. Some have argued that the Commission is a European government. How far could this be an accurate description? Within the fields of Union competence, its right of legislative initiative resembles that of a government, and even exceeds it in so far as the Commission’s is almost a sole right. But its use of the right is constrained by the Council, particularly where the unanimity procedure applies, though also by the use of QMV rather than a simple majority.


pages: 721 words: 238,678

Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem by Tim Shipman

banking crisis, Beeching cuts, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, centre right, Clapham omnibus, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, drone strike, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, iterative process, John Bercow, Kickstarter, kremlinology, land value tax, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open borders, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, Snapchat, working poor

A Labour official said, ‘They never said it out loud, but I think for them the first phase was Jeremy’s survival. That was to be achieved by vote share.’ Labour moderates, like former advisers Tom Baldwin and David Mills, were sufficiently concerned that this would be seen as an acceptable benchmark for Corbyn’s survival that they publicly demanded that he gain more seats, more votes and narrow the gap to the Tories, as Neil Kinnock did in 1987, before he was allowed to stay as leader. Corbyn’s staff saw this criticism of the seats he was visiting as flawed, since many of the ninety rallies he staged during the campaign were not necessarily in target seats themselves but in convenient city-centre locations, which would attract voters from neighbouring marginals. ‘It was a new form of campaigning,’ one explained. ‘You create a hub and drag people out of the surrounding areas.’

To the younger generation of organisers radicalised by the Iraq War and the age of austerity that followed the 2008 economic crash, who included James Schneider, Momentum was a British incarnation of the Syriza protest movement in Greece, and Podemos in Spain. This difference of approach created some tensions. Activists like Schneider resented press claims that Momentum was being used as a Trojan horse by Trotskyite entryists, kicked out of the party in Neil Kinnock’s expulsion of the Militant Tendency in the eighties. In February 2016 Momentum set up a formal membership structure under which members had to ‘support the values and aims of the Labour Party’, a move designed to prevent the Socialist Party – the successor to Militant – and the Socialist Workers Party from returning to Labour. From January 2017 Momentum members also had to join the Labour Party.

‘We’ll keep getting large numbers of people out to canvass in marginal constituencies and we’ll be ready for that general election as soon as it comes,’ Corbyn got himself into training. After forty years of oppositional politics, he spent the autumn of 2017 receiving training from Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, about how to operate in government. Win or lose, he had already done enough to be seen as a key leader in Labour’s history, unpicking the work of Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair to marginalise the hard left in the twenty-four years between 1983 and 2007 in just twenty-four months. ‘A lot of the project has been successful,’ a union official said. ‘The Labour Party is now an anti-austerity party and there is a clear difference between Labour policy and the Tories in a way that people didn’t feel that there was before. The party has a renewed base of young people.


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

In 2002, spending growth was speeded up again, to a projected 3.3 per cent between 2004 and 2006, well above the Treasury’s estimates of the growth rate of the economy.63 Journalist Philip Stephens described it as the moment the party finally chose social democracy.64 Gordon Brown’s prudence was partially a response to memories of the chaos and irresponsibility of the 1970s. Equally traumatising were memories of Labour’s surprise general election defeat in 1992. A good part of the reason for the defeat, the party’s insiders felt, was that the voters had revolted against Neil Kinnock’s ‘tax bombshell’. A Tale of Two Nations 29 If Labour was ever to regain power, both Blair and Brown believed, it had to keep control of spending and promise never to raise taxes again. It should have been obvious that pledges to spend more on the public services, not raise taxes and maintain prudent finances formed an impossible triangle. Something had to give. Ultimately it was the prudent finances that were abandoned.


pages: 174 words: 58,894

London Review of Books by London Review of Books

Albert Einstein, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, failed state, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, tulip mania, Wolfgang Streeck

But she felt the power of Thatcher’s personality, even as a malign force. One night, she had her baby son with her when she spotted the prime minister at the other end of a long corridor. ‘I couldn’t bear her eyes to fall on my perfect baby,’ she writes. ‘I pulled his blanket over his face to shield him from her gaze’ and dived into a side room. In the 1987 election 41 women were elected, 21 of them Labour. For most of the decade from 1983 until 1992, when Neil Kinnock was party leader, the only female member of the shadow cabinet was Jo Richardson – as minister for women, inevitably. In 1990 the rules were changed: MPs now had to vote for at least three women in shadow cabinet elections. Harman says male MPs called this the Assisted Places Scheme and tried to sabotage it by spreading their votes so no woman would get a respectable number, or by deliberately voting for someone supposedly so hopeless that the scheme would be discredited.


pages: 202 words: 66,742

The Payoff by Jeff Connaughton

algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Flash crash, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, naked short selling, Neil Kinnock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, short selling, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, two-sided market, young professional

That weekend in September 1987, Alabama beat Penn State, the defending national champion. My college buddies and I were elated as we left the stadium in Happy Valley. And though I was anxious to find out what was behind the news report we’d heard over the radio on the way there, I never imagined that within two weeks the Biden for President campaign would be over. It happened with dizzying speed. Biden’s peroration at campaign debates included a long quotation from a speech by Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labor Party and the son of a Welsh coal miner. It asked the question why he was the first member of his family in a thousand generations to attend university. Had his ancestors—who worked twelve-hour shifts in the mines but read poetry at night—been too stupid? No, it was because he had a platform on which to stand. Biden used the quotation in its entirety, including the strange reference to “a thousand generations” (was he suggesting there had been a Biden college graduate in Biblical times?)


pages: 317 words: 71,776

Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, David Graeber, delayed gratification, Dominic Cummings, double helix, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, family office, financial deregulation, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, land value tax, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, mega-rich, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, TaskRabbit, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor

Source: Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2013 Figure 6.2 Relative effects of spending reduction of £29 billion by 2016 on families in England When a society becomes as unequal as the UK now is, avarice rises. As inequalities increase, people already at the top become ever more motivated solely by greed. The source of inequality is a failure to control the greedy. Often they feel that they need more money despite all their wealth. They are made to feel that way because status and respect are increasingly measured in purely financial terms. Just over thirty years ago, Neil Kinnock, then Labour Party leader, remarked: ‘If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday, I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.’ What he did not add, which would have been most prescient, was: ‘I warn you not to reach adulthood alongside Thatcher’s grandchildren. I warn you not to be young then, not to want to study then, not to want a rewarding job then, or to grow old then.’


Day One Trader: A Liffe Story by John Sussex

algorithmic trading, Boris Johnson, credit crunch, fixed income, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, Neil Kinnock, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, statistical arbitrage

Green would D AY O N E T R A D E R : A L I F F E S T O R Y | 109 put him on his insurance. This choice was a no-brainer for Danny. He just could not resist the chance of being able to show off in such a flash car. He regularly took Green up on the offer until one fateful day in the summer of 1992. It was the eve of the General Election. The British public were about to once again reject a Labour party led by Neil Kinnock in favour of the grey man of politics, John Major, who would succeed in persuading people to re-elect his Conservative Party. But Danny was not spending the evening agonising over which way to cast his vote at the ballot box. He was showing off on the streets of London taking Green’s car for a spin. As he made his way around the capital’s West End he noticed that two big guys were following him in a Vauxhall Vector.


pages: 232 words: 76,830

Dreams of Leaving and Remaining by James Meek

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, bank run, Boris Johnson, centre right, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, full employment, global supply chain, illegal immigration, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, working-age population

Mitchell, previously an academic and TV interviewer, became the most prominent voice of fishermen in Westminster, and helped Billy Hardie’s mother, Dolly, in her successful campaign to get compensation for fishermen who lost their livelihoods after the Cod War. He was first elected as European restrictions on Britain’s fish catching began to bite, and talked up withdrawal from Europe long before Ukip appeared on the scene. In the early 1980s, in Michael Foot’s Labour Party, quitting the EEC was policy. When Neil Kinnock took over, Labour embraced Europe, but Mitchell didn’t. His banishment to the back benches as the epitome of old Labour – a socialist, an internationalist and localist rather than globalist, a believer in higher taxation and higher public spending, a champion of the working class, a sceptic on Europe, a conservative on gender – came about after he infuriated Kinnock with what would now be seen as a rather New Labour move.


pages: 230 words: 79,229

Respectable: The Experience of Class by Lynsey Hanley

Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Etonian, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent

Having won the previous year’s election with a majority of 144 seats, she saw a chance for her government to assert itself and its ‘modernizing’ agenda over traditional heavy industries. By the 16th of the month, according to the Mirror, the ‘rebel pithead winders’ had ‘caved in’, giving ‘miners’ leader Arthur Scargill a boost by agreeing to back the NUM’s overtime ban’. (The paper’s tendency throughout the strike was to characterize the NUM’s leadership, but not its members, as militant.) The following week, Neil Kinnock, who’d become leader of the Labour Party and leader of the opposition the previous October, authored a series of Mirror articles with the headline ‘WHY I AM ANGRY’, sharing page one on the first day of the series with ‘The many faces of Boy George’. ‘I am angry,’ begins Kinnock’s first piece, on 23 January. ‘Angry at what is happening all over Britain today. Angry as a human being. And most of all I am filled with rage – justifiable, consuming, overwhelming rage – at what is happening to our young people.’12 The rest of the double-page spread promises: ‘TOMORROW: The Tory boot goes in’, followed by ‘The Family Crisis’, ‘The Age of Fear’ and ‘Ripped-off Britain’ on subsequent days.


pages: 245 words: 72,391

Alan Partridge: Nomad: Nomad by Alan Partridge

cuban missile crisis, glass ceiling, Neil Kinnock, rolodex, Skype, University of East Anglia

On the wall, under a laminated banner that says Hettie’s Wall of Fame (oh, so it’s Hettie now, is it?) is a whole bevy of signed photos from previous guests, snapped next to Hettie/Mrs Lancashire. Charlie Dimmock giving a thumbs up, Kelvin MacKenzie (who’s written ‘Lovely B&B and that’s The Truth!’), Everest Windows’ Craig Doyle and lovely wife Doon, Gloria Hunniford with a glass of wine, Duncan Goodhew (‘Keep swimming!’), Glenys (and Neil) Kinnock, Clare Grogan, Paul Gambaccini (‘Thanks for everything and sorry’),65 a Krankie, Jarvis Cocker . . . and in the middle of them all, a soft-focus publicity shot, all twinkly eyes and bouffant hair, stirring a feeling in me that was simultaneously like a punch in the gut and a kick in the cock. There, smiling at me, was Edmonds. 14. EDMONDS *** PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS ASKED ME, Why do you hate Edmonds?


pages: 235 words: 73,873

Half In, Half Out: Prime Ministers on Europe by Andrew Adonis

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, colonial rule, congestion charging, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Dominic Cummings, eurozone crisis, imperial preference, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, oil shock

The second lens through which Gordon viewed the EU was that of domestic politics. To understand New Labour, Blair and Brown, you have to understand the eighteen years that came before Blair won the 1997 election. The emergence from the divisions of the 1980 Wembley Conference, the splintering of Labour into a new SDP, the disaster of the 1983 election, and the slow march back to credibility under Neil Kinnock. The loss of the 1992 election – in my view the most important and searing experience in the origins of New Labour – reinforced Blair and Brown’s determination to do what it would take to restore Labour’s credibility. The yardsticks for Labour credibility were shaped by the difficult years of the 1980s, and the ways in which Britain changed under Thatcher. Put simply, New Labour saw the challenge as reconciling Labour to a market economy at home, and to a global economy internationally.


pages: 238 words: 76,544

Night Trains: The Rise and Fall of the Sleeper by Andrew Martin

Boris Johnson, Etonian, joint-stock company, Neil Kinnock

In countries attached to the traditional, monolithic idea of railway nationalisation, such as France, the split is observed more by way of an accounting convention than a matter of having genuinely separate organisations. Even so, the measure shines a spotlight on the most heavily loss-making services – such as the sleepers – begging the question: ‘Are they worth paying the charges?’ But we British can’t blame the EU for the directive, because it represents the implementation of the British railway privatisation model, and it was the former Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, who, as Transport Commissioner, was behind the policy. Stepping aboard the Thello train, I was greeted by a friendly sleeping car conductor, who was either French or Italian, but spoke excellent English, and seemed to have a lot of time on his hands to talk to me. He agreed that business was slack; there had been many cancellations. ‘It’s because of what happened last week.’ I asked where we would be stopping, and after telling me ‘Dijon, Milan, Verona, Padua, Venice’ he ruefully added, ‘We should put up a notice because people often ask.’


Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star by Tracey Thorn

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, East Village, greed is good, Live Aid, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, University of East Anglia, young professional

When I was interviewed by Smash Hits in 1985 and asked what was the last book I read, my answer was The British in Northern Ireland: The Case for Withdrawal. In Smash Hits! Red Wedge was officially launched in November 1985, and was an attempt to fuse all of this somewhat disparate political activity into the one supposedly common cause of ousting the Thatcher government and getting Labour elected. Neil Kinnock was trying to modernise the Labour Party, following the landslide defeat of the 1983 election, and realised that one strand of this process would be to try to reconnect with the youth vote, and to marshall some of that highly motivated activism which was clearly prevalent among young rock fans. Red Wedge was intended to be more than just an earlier version of Blair’s Cool Britannia marketing ploy, and the organisation was actually given its own office at Labour Party HQ on Walworth Road in south-east London.


pages: 324 words: 86,056

The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality by Bhaskar Sunkara

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, inventory management, labor-force participation, land reform, land value tax, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Occupy movement, postindustrial economy, precariat, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, We are the 99%

They didn’t use the same language, but they might have agreed with moderates that 1983 Labour candidate Michael Foot’s center-left election manifesto was “the longest suicide note in history.” While Benn and the Labour Left fought campaigns to win the leadership and democratize the party, and while Arthur Scargill led a last great miners’ strike in 1984–1985, the intellectual cover was provided for Foot’s replacement, Neil Kinnock, and an emerging New Labour current to challenge these movements. Kinnock gave way to Tony Blair, who doubled down on centrist politics and constructed a public relations machine to rebrand Labour as fresh-faced modernizers. This approach won a massive victory in 1997—a rare one for a party that’s been called the least successful major party in the world. Labour had also been the most scarcely socialist of the Second International generation of parties to begin with, but it clung to the old working-class “production politics” longer than others.


pages: 312 words: 91,538

The Fear Index by Robert Harris

algorithmic trading, backtesting, banking crisis, dark matter, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, fixed income, Flash crash, God and Mammon, high net worth, implied volatility, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Renaissance Technologies, speech recognition

A graduate of Cambridge University, where he studied English, he joined the BBC and later wrote for the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is married to Gill Hornby. They have four children and live in a village near Hungerford in West Berkshire. Also by Robert Harris FICTION Fatherland Enigma Archangel Pompeii Imperium The Ghost Lustrum NON-FICTION A Higher Form of Killing (with Jeremy Paxman) Gotcha! The Making of Neil Kinnock Selling Hitler Good and Faithful Servant To my family Gill, Holly, Charlie, Matilda, Sam Acknowledgements I WISH TO thank all those whose expertise, generously given, has made this book possible: first and foremost Neville Quie of Citi, who made many helpful suggestions and introductions and who, along with Cameron Small, patiently helped me through the labyrinth of shorts and out-of-the-money puts; Charles Scott, formerly of Morgan Stanley, who discussed the concept, read the manuscript and introduced me to Andre Stern of Oxford Asset Management, Eli Lederman, former CEO of Turquoise, and David Keetly and John Mansell of Polar Capital Alva Fund, all of whom provided useful insights; Leda Braga, Mike Platt, Pawel Lewicki and the algorithmic team at BlueCrest for their hospitality and for letting me spend a day watching them in action; Christian Holzer for his advice on the VIX; Lucie Chaumeton for fact-checking; Philippe Jabre of Jabre Capital Partners SA for sharing his knowledge of the financial markets; Dr Ian Bird, head of the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid Project, for two conducted tours and insights into CERN in the 1990s; Ariane Koek, James Gillies, Christine Sutton and Barbara Warmbein of the CERN Press Office; Dr Bryan Lynn, an academic physicist who worked at both Merrill Lynch and CERN and who kindly described his experiences of moving between these different worlds; Jean-Philippe Brandt of the Geneva Police Department for giving me a tour of the city and answering my queries about police procedure; Dr Stephen Golding, Consultant Radiologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, for advising me on brain scans and putting me in touch with Professor Christoph Becker and Dr Minerva Becker who in turn helpfully arranged a tour of the Radiological Department of the University Hospital in Geneva.


pages: 325 words: 89,374

Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing by John Boughton

British Empire, deindustrialization, full employment, garden city movement, ghettoisation, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, profit motive, rent control, Right to Buy, rising living standards, starchitect, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, young professional

Those on the Excalibur Estate were Uni-Seco with kitchen/bathroom units pre-assembled and the rest arriving in flat-pack panel units and assembled tongue-and-groove-style. The estate has (or had) a holiday village feel and, to modern eyes, the prefabs are quaint and homely, made more so through the decorative touches applied by some of the residents. They were however – with their fitted kitchens, running hot water, built-in storage and electric lighting and sockets – state-of-the-art dwellings in their time. To Neil Kinnock, future Labour leader, brought up in a prefab, his childhood home ‘was a remarkable dwelling and a piece of wonderful engineering … a place of wonder’.3 Elsewhere, Eddie O’Mahoney, recently demobilised with a wife and two young children, had wanted a proper brick-built house but was reluctantly persuaded by a council housing officer to take a look at the new prefabs on Excalibur: We opened the door and my wife said, ‘What a lovely big hall!


pages: 287 words: 92,194

Sex Power Money by Sara Pascoe

Albert Einstein, call centre, Donald Trump, Firefox, gender pay gap, invention of movable type, Louis Daguerre, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Neil Kinnock, phenotype, telemarketer, twin studies, zero-sum game

In October 2016 a video was leaked of the future president of the United States having a braggy conversation/admitting to the assault of women a decade or so before. We all know this recording off by heart. Trump says, ‘I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.’ I’m embarrassed to admit I believed his presidential hopes were over. In the 1980s Labour leader Neil Kinnock’s political ambitions went down on Brighton beach when he did. If you’re too young to remember this, you can watch it on YouTube. Kinnock was walking hand in hand with his wife when the sea surprised him and he tripped up trying to keep his shoes dry. ‘That’s it,’ said the nation. ‘You can’t be leader, you can’t even stay upright on pebbles.’ When some American voters continued to respect Donald Trump, I realised I did not understand people very well.


pages: 241 words: 90,538

Unequal Britain: Equalities in Britain Since 1945 by Pat Thane

Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, equal pay for equal work, full employment, gender pay gap, longitudinal study, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, old-boy network, pensions crisis, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

On the other hand, in 1986, several Labour-controlled inner-London boroughs and the Inner London Education Authority began promoting more positive images of gay men and lesbians as part of sex education in schools, most controversially in Haringey. These were highly publicized and often caricatured in the media, prompting the formation of the Parents Rights Group in protest. A leaked letter from Patricia Hewitt, then-press secretary to Neil Kinnock, leader of the Labour Party, revealed concern that ‘the gay and lesbians issue is costing us dear among the pensioners’.156 When proposals began to come forward to ban the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by local authorities, the party did not have a coherent position.157 The 1987 Conservative election manifesto made clear the party’s intention to clamp down on ‘sexual propaganda’ in schools, and it was a significant issue during the election, explicitly supported by Thatcher.158 The outcome was the passage of Section 28 of the 1987 Local Government Bill, introduced as a backbench amendment, which made it illegal for local authorities to ‘intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality’ or to ‘promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’.


pages: 309 words: 99,878

Pompeii by Robert Harris

Neil Kinnock

BY THE SAME AUTHOR Fiction Fatherland Enigma Archangel Non-fiction A Higher Form of Killing (with Jeremy Paxman) Gotcha! The Making of Neil Kinnock Selling Hitler Good and Faithful Servant ROBERT HARRIS POMPEII HUTCHINSON LONDON First published by Hutchinson in 2003 Copyright © Robert Harris 2003 Robert Harris has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser Map of Aqua Augusta by Reginald Piggott Hutchinson The Random House Group Limited 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA Random House Australia (Pty) Limited 20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, Sydney New South Wales 2061, Australia Random House New Zealand Limited 18 Poland Road, Glenfield Auckland 10, New Zealand Random House South Africa (Pty) Limited Endulini, 5A Jubilee Road, Parktown 2193, South Africa The Random House Group Limited Reg.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

After the election in 2015, the Chancellor met Rupert Murdoch twice ‘off the record’ just before cutting the BBC’s funding by forcing it to bear the cost of free TV licences for over-75s; Treasury officials met senior executives from Murdoch’s company four times.39 Through 21st Century Fox, Murdoch has a controlling stake in Sky UK, the satellite broadcaster, which would benefit from a weakened BBC. Murdoch, an Australian-born naturalised American, has never hidden his intention to influence British politics. When Labour leader Neil Kinnock lost the general election in April 1992, the now notorious headline in The Sun was ‘It’s The Sun wot won it’; the newspaper had run relentless attacks on Kinnock and the Labour Party, culminating in an equally famous headline on election day itself: ‘If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights.’ Viscount Rothermere owns the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the London free newspaper Metro, many regional newspapers and a chunk of ITN (Independent Television News).


pages: 308 words: 99,298

Brexit, No Exit: Why in the End Britain Won't Leave Europe by Denis MacShane

3D printing, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Etonian, European colonialism, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Gini coefficient, greed is good, illegal immigration, James Dyson, labour mobility, liberal capitalism, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reshoring, road to serfdom, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Thales and the olive presses, trade liberalization, transaction costs, women in the workforce

As chancellor of the exchequer Brown had thwarted many of Blair’s pro-EU initiatives and during the 13 years of the Labour government had never been seen as pro-European. Of course he was anti-Brexit, and when he set his very considerable intellect to making the case for Europe, as he did in his Brexit campaign book, his arguments were strong. But so many of the anti-Brexit campaigners from the New Labour era were now men and women of the free bus pass generation and were no longer listened to. Other old-timers, Michael Heseltine and Neil Kinnock, for instance, made valiant efforts to speak up for the UK staying in the Europe but they came tagged as denizens of the House of Lords, the least democratic chamber of any parliament in the world, where a cheque buys the right to be a legislator. Above all, Prime Minister Cameron turned the entire referendum into a personal vote of confidence. This turned off many Labour voters who were not prepared to back a man who had protected the wealthy through tax cuts while imposing austerity on the poor.


pages: 364 words: 103,162

The English by Jeremy Paxman

back-to-the-land, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, Etonian, game design, George Santayana, global village, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Own Your Own Home, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Right to Buy, sensible shoes, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

They have produced only one memorable Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, but at least he stands head-and-shoulders above many of the rest of the holders of that office this century. Figures like Aneurin Bevan have kept the radical Welsh tradition alive, but their advancement has been barred not only because so many of the English are, with rare exceptions in their history, inherently conservative, but because they just find it so difficult to trust the Welsh. When Neil Kinnock failed to lead the Labour party to victory in the 1992 election, the party sensed it was partly because of English distrust of the Welsh, and immediately replaced him with a Scot, John Smith. Smith possessed the subfusc Scottish virtues that the English appreciate. They are the qualities of Lowland Scots, listed by the historian Richard Faber as ‘industry, economy, toughness, caution, pedantry, argumentativeness, lack of humour’.14 The last is certainly unfair to Smith, who, had he not been struck down by a heart attack, would no doubt have become the first Scottish Labour Prime Minister since Ramsay MacDonald in the 1930s.


pages: 382 words: 100,127

The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, central bank independence, centre right, coherent worldview, corporate governance, credit crunch, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market friction, mass immigration, mittelstand, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, obamacare, old-boy network, open borders, Peter Singer: altruism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Skype, Sloane Ranger, stem cell, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey

He was sceptical about both those explanations and took me back to Monnet: ‘It was about those steps that you could take. And monetary policy was easier for national governments to give up because most countries already had independent central banks, the politicians were not losing control of anything. It became a technocratic matter between central bankers and people at the Commission.’ Andrew Cahn, the British chef de cabinet to Neil Kinnock 1997–2000, agrees with Lamy. ‘It was the classic tactics of advance. You establish the ERM, that runs into trouble, so you have to go forward to a single currency. And when the half-way house single currency without fiscal convergence runs into trouble you have to go forward to the full-blooded single currency.’ He also thinks there was at times a triumphant atmosphere in Brussels at the end of the Cold War, a feeling that Europe could step up as an equal of the US.


pages: 332 words: 102,372

The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions Into the Lost Delights of Britain's Railways by Michael Williams

Beeching cuts, British Empire, Google Earth, haute cuisine, joint-stock company, Neil Kinnock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, railway mania, Snapchat

Even Heath Robinson might have struggled to invent it … OUT OF SHREWSBURY station and over a rusty bridge, ducking and diving through some back alleys down onto the bank of the Severn, where I’m sidestepping the puddles and already out of breath. ‘Could you imagine carrying your luggage all this way just to change trains?’ My guide, Mansel Williams, a town councillor with a curious resemblance to the former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, is leading the way from Shrewsbury’s main station to the site of the almost mythical and long-closed Abbey Foregate Street, terminus of the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Railway, perhaps the most hopeless line ever built in Britain. If there was a prize for the lost causes of British railway history, then this obscure branch line would surely deserve to be the winner. ‘It never had much of a chance from the start, since the Great Western and London & North Western Railways ganged up to block its trains, forcing the little railway to open its station in the badlands of town,’ Mansel explains as Shrewsbury proper starts to peter out amid derelict shops.


pages: 367 words: 108,689

Broke: How to Survive the Middle Class Crisis by David Boyle

anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, mortgage debt, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, precariat, quantitative easing, school choice, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor

Not until the end of 1991 did the penny drop. He had been expecting a cheque for £250,000. Instead, he got a demand for an immediate £500,000. Most ordinary investors would baulk at anything remotely on that scale, but Stockwell was no ordinary investor. The trouble was that, six weeks later, there was a similar letter. By February 1992, in the run-up to the election stand-off between John Major and Neil Kinnock, the demands were pouring in at the rate of £100,000 a week. ‘It coincided with the collapse in property values and astronomical interest rates after Black Wednesday, and I was facing total wipeout,’ he says. ‘I had no income coming in. All my businesses were in receivership. I was spending 30 or 40 per cent of the time with the receivers, just picking up the pieces out of the chaos.’ The Stockwell family lost their home, which was then sold by the bank later in the summer, while they rented a cottage on what had been their land.


pages: 401 words: 119,043

Checkpoint Charlie by Iain MacGregor

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, British Empire, index card, Kickstarter, Live Aid, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, open borders, Ronald Reagan

By the evening, it was a quick change into their best attire to attend possibly two different cocktail parties, which were a mixture of military and business events. Finally was a dinner, where the Corbetts would find themselves flanked by guests speaking fluent French or German, and needing to focus extra hard on the speeches being delivered in these languages. This diplomatic life did have its high points, too, such as hosting very charismatic VIPs, like Princess Anne, Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, various VIPs, and of course, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Outside of official duties as the commandant’s wife, unlike her husband, Susie did enjoy a great deal of freedom to travel around the city and into East Berlin. “I was assigned my own driver—a Greek-Cypriot called Herr Georgio who insured I was safely driven wherever I wanted to go. If we went to a restaurant, there were always two bodyguards from the Royal Military Police Personal Protection Unit on the next-door table.”


pages: 387 words: 119,244

Making It Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew Up the British Economy by Iain Martin

asset-backed security, bank run, Basel III, beat the dealer, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, call centre, central bank independence, computer age, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, deskilling, Edward Thorp, Etonian, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, G4S, high net worth, interest rate swap, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, pets.com, Red Clydeside, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, value at risk

The British had long made a fetish of property, compared with the more cautious Germans or relaxed French, but it was as though the obsession with buying and selling houses was turning into a national mania, or illness. In June 1987, when Margaret Thatcher won her second landslide election victory preaching the virtues of a property-owning democracy, the average house price in the UK had been £45,809; in April 1992 when John Major beat Neil Kinnock it stood at £64,509 and in May 1997, at the time of Blair’s victory, it was only a touch higher at £68,085. Then under Brown’s stewardship as Chancellor it soared as the economy raced ahead. By August 2007, and the first public stirrings of the credit crisis, the average house price in the UK was £199,612. A year later it was £174,241. By August 2012 it had fallen back to £160,142.13 Early in the first decade of the twenty-first century, Christopher Fildes, City sage and Fleet Street veteran who had witnessed many booms, and subsequent busts, was notably concerned about house prices.


pages: 434 words: 124,153

Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization by Iain Gately

Albert Einstein, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cape to Cairo, financial independence, Francisco Pizarro, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, profit motive, surplus humans, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, women in the workforce

Although the outlook for chewing tobacco was not entirely cloudless – a schoolboy track-star addicted to chewing had died publicly and painfully of tongue cancer and his parents had launched a suit against the manufacturer of his favourite brand – it was considered promising enough for United States Tobacco, king of the chewing market, to launch ‘Skoal Bandits’, a kind of tobacco tea-bag which the dedicated lover of nicotine might keep tucked under their upper lip in the Swedish fashion. Meanwhile in Great Britain the traditional art of pipe smoking continued to attract new adherents. While in gentle decline overall, the habit did not attract the vilification accorded to cigarettes, and indeed was considered sufficiently respectable for politicians to dare to appear in public smoking a pipe. Neil Kinnock, leader of Great Britain’s Labour opposition, and Tony Benn, a member of his shadow cabinet, were both committed pipe-men. Pipe smoking was patronized by a broad cross-section of society. Winners of the British ‘Pipesmoker of the Year’ awards included the disc jockey Dave Lee Travis in 1982, the astronomer Patrick Moore in 1983, the ex-heavyweight boxing champion Henry Cooper in 1984 and the cricketer Ian Botham in 1988.


pages: 419 words: 119,476

Posh Boys: How English Public Schools Ruin Britain by Robert Verkaik

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alistair Cooke, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, G4S, gender pay gap, God and Mammon, income inequality, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, loadsamoney, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, trade route, traveling salesman, unpaid internship

* For more than one hundred years Labour’s troubled relationship with the public schools has presented it with political and individual challenges. It is, after all, a movement that was brought into being by the Fabian Society, a socialist group dominated by the Victorian elite. While many of Labour’s politicians have roots among the working classes, from Keir Hardie and Ramsay Macdonald to Harold Wilson and Neil Kinnock, plenty do not. After the war a clutch of public school-educated men, including Clement Attlee, Hugh Gaitskell and Hugh Dalton, held high office in Labour governments. Aristocrats like Anthony Wedgwood Benn (who renounced his title, 2nd Viscount Stansgate, to become an MP known simpy as Tony Benn) and Frank Pakenham, the 7th Earl of Longford, also became pioneering social reformers in the Labour Party.


pages: 447 words: 142,527

Lustrum by Robert Harris

Boris Johnson, land reform, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats

He co-wrote the screenplay for the film of The Ghost, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He is married to Gill Hornby and they live with their four children in a village near Hungerford. Also by Robert Harris FICTION Fatherland Enigma Archangel Pompeii Imperium The Ghost NON-FICTION A Higher Form of Killing (with Jeremy Paxman) Gotcha! The Making of Neil Kinnock Selling Hitler Good and Faithful Servant AUTHOR'S NOTE A few years before the birth of Christ, a biography of the Roman orator and statesman Cicero was produced by his former secretary, Tiro. That there was such a man as Tiro, and that he wrote such a work, is well-attested. 'Your services to me are beyond count,' Cicero once wrote to him, 'in my home and out of it, in Rome and abroad, in my studies and literary work …' He was three years younger than his master, born a slave, but long outlived him, surviving – according to Saint Jerome – until he reached his hundredth year.


pages: 578 words: 141,373

Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain by John Grindrod

Berlin Wall, garden city movement, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, megastructure, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Right to Buy, side project, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, young professional

‘There was a fridge, which was something I’d never had before, an electric cooker, electric kettle.’8 ‘Mother went to the housing office every Wednesday,’ remembered Mary Sprakes, ‘and my father went every Saturday to see where they were on the list. Such was the demand that the housing officer had a nervous breakdown. In the end my mother found a councillor that she vaguely knew, contacted him and they got a prefab.’9 Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock grew up in one too. ‘It seemed like living in a spaceship,’ he said of the modern amenities like fridges and plumbed-in baths that few at the time had.10 One of the residents of Excalibur, Eddie O’Mahoney, had lived there from the time it was built and was still there when this book was being written. ‘I’d been demobbed from the army and my wife was living in some bomb-damaged property with the two children,’ he told the Guardian in 2012.


The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, colonial rule, Columbine, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

He would return in December of 1987, but without effect. The damage to his reputation was too much for him to overcome. Hart’s departure left the Democratic race without a frontrunner, and the remaining candidates were disparagingly labeled the ‘‘seven dwarfs’’ by the nowvigilant press. Shortly afterward, Joseph Biden’s campaign was under scrutiny when he was found to have plagiarized a speech from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. The investigation revealed that Biden had earlier been guilty of a similar type of plagiarism when in law school. These misrepresentations resulted in his withdrawal. Biden’s exit was engineered by John Sasso, the campaign manager for Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Sasso provided the media with videotaped copies of Biden’s plagiarism, and then lied about doing so. Later, the campaign manager resigned for his indiscretions, and the whole affair had the collateral effect of shining the spotlight of public attention on the Dukakis campaign.


I You We Them by Dan Gretton

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Desert Island Discs, drone strike, European colonialism, financial independence, friendly fire, ghettoisation, Honoré de Balzac, IBM and the Holocaust, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, laissez-faire capitalism, liberation theology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, place-making, pre–internet, Stanford prison experiment, University of East Anglia, wikimedia commons

The strikers and the unions who represented them (then NUPE and COHSE) were soon asking us to support their fight by taking ‘Addenbrooke’s Blues’ around the country to raise awareness. For the next few months our studies were left behind as the intoxication of political theatre and campaigning took over – the show became even punchier, media coverage and fundraising for the strikers increased, as we toured from the House of Commons (meeting Neil Kinnock and Michael Meacherfn1 in the process), to the TUC education centre and numerous public meetings and events at hospitals affected by similar issues of creeping privatisation. Every performance would end with a rousing rendition of a song we’d adapted from the brilliant American singer and activist Phil Ochs: Here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of, Mrs Thatcher find yourself another country to be part of!

The piece (together with the real objects and photographs) can now only be seen at the Imperial War Museum. 2 Taken from the transcript of Meili’s testimony to the US Senate, ‘Hearing on Shredding of Holocaust Era Documents’, 6 May 1997. 3 The Bergier Commission (Book One, Chapter Six – ‘Saurer: A Coda’). 4 I examine in detail IG Farben’s collusion with Nazism and the operation of their Buna-Monowitz complex at Auschwitz in the next volume of I You We Them. 4 Journeys with J. 1 Neil Kinnock at this time was leader of the opposition Labour Party and Michael Meacher was the shadow health secretary. 2 See chapter notes for details. 5 The Town of Organised Forgetting 1 The version of this document that Lanzmann includes in Shoah is considerably summarised, so I reproduce the full text here. 2 Kulmhof was the German name for the Chelmno extermination camp in Poland. 3 See chapter notes for more information. 4 Information on Just from Fateful Months by Christopher Browning, chapter 3: ‘The Development and Production of the Nazi Gas Van’, note 33. 5 The ‘T4’ programme will be explored in greater detail in Book One, Chapter Thirteen, ‘The Doctors of Wannsee Meet in a Villa by the Lake’. 8 ‘Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues’ 1 Cited in Amnesty’s 2017 report A Criminal Enterprise?


pages: 434 words: 150,773

When the Iron Lady Ruled Britain by Robert Chesshyre

Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, corporate raider, deskilling, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, full employment, housing crisis, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, means of production, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, oil rush, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, the market place, trickle-down economics, union organizing, wealth creators, young professional

Like Coriolanus, he would not – as he would see it – pander to the public appetite for meretricious campaigning. The passion that his cause and his despairing supporters so badly needed was, for him, a private virtue. ‘When you are a doctor, you have to learn to control your tears, your grief,’ he said. Without passion the political centre could not – and did not – hold. On the Saturday after the election I was in Edinburgh to hear Neil Kinnock address the Scottish Miners’ Gala. Having until then only seen gobbets of his speeches on television, I had not realized how devoid of content they were. The empty phrases rolled round the interior of a damp marquee. His audience, which had been warmed up by some formidable old-timers like Mick McGahey of the National Union of Mineworkers, was in a nostalgic mood. The occasion was like stepping back three decades in British political life.


pages: 543 words: 147,357

Them And Us: Politics, Greed And Inequality - Why We Need A Fair Society by Will Hutton

Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, money market fund, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, zero-sum game, éminence grise

So, there was no challenge to the increasingly unfair way in which British capitalism operated, to the way ownership responsibilities were discharged or to the centrality of the City of London and the financial sector to the British economy. According to Margaret Cook, her husband Robin felt physically ill when he first had to support New Labour’s policies.3 On holiday in France with Alastair Campbell, Neil Kinnock accused the bankers of having the party by the ‘fucking balls’. The two men laughed about the irony of the situation even before New Labour had ‘taken its 30 pieces of silver’.4 If senior figures like Kinnock and Cook were private, angry dissenters, rank-and-file MPs were more openly rebellious. Consequently, the party’s ‘modernisers’, as opinionpoll guru Philip Gould called the leadership, felt they had to exert iron control if they were to push through their programme.5 For when Blair told the cheering crowds outside Number 10 that he had won as New Labour, and would govern as New Labour, he meant it.


pages: 525 words: 153,356

The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd

call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, different worldview, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, Right to Buy, rising living standards, sexual politics, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional

‘I’d like to be a plasterer like my dad,’ reported one twelve-year-old boy interviewed on a London housing estate in 1983. ‘Dad says if you’ve got a trade you’ve always got something to fall back on.’36 But that was no longer true in a decade when skilled work was declining, and skilled workers were likely to suffer unemployment. Meanwhile, where was Labour? After a brief swing to the left in the early 1980s, Neil Kinnock had taken charge of the party in 1983. Kinnock argued that Labour had to ‘adjust to a changing economy’ by appealing to ‘a changing electorate’, including the ‘docker … who owns his house, a new car, microwave and video, as well as a small place near Marbella’.37 Labour, argued frontbencher Michael Meacher, needed to recruit ‘the technocratic class – the semi-conductor “chip” designers, the computer operators, the industrial research scientists, the high-tech engineers – who hold the key to Britain’s future … The growing underclass of have-nots, large and desperate though it is, can only in the end come to power through policies that assist, and are seen to assist, the not-so-poor and not-so-powerless.’38 Unsurprisingly, given such sentiments, the national party offered lukewarm support to the NUM during the miners’ strike of 1984–5.


pages: 780 words: 168,782

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, financial deregulation, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, Yom Kippur War

Thanks to its quixotically leftist policies, the manifesto was quickly (and prophetically) dubbed “the longest suicide note in history.” The Liberal-SDP Alliance, formed in part by moderate defectors from Labour, benefited from the party’s self-immolation, but never quite managed to establish itself as a credible alternative to Thatcher’s reign and ultimately fragmented the forces of opposition to her, thus cementing her rule. Foot’s successor, Neil Kinnock, was a more serious contender to national leadership, but he, too, was hampered by his party’s resistance to change. Thatcher’s resounding defeat of the miners rebounded on Labour itself, which had drawn much of its power from the trade union movement and had correspondingly identified itself with the miners’ cause (even if Kinnock made a point of denouncing their violence and often undemocratic tactics).


pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

I wanted to be part of a small group of people that moves into the West Wing on Inauguration Day to run the country. That’s the ultimate game in Washington. And after his campaign failed, I was lost.” In early September, Connaughton took a break from the campaign to attend the Alabama–Penn State game. He was driving through the Pennsylvania countryside when a news bulletin came on the radio station: Biden, at a debate in Iowa, had plagiarized a speech by a British Labour politician named Neil Kinnock, even stealing Kinnock’s identity as a descendant of coal miners. As an isolated case it would have been a story without legs. But having already brought down Hart, the media—Maureen Dowd and E. J. Dionne in the Times, Eleanor Clift in Newsweek—smelled another scandal and they competed to dig up other Biden faults: lines lifted from Hubert Humphrey and RFK; a badly footnoted law school essay that resulted in a failing grade; exaggerated claims about his past.


pages: 586 words: 160,321

The Euro and the Battle of Ideas by Markus K. Brunnermeier, Harold James, Jean-Pierre Landau

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, diversification, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Irish property bubble, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, secular stagnation, short selling, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, union organizing, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, yield curve

But she reflected that Europe had really broken down: “This is terrible—this is an existential issue for us. We can’t go your way.”31 Sarkozy was characteristically more confrontational: “David, we will not pay you to save the euro.” Then he turned on the newly elected Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (by coincidence married to the son of the former British Labour leader and EU commissioner Neil Kinnock) when it seemed she was pushing for something all twenty-seven EU members could agree on: “You’re an out, a small out, and you’re new. We don’t want to hear from you.”32 Everywhere in Europe, the response was devastating. France’s Le Monde newspaper concluded that “The Europe of 27 is finished,” while Germany’s Der Spiegel declared “Bye-Bye Britain.”33 The governor of the Banque de France, Christian Noyer, told a newspaper that based on economic fundamentals, the agencies should downgrade Great Britain rather than France because it had “higher deficits, more debt, higher inflation and less growth.”34 Europeans were appalled at how the last-minute injection of finicky points about bank regulation could stymie what was supposed to be a breakthrough on the regulation of budgets in Europe.


pages: 826 words: 231,966

GCHQ by Richard Aldrich

belly landing, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, illegal immigration, index card, lateral thinking, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, New Journalism, packet switching, private military company, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, South China Sea, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

The government’s action was described as ‘drastic’ but ‘in no way arbitrary’. With all legal remedies now exhausted, the focus of the GCHQ trade unions’ campaign was now the repeated promises from the Labour Party to restore union rights in full.66 In 1983 the Labour leader, Michael Foot, had pledged himself to ‘restore in full all rights of the trade unionists at GCHQ’. In 1984 and again in 1987 his successor Neil Kinnock gave the same undertaking. The Labour Manifesto for the July 1987 general election included the promise, but Margaret Thatcher was returned to power for a third time, albeit with a reduced majority.67 The last trade unionist at GCHQ, Gareth Morris, was sacked on 2 March 1989.68 Ironically, the government’s drive to bring in the polygraph, arguably the main reason for the abrupt nature of the ban in January 1984, failed.


pages: 870 words: 259,362

Austerity Britain: 1945-51 by David Kynaston

Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, continuous integration, deindustrialization, deskilling, Etonian, full employment, garden city movement, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labour mobility, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, occupational segregation, price mechanism, rent control, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional

‘There seems to be more coal dust in the delivery nowadays,’ one housewife, Mrs Mary Whittaker, complained in October 1947 on Woman’s Hour. ‘I know we’re asked to make briquettes of it, but can you tell me why we get so much of it?’ Housing remained a continuing, high-profile worry, though at least the much-disparaged prefabs (described by Mary King in her diary as ‘a blot on the lovely English scenery’) were for the time being still going up. Neil Kinnock’s family moved in November 1947 to a new two-bedroom prefab on a council estate at Nant-y Bwch. ‘It was like moving to Beverly Hills,’ he recalled. ‘It had a fridge, a bath, central heating and a smokeless grate . . . and people used to come just to look at it.’ As for clothing restrictions, Anthony Heap’s experience a few weeks earlier was probably typical: Hopefully hied up to Burton’s branch at The Angel, to order one of the fifteen ‘made to measure’ suits that comprise their present weekly ‘quota’.


Gorbachev by William Taubman

active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, card file, conceptual framework, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, haute couture, indoor plumbing, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Stanislav Petrov, trade liberalization, young professional

While “not an intellectual,” he had a “very good memory and a disciplined head,” and was “quick on the uptake,” much “quicker than his more ‘intellectual’ wife” to get the point of the unfamiliar plot of Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte and to “appreciate the spirit and humor of the production.” Whether addressing British or Soviets, he seemed extraordinarily “natural.” But he could be tough, even brutal. When Labour party leader Neil Kinnock privately pressed him on human rights, particularly on the case of dissident Natan Sharansky, who had then been in a Soviet prison for seven years, Gorbachev responded with a volley of obscenities and threats against “turds” and spies like Sharansky. Prison was “where he would stay,” Gorbachev warned (although he himself would release Sharansky as part of a larger exchange of detainees in 1986), and Britain would “get it right in the teeth” in a “merciless” denunciation of its own human rights violations if that was the game it wanted to play.139 At the end of the visit, Mrs.


The Rough Guide to England by Rough Guides

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, bike sharing scheme, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, car-free, Columbine, congestion charging, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, Downton Abbey, Edmond Halley, Etonian, food miles, haute cuisine, housing crisis, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, period drama, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl

There was also the small matter of ties with Europe: a good chunk of the Conservative Party wanted a European free-trade zone, but nothing more, whereas the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, which the UK government signed, seemed to imply an element of political union with the EEC (now rebranded as the European Union or EU); right-wing Tories were apoplectic and their frequent and very public demonstrations of disloyalty further hobbled the Major government. The Blair years Wracked by factionalism in the 1980s, the Labour Party regrouped under Neil Kinnock and then John Smith, though neither of them reaped the political rewards. These dropped into the lap of a new and dynamic young leader, Tony Blair (b.1953), who soon pushed the party further away from traditional left-wing socialism. Blair’s cloak of idealistic, media-friendly populism worked to devastating effect, sweeping the Labour Party to power in the general election of May 1997 on a wave of genuine popular optimism.