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No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, 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, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, 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.
The Enemy Within by Seumas Milne
active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Neil Kinnock, 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.
A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner
Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, 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, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, South Sea Bubble, 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.
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones
Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, 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, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, 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.
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, call centre, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, David Brooks, 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.
The politics of London: governing an ungovernable city by Tony Travers
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 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, 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.
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, 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 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.
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, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, 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.
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, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, 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.
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?)
Alan Partridge: Nomad: Nomad by Alan Partridge
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?
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.
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star by Tracey Thorn
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.
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.
Pompeii by Robert Harris
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.
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.
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, 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’.
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, Bretton Woods, 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, 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, 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, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, 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).
Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, 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-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.
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.
Lustrum by Robert Harris
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.
The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, 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, 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.
call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, 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.
Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain by John Grindrod
Berlin Wall, garden city movement, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, 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.
GCHQ by Richard Aldrich
belly landing, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, illegal immigration, index card, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, New Journalism, packet switching, private military company, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, 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.
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, 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).
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, 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.
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, 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’.