Day: October 7, 2018

Kinnock, Militant and ‘The Speech of his Life’

Anthony Broxton

It was the speech that put Labour back on the long and often rocky road to government, but why did Neil Kinnock feel the need to take on the Militant Tendency back in 1985?

The Road to Bournemouth


The development of Militant as a political force is traced back to 1964, with the founding of the newspaper – The Militant. The ‘entryist’ group emerged from the Revolutionary Socialist League and its goal was to infiltrate the Labour party in order to bring about their radical political agenda. By 1975 Labour looked to deal with the issue of ‘entryism’ into the party in the Underhill Report – but the NEC voted against publishing the report and decided to take no further action.

After Labour’s defeat in 1979, Militant felt emboldened by the new changes in the party structure that had given greater power to the activist base. Early on in his premiership…

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Labour and the Left in the 1980s: Every Dog has its Day

Anthony Broxton

It was Tony Benn who said that there is no final victory or final defeat. But for the Labour left, the 1980s represented a definitive moment. What followed was a New Labour leader who argued Thatcherism was both right and inevitable. The left never subscribed to that view and, should they end up in government, will do everything within their power to reverse it. 

Book Review: Labour and the Left in the 1980s, Manchester University Press, Dec 2017

‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.’ George Orwell. 1984

The success and discipline of the Conservative Party throughout history has been a source of begrudging admiration for many on the left. The Tories ability to control the historical narrative of the nation’s collective memory has led to the belief that their economic decisions were both inevitable and irreversible. From the General Strike to the Winter of Discontent through the Miners Strike and right up…

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IEA: Petrochemicals set to be the largest driver of world oil demand

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Oil extraction [image credit:]
A recent energy conference was told: “The world will attain the 100 million barrels a day mark of [oil] consumption later this year, much sooner than we all earlier projected.” This report notes that petrochemicals ‘are required to manufacture many parts of the modern energy system, including solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, thermal insulation and electric vehicles’.

Petrochemicals are set to account for more than a third of the growth in world oil demand to 2030, and nearly half the growth to 2050, adding nearly 7 million barrels of oil a day by then, reports Green Car Congress.

They are also poised to consume an additional 56 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas by 2030, and 83 bcm by 2050.

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“A Watershed Conference”: Why the Left still Revere the 1980 Labour Conference

Anthony Broxton

“It has been a watershed of a conference of that there is no doubt and unlike any other conference it will continue to cast its influence over the PLP, over the leadership and over the future of British politics”

Tony Benn – 3rd October 1980

38 years ago, it was Labour conference voting to leave the Common Market – without a referendum – that set the moderates on the path to a split. This year it is the left who could force Corbyn’s hand on Brexit and, ironically, keep the moderates onside. 

Its twelve months since Jeremy Corbyn cheered his “result which has put the Tories on notice and Labour on the threshold of power.” At the 2017 Brighton conference, key supporters urged the mainstream media to start taking Corbyn seriously.

For Paul Mason it was “a breath of fresh air and reminds me of 1980”. But it is the events in Liverpool this…

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