Harold Wilson At 100: What Labour Can Still Learn From The …

Harold Wilson At 100: What Labour Can Still Learn From The ...

The centenary of Harold Wilson s birth this week provides the Labour movement with a welcome opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of one of our most successful, modernising socialists. And what a life it was. Wilson s upbringing in Huddersfield and the Wirral was marred by unemployment; his values shaped by World War II and the Attlee government. From these experiences emerged both an inspiring leader and a skilful politician, a man who not only won four general elections, but who also achieved great things in office many of which are now overlooked as we succumb to the all-too-common tendency to decry the successes of past Labour governments. But if we don t celebrate our achievements in office, no one else will.

So let s remind ourselves that Wilson led perhaps the most successful assault on inequality in modern times, with rising living standards for the working class and more social security support for the poorest which is, after all, the driving moral mission1 of the Labour Party. He stood up for Britain s interests in the world, consistently rejecting American demands for British support in Vietnam a war which would have bankrupted us financially if not morally. He promoted education as a key force for social justice, creating the Open University, comprehensive schooling and the sadly abandoned vocational polytechnic colleges. And he oversaw perhaps the most radical social and moral transformation of Britain, with liberal reforms on abortion, marriage, voting rights, homosexuality, race relations and equal pay for women. Yet we should also reflect on Wilson s pathway to power. Indeed, Harold Wilson did what every successful Labour leader has done on their route to Downing Street: he set out a compelling new vision of socialism while unashamedly positioning Labour on the side of a patriotic British future.

For me, the 1964 Labour Manifesto, Let s Go with Labour for the New Britain, says it all, declaring that: The Labour party is offering Britain a new way of life that will stir our hearts, re-kindle an authentic patriotic faith in our future, and enable our country to re-establish itself as a stable force in the world today for progress, peace and justice. It is this positive, optimistic view of the future that we need to embrace as we seek a route back to power in 2020. In my view, that means going much, much further in our efforts to reduce inequality whether that s by moving from taxes on income to taxes on wealth, or investing much more in high-quality, early years childcare. It means being much smarter about how we support our science and technology sector so that Britain can once again lead the world on innovation.

It means investing in the digital economy as it continues to grow not least by strengthening our broadband infrastructure. It means reshaping our welfare system so it reflects the changing world of work whether that s by giving maternity and paternity leave to people who are self-employed, or moving to a contributory system for social security. But, crucially, we must make these policies add up to more than the sum of their parts something that we collectively failed to do in 2015 when voters told us over and over again that they didn t know what we stood for, and certainly didn t feel like we were on their side. Like Wilson in his White Heat speech2 of 63, we need to set out a new model of socialism that embraces the modern world, and that sees the function of the state as supporting and empowering citizens in an age of insecurity. And, in doing so, we need to explain afresh why the struggle against inequality is core to our political purpose.

This is no easy task.

But as we continue to languish in the polls, and with crucial elections coming up in May, we must come together, put our shoulders to the wheel, and explain to the Party and the country the great merit of having a Labour Party in power.

Tristram Hunt is MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central


  1. ^ moral mission (
  2. ^ White Heat speech (

Nik Nak's Old Peculiar: The Friday Question Set — 29-1-2016

That s the bills paid and the shopping done! It s Friday: so on top of everything else? That means it s payday. If there s any left over for shopping ? Q1) What colour was Moby Dick? Q2) What s the inscription on the Victoria Cross? Q3) The Frogmore Gardens are where: Balmoral, Windsor Castle or Sandringham House? Q4) The face off is the equivalent to the kick-off: in which ? Q5) The Robin belongs to which family of birds? A5) Thrushes1. (Although, these days, they re classed as a chat: JUST in case you gert birdwatchers in ) Q6) What s Canada s largest port? Q7) What s the capital of Latvia? Q8) The Knesset is the parliament of which country: Germany, Iceland or Israel? Q9) Emmerdale was first shown in which decade: the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s? Q10) If it s 12 noon, GMT, in London, what time is it in Moscow? ROUND TWO.

90s SPORTING CHANCES. Q11) Which jockey rode 209 winners in 1990? Q12) In which sport was Gillian Clarke a star? Q13) The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were a top team in which sport? A13) Canadian Rules Football. Q14) Who won the 1990 Baseball World Series? Q15) In the 1990 Grand Prix World Championship, which team did Ayrton Senna drive? Q16) Which English cricketer scored 333 runs in a test match against India? Q17) Nigel Short played in a World Championship match against Gary Kasparov. But in which game? Q18) Graeme Obree broke records in which sport? Q19) Which former Spurs skipper died in 1993? Q20) Ty Murrey was acclaimed as the greatest sportsman of his era. But in which American sport? ROUND THREE. TELEVISION. Q21) In which year of the 1930s did the BBC first show a televised football match? (Bonus point if you can name either of the teams.) A21) 1938. (Huddersfield v Preston. Preston won 1-0) Q22) Cornelia Frances shot to fame in several Aussie soaps including Sons and Daughters, and Home and Away.

But she now presents the Aussie version of which quiz show? Q23) Ian Fleming was responsible for the James Bond novels. But which 60s spy series did he also have a hand in: The Man from UNCLE, Danger Man, or The Saint? Q24) Which nation has won Jeux Sans Frontieres the most times? Q25) Coronation Street character, Betty Williams was famed for which dish? Q26) What BBC series is devoted to celebrities family trees? A26) Who Do You Think You Are? Q27) In 1997, who did The Simpsons replace as the worlds longest running cartoon family? Q28) Which TV show chronicles life in Wisteria Lane? A28) Desperate Housewives Q29) Name either of the presenter s of Shooting Stars. (Two points for both.) A29) Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Q30) In which comedy series would you find PC Goody? ROUND FOUR. MUSIC AND LIGHTS. Q31) What 1980 single provided the biggest hit for the Police? A31) Don t Stand So Close to Me. Q32) What was the 1st, last, and only number 1, for The Pretenders? Q33) Who s the second biggest selling solo male artist of all time? Q34) Inga Marchand is the real name of which US rapper? Q35) Which band holds the record for the most appearances on Top of the Pops? Q36) Which rock legend had a hit with a cover of Bob Marley song, I Shot The Sheriff? Q37) Stay Another Day was a christmas hit for which boy-band? Q38) Which band holds the record for the most sessions recorded for John Peel? Q39) Which iconic British singer died in January of 2016: David Bowie, Lemmy or Kylie Minogue? A39) David Bowie2. (Kylie s still alive, and VERY Australian: Lemmy died on 28th December, 2015: only a few days, but ) Q40) Zayn Malik is a former member of which boy band? ROUND FIVE. AT THE MOVIES. Q41) Which actor connects Some Like it Hot, to The Odd Couple? Q42) Which member of the Hepburn family has received a record 12 Oscar nominations? Q43) Who played the adult Peter Pan, in Hook? Q44) What was Whoopi Goldbergs first major film? Q45) Which American actress married her seventh husband in Michael Jackson s garden? Q46) And which Welsh movie star did she marry twice? Q47) Anthony Hopkins appeared in The World s Fastest what? Q48) Jodie Forster got her first adult Brest Actress Oscar for which film: Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver or The Accused? Q49) May Day was one of the Bond girls, in which Roger Moore, Bond film? Q50) In which horror film does Jack Nicholson use the immortal line, Here s Johnny ? ROUND SIX. GENERAL IGNORANCE. Q51) Which English town became a city in 1992? Q52) A top hat, a boot and a racing car, all feature in which board game? Q53) The US civil war started in which year of the 1860s? Q54) What spacecraft was first launched in 1981? Q55) A plutocracy is a country ruled by whom? Q56) Who won the FA Cup, in 1949: Manchester Uniter, Acrington Stanley or Wolverhampton Wanderers? Q57) What s Britain s most northerly shipping area: Faroes, Fair Isle, Bailey or Viking? Q58) Anthrophobia is the fear of what? Q59) What part of the human anatomy shares its name with a punctuation mark? Q60) How many valves does a Bugle have? * In other words, you re free to copy, use, alter and build on each of my quizzes: including the Teasers3, Gazette Teasers4 and the Friday Question Sets5. All I ask in return is that you give me an original authors credit on your event s flyers or posters, or on the night: and, if you republish them, give me an original authors credit AND republish under the same license. A link back to the site6 and to the Gazette7 s, if that s where you ve found these would be appreciated: as would pressing my donate button, here8.

Every penny is gratefully received.


  1. ^ Thrushes (
  2. ^ David Bowie (
  3. ^ Teasers (
  4. ^ Gazette Teasers (
  5. ^ Friday Question Sets (
  6. ^ site (
  7. ^ Gazette (
  8. ^ here (