Neil Kinnock : Saving the Labour Party? book cover
1st Edition

Neil Kinnock
Saving the Labour Party?

Edited By

Kevin Hickson

ISBN 9781032184135
Published May 19, 2022 by Routledge
288 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The book reappraises Neil Kinnock’s policies, impact, legacy and leadership of the Labour Party 30 years on from his defeat in the 1992 general election. It offers comprehensively fresh perspectives and some first-hand accounts – some friendly, others more critical – from leading academics, journalists, politicians and advisors on various aspects of ideas, policy, elections and party management, including an interview with the man himself as he looks back on his experiences. This timely book will resonate widely with the current challenges to Labour’s leadership and the enduring uncertainties on the future of the party.

This book will be of key interest to researchers and students in the fields of political studies and contemporary history as well as the interested general reader.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Bryan Gould


Kevin Hickson

Part 1: Contexts

1. Neil Kinnock Reflects

Sir Anthony Seldon

2. Kinnock's Socialism

Kevin Hickson

3. Kinnock, Labour and The People: Affluence, Character and The Enabling State

Jeremy Nuttall

4. One Nation Socialism: Neil Kinnock and the Quest for a British Developmental State

Simon Lee

5. ‘A Lot of Fun with the Kids’: Neil Kinnock and Popular Culture

Alwyn Turner

6. Neil Kinnock’s Relationship with His Shadow Cabinets, 1983-1992

Martin Westlake

7. Tackling the Trots: Neil Kinnock and Labour’s Struggle Against the Ultra Left

Harry Taylor

8. Inevitable but Creditable Defeats? Neil Kinnock and the General Elections of 1987 and 1992

Mark Garnett and David Denver

Part 2: Policies

9. Kinnock and the Economy

Jim Tomlinson

10. Industrial Relations

Andrew Taylor

11. Social Policy

Ben Williams

12. Education Policy

Joseph Tiplady

13. Constitutional Reform

Peter Dorey

14. Walking the Swaying Tightrope: Kinnock, Labour, and Northern Ireland

Kevin Bean and Pauline Hadaway

15. Neil Kinnock and Labour’s European Policy

Richard Johnson

16. Defence: Losing Your Religion

Patrick Wintour

Part 3: Perspectives

17. Working in the Kinnock Team

Charles Clarke

18. A Backbencher's View

Austin Mitchell

19. A View from the Conservatives

Sir John Redwood

20. The View from the Left

Jon Lansman

21. Did Neil Kinnock Understand the Message of Greenwich?

Rosie Barnes

22. The Fight Against Militant

Dianne Hayter

23. Smothering the Real Neil

Francis Beckett

24. Neil Kinnock and New Labour

Patrick Diamond

25. A Tale of Two Parties Revisited

Hilary Wainwright

26. What Keir Starmer Can Learn from Neil Kinnock

Peter Kellner

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Kevin Hickson is Senior Lecturer in British Politics at the University of Liverpool, UK.


"Neil Kinnock is a very significant figure in post-war British politics. A detailed consideration of his period as a party leader is long overdue. With a wide range of contributors writing from different perspectives, this book is a useful addition to the canon of Labour history."

Nick Thomas-Symonds, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

"This remarkable book offers a timely re-evaluation of Kinnock’s controversial leadership, an under-researched yet crucial period marking the beginning of the ‘modernisation’ of the Labour Party’s thought and organisation which bears obvious parallels with present day Labour. By combining academic as well as a range of practitioner accounts, including by key figures who worked closely with Kinnock, the book provides invaluable insights into the role and impact of party leadership in periods of opposition."

Emmanuelle Avril, Professor of British Politics at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, France.

"The time is ripe for a reassessment of Neil Kinnock not least because the present situation of the Labour Party is in some respects similar to that which faced Kinnock after he became Leader of the party. This book fills that need and does so in an authoritative and comprehensive way. The possibilities and pitfalls which were open to Kinnock’s leadership are laid bare in a fair and meticulous way. For anyone concerned about the future of progressive politics there is a great deal of food for thought and action."

Lord Raymond Plant of Highfield, Professor at King’s College London, UK.