Articles

New Labour. 20 years on but not yet history

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2017 by kmflett

London Socialist Historians Group

Media Release 29th April

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Historians warn it is too early to write a history of Tony Blair’s 1997 Election victory

The London Socialist Historians Group which organises the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in central London, has warned that it is too soon to write an historical account of New Labour’s Election victory, twenty years ago in May 1997.

Instead the historians say it is historical work in progress.

The People’s History Museum in Manchester is currently running a New Dawn? Exhibition based on the 1997 Election which underlines the point:

http://www.phm.org.uk/whatson/a-new-dawn/

The historians say that with unfortunate exceptions such as the late Robin Cook and Mo Mowlam many of the leading figures in 1997 including Tony Blair himself and Alastair Campbell remain active political figures. Quite rightly they are busy trying to shape how the history books write up what they did, when they are eventually written, as of course are their opponents on the left and right.

Rules on the release of Government papers, often 30 years after a particular events or when key players have passed on, give a general indication of timescales involved when current events pass into the historical field.

LSHG Convenor Dr Keith Flett said, Labour’s 1997 Election victory twenty years on is an absolutely valid and central event for historical debate. It is not yet history.

 

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