Learning from Labour’s History

A series of webinars looking at the history of the Labour party and considering a number of key historical issues which remain relevant today: the relationship between Labour and the organised working-class movement, how serious a challenge did the party present to capitalism and imperialism, and the nature of the Labour left and its understanding of socialism.

The videos from that series are available online here.


Session 1, Thursday April 23 2020

The origins and formation of the Labour party 1880s-1914: the voice of the organized working class?

Click here for some background reading material (Zip file) and Kevin’s notes for the talk.




Session 2, Thursday April 30 2020

Clause IV and the impact of the Russian revolution 1917-23.

Click here for some reading materials (please note that this will download a Zip file to your computer) and Kevin’s notes for the talk.



Session 3, Thursday May 7 2020

Labour in government, but not in power: 1923-4 and 1929-31

Primary reading material here as a Word file and Kevin’s speakers notes here.




Session 4

Thursday May 14 2020

Looking back to 1945-the socialist moment?

Reading material to follow.




Session 5

Thursday May 21 2020

Let’s go with Labour? Wilson and ‘the white heat of technology’ in the 1960s



Session 6

June 4 2020

‘The party is over’?

The crisis in social democracy and the rise of the Labour left 1974-1987


Session 7

Thursday June 11 2020

The rise of ‘New Labour’: a Blairite counter-revolution?




Session 8

Thursday June 18 2020

The 1926 general strike

Each session will include a reading list, brief outline notes and some primary historical documents for discussion. With time for questions and comments.

Starting on April 23 2020 and then every Thursday, 6pm, via Zoom. Video will be made available online afterwards.

Introduced by Kevin Bean, Merseyside LLA, author, lecturer in Irish politics, tutor of British politics, University of Liverpool (retired).