Sunday, 2 May 2010

LSHG Newsletter #38 (April 2010) online

From the Editor
With a General Election just weeks away, a packed audience of socialist historians met on the last Saturday in February at the Institute of Historical Research in central London to review the history of the labour
movement’s engagement with Parliamentary Democracy and the wider issues of political democracy and corruption highlighted by the recent MPs’ expenses scandal.
The conference brought together some of the leading authorities in the field of British political history to review the history of the demand for democratic Representation, from the Chartists fight against Old Corruption in the 1830s to the present day. There were some excellent papers and some rigorous discussion on issues, from the EU and democracy to how far New Corruption has replaced the Old Corruption of the 1830s. Above all, there was a sense of the rich heritage of the engagement of socialists with democracy, all the way from Labour MPs to Soviets, which, it was revealed, were elected in 1917 by proportional representation. Logie Barrow’s paper from the Conference is now on the LSHG blog.
We also held two very successful seminars in the Spring term. Ian Goodyer spoke to an audience of veterans and those too young to have been there on his new history of Rock Against Racism, while in March John Charlton spoke to a packed house on his new book about the left on Tyneside in the late 1950s and 1960s.
An interesting range of seminars is in prospect for Autumn 2010 and Spring 2011, although a decision on the 2011 conference will be taken later. Two subjects we are looking at are the one-hundredth anniversary of the Great Unrest of 1911 and a socialist history of the Tory Party. Other ideas most welcome.
A thanks to all those who have helped during the academic year, including John who produces the Newsletter. With Tristram Hunt standing as New Labour candidate in Stoke there is a need for socialist historians to continue investigating the history of how such things became possible.
Keith Flett Easter 2010
NB The deadline for contributors to the next issue of the Newsletter is the start of September 2010 contact Keith Flett at the email address above.

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