Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Red Ken's GLC: Loonies or Visionaries?

Red Ken’s GLC: Loonies or Visionaries?
Bishopsgate Institute, London - Thursday 8 October at 7.30pm
Between 1981 and 1986, Ken Livingstone led the most experimental, controversial and influential city government in modern British history. InPromised You a Miracle, a new and revelatory book about Britain in the early 1980s, acclaimed historian and Guardianjournalist Andy Beckett uncovers the forgotten triumphs and disasters of Livingstone's Greater London Council: from its doomed attempt to make the capital a citadel against Thatcherism to its far-sighted efforts to transform London for women and ethnic minorities. In conversation, Beckett and Livingstone will discuss the GLC's brief and dramatic life under ‘Red Ken’, how it was linked to the other radical forces altering Britain in the tumultuous early 1980s, and how it helped create the London of today.

Andy Beckett is an historian and journalist who explores the links between Britain's recent past and present. He has written for theGuardian, the Economist, and the London Review of Books. His books include the acclaimed When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventiesand Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82.Ken Livingstone is a British politician. He was a member of the Greater London Council from 1976, and its leader from 1981 until the Council was abolished in 1986. He then served as Labour MP for Brent East from 1987 to 2001. As an independent candidate he made constitutional history on 4 May 2000 when he was elected Mayor of London—the first time that British voters had directly elected a candidate to an executive office at any level of government. He served as Mayor until May 2008.

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