'Labour and the 1980s' conference success

Published: 12 November 2014 at 15:15

Speakers at the Labour and the 1980s conference

On 8 November 2014, the Labour History Research Unit (LHRU) held a well-attended conference on Labour and the 1980s in Cambridge.

Contributors included leading political historians such as Dr Robert Saunders (Queen Mary) and Professor David Howell (York) on how the Labour Party dealt with threats from Margaret Thatcher on the one hand, and the new Social Democratic Party (SDP) on the other.

Attendees were also informed about grass roots activism in places like Greenham and Sheffield through papers by Professor Sasha Roseneil (Birkbeck) and Daisy Payling (Birmingham).

Anglia Ruskin's own Dr Jon Davis, Professor Mary Joannou and Paul Bloomfield also presented on issues as diverse as the Soviet Union's influence on Neil Kinnock and Labour's liberal traditions in the 1980s.

The event united younger and established scholars in considering the effect contemporary events had on the British left, and the legacy of those landmark years in the period that followed. Race, class and gender were also prominent themes in what proved to be a very stimulating day.

The conference also received coverage in the Morning Star on the day of the event.