When the dulcet tones of the BBC’s Shipping Forecast turn to the weather in German Bight, two thoughts often flit through my mind – both related to the history of Heligoland, an island (or strictly speaking, an inhabited island and a small uninhabited neighbour) that previously gave its name to that shipping forecast area until [...]
Worth a second outing: Great Liberal Speeches: sacrificing the constitution on the altar of public security
Welcome to a series where old posts are revived for a second outing for reasons such as their subject has become topical again, they have aged well but were first posted when the site’s readership was only a tenth or less of what it is currently or they got published and the site crashed, hiding [...]
Today sees Nick Clegg take to the Despatch Box to answer Prime Minister’s Questions in David Cameron’s absence from the UK. Several Liberal Democrats have taken to twitter expressing their anticipation, such as Jo Swinson: reserving a seat to watch a little bit of Lib Dem history later today – Nick Clegg taking #pmqs, first Lib […]
"I work in a modern tower block office in an alley where an Internet was invented in the 15th century"
Who can resist a blog post that starts this way? If you too can’t, then read this piece from Charlie Beckett.
Sunder Katwala of the Fabians has a thought-provoking post about the role of Kier Hardie in Labour’s current political traditions and attitudes towards working with other parties. Others with more knowledge of Labour history than me will be far better placed to comment on that debate, but what particularly struck me reading it is how […]
Huge media coverage of a funeral led to the son of the deceased man to complain that the spreading of detailed information about the funeral was “formerly unheard of – and is an outrage”. I refer, of course, to the son of the Duke of Wellington speaking in 1852; a handy reminder that questions of […]
Earlier today the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced plans to cut the size of the House of Commons to 600 seats from the current 650 size. The Commons has often changed in size over the previous decades, but as this graph shows 600 would be the smallest number of MPs since the 1867 Reform […]
… has to be Enemy Property, which dealt with the handling of property seized from people during the Second World War. It’s not just the gap of several decades between the last seizure of property and the invention of the web, let alone the creation of the website, which caught my eye but also this […]
I’d never heard of Denis Avey until I read this piece in The Times about his bravery during the Second World War. He smuggled himself into Auschwitz (yes, into) so that he could bear witness to the mass murder taking place there. What an amazing person – and a shame that people like him get […]
William Gladstone’s legacy for modern political parties was the subject for discussion at the January meeting of the Liberal Democrat History Group. The meeting was addressed by both Eugenio Biagini, of Cambridge University, and Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary and keen collector of Gladstone memorabilia. Biagini highlighted the contradiction at the heart of […]