Friday, 31 July 2015
Well, that's it...
...For the academic year 2014/15. It's been quite a ride, from the Scottish independence referendum to the General Election and beyond. But now it's over, and it's time for a break.
But fear not - though the sun is setting on 2014/15, we'll be back in 2015/16 to comment on what might be a cataclysmic year in British politics. Could the Labour Party split, or indeed be destroyed altogether, under a Jeremy Corbyn leadership? Will the UK hold its long-discussed referendum on European Union membership, and will voters want to stay in? Those two questions will bring to a head two great questions that have hung over us for decades. Firstly, what is the Labour Party for? Is it a progressive, reformist, social democratic party, or a quasi-left campaign group, aspiring to influence the public and policy, but not to win power in its own right? And secondly, is Britain 'European', or does it aspire to some other, globalised, free-trading destiny?
We're soon going to find out - though last year we thought we were in for a decisive autumn, and the Scottish referendum campaign seems to have solved nothing. It's probably more precise to say that, as a historian, we know that these debates will go on undimmed whatever happens. There is no finality - only skirmishes and battles that lead to new alliances and new conflicts (or agreements). All we know is this: the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
In any case, we're off now until Monday 14 September. Look for us then in a new once-a-week format, when we'll be writing about all this on Mondays.
Until then, thanks for reading, thanks for powering readership levels to new heights, and enjoy your summer.