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Derek "Red Robbo" Robinson speaking at Cofton Park, near Longbridge works, on 20 February 1980.

Why leaving 'Red Robbo' far behind put us on the right road

Nobody summed up the worker-management divide of late 70s Britain as potently as the stocky, balding figure with the microphone in Cofton Park.

Joseph Chamberlain

Chamberlain's greatest legacy is the method and style of politics that he championed

Chamberlain became a champion of national radical politics, writes Dr Ian Cawood

Arthur Scargill took on a fight he could never have hoped to win

Dirty war claims mask real truth of the miners' strike

Mr Watson conveniently omits to mention the political backdrop to the fight between Scargill’s NUM and the National Coal Board/Government.

Tom Watson

MP urges Conservatives to apologise for miners' strike

Government papers from 1984, just released by the National Archives, show Mrs Thatcher secretly considered calling out troops at the height of the strike, amid fears union action could bring down her government

"If You See Sid..." television ad for the sell-off of British Gas in 1986

Don't tell Sid but selling nationalised companies isn't always a good thing

The mysterious Sid was part of the television advertising to exhort us to become part of Mrs Thatcher's 'share-owning democracy'.

Birmingham Council House

Bid to kickstart sale of council houses

The Department of Communities and Local Government data for 2011/12 said 0.23 per cent of the city’s municipal housing stock had been sold during the period against an annual sale of 1,812 at the start of 21st century

Steve McCabe: Luck, leadership and the vexed question of Europe

In recent days the retirements of both Sir Alex Ferguson and his once-cherished protégé David Beckham have resulted in gushing commentaries on their ability to influence those around them.

Jon Griffin: A retirement to chew over for Sir Alex

It's almost a JFK moment, or the day Princess Di died.

five pound note

The importance of five years

Dr Steven McCabe writes "If we cannot guarantee economic growth, we will be faced with the need to either raise taxes or reduce services; precisely the sort of debate that we will hear in the forthcoming general election campaign".

Russell Luckock: Strikes loom - but it could be worse

As our nation commemorates the life of one of the most remarkable women of our times, Margaret Thatcher, the strident sounds of war drums are heard from some of this country's leading unions.

40 years on from the miners' battle of Saltley Coke works

Jon Griffin marks next month’s 40th anniversary of a Birmingham industrial dispute which signalled the beginning of the end for Prime Minister Ted Heath.

Moving the goalpost

Chris Game looks at voting patterns that couldbe a concern for the Conservative Party.

Corporate pressure of American politics

Chris Game says the simple plastic carrier bag has become a symbol of American politics in the Obama era

Disestablishment: Big word, little hope

Would splitting from state control harm the Church of England? Chris Game takes up the debate.

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