What does the 1964 General Election tell us about immigration debates today?

Emil Sokolov
University of Exeter

The promises that politicians have made and continue to make about immigration have been a source of great controversy in modern British policymaking ever since the end of the Second World War. The most recent example of this is the Windrush scandal, the deportation of people of West Indian origins. About 550,000 people came into Britain from the West Indies between 1948 and 1973 to work in Britain’s labour-starved economy. However, according to census data quoted by the Guardian, more than 21,000 of those people currently have neither a British passport nor a passport from the country where they were born, placing them in the crosshairs of the Home Office’s ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policy. Windrush’s scale and effects might be most visible today, but the causes behind this controversy originated in the 1950s and early 1960s when the boundaries between Britain and its former colonies first began to change.

Issues of immigration and race were noticeably introduced into British post-war politics after the Conservative Party passed the Commonwealth Immigrants Act in 1962. The MP for Louth, Sir Cyril Osborne, who was infamous for his extreme views on immigration, managed to convince the Conservative leadership of the need for control in the early 1960s. Despite intense opposition from Labour, Conservative moderates chose to support the new legislation. Instead of regulating the arrival of Commonwealth citizens, the Act did not tighten control on migrants from the colonies who came to re-join their families, leading to ‘Britain’s Racist election,’ as a recent BBC documentary termed it, in 1964.

Looking in greater detail at 1964 general election addresses casts new light both on Labour’s early resistance against populist demands and the emergence of the Tory far right. Likewise, the often underlooked constituency of Southall demonstrates the wide gap between Conservative and Labour attitudes towards immigration and the various ways in which candidates made use of their election addresses. Most importantly, many of the harmful ideas and misconceptions about immigration that emerged in 1964 are resurfacing today, which makes the 1964 election crucial for understanding current immigration debates. Continue reading “What does the 1964 General Election tell us about immigration debates today?”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

An 1883 advertisement for land in western Canada.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From Australia’s ‘1968’ to the globalization of American racial exclusion, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

New Job! History Lectureship at the University of Exeter

Job details

Job title: Lecturer E&R in History

Job reference: P62459

Date posted: 11/05/2018

Application closing date: 08/06/2018

Location: Cornwall

Salary: The starting salary will be from £34,520 within the Grade F band (£34,520 – £38,833).

Package: Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

Job category/type: Academic

Job description

The above full time post is available from 1st September 2018 on a permanent basis. However, we do have the ability to consider a start date of 1st January 2019 for the right candidate.

The role

The post of Lecturer in History will contribute to extending the research profile of the Department of Humanities at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, particularly in areas related or complementary to European History since 1500.

The post will include responsibility for conducting your own programme of research in any field of continental European history, broadly interpreted, in any period since 1500.  You will develop grant applications to support this research programme. In addition to established approaches to European history we also welcome applications that interpret ‘European’ broadly in terms of either focus, geography, or method.

You will have clear plans to develop an exciting teaching provision of research-led modules that will challenge students and clearly make a distinctive contribution to the existing history programme at Penryn. You will also contribute to joint delivery of level one courses, supervise dissertations and tutor students, and contribute to postgraduate programmes as appropriate. You will also be expected to make a contribution to departmental administration. Continue reading “New Job! History Lectureship at the University of Exeter”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Gesha Kim

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From Europe’s tomahawk chops to forgetting Karl Marx, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Black propaganda? An engraving depicting conquistadors torturing natives of Florida in their determination to find gold. Photograph: Print Collector/Getty Images

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From theorizing global urban history to debating the legacy of 1968 in France, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

What ‘fair trade’ was originally about: The Haslemere Declaration of 1968

 

Andrea Franc
University of Basel
 

When thinking about today’s phenomenon of ‘fair trade’, it immediately brings to mind coffee with the ‘fair trade’ tag, nowadays seemingly found in just about every supermarket. But if we go back to fair trade’s origins in 1968, these same coffee smallholders were nowhere to be found in the burgeoning movement’s founding document, the Haslemere Declaration. So how did we get to where we are today? Continue reading “What ‘fair trade’ was originally about: The Haslemere Declaration of 1968”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Photo courtesy of Lee Karen Stow

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From how American racism influenced Hitler to the Commonwealth’s secret nuclear bomb, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”