As we approach the bicentenary of slavery’s abolition and African emancipation (2033-2038), crucial questions are surfacing concerning how the emergence of archival evidence and new research findings can be incorporated effectively into national and local memorialisation. Dr Michael D. Bennet and Dr James S. Dawkins argue for the creation of an independent historical advisory panel to help ensure that memorialisation across Britain avoids repeating the shortfalls of previous efforts at remembrance and facilitates a more linked-up programme of memorialisation between Britain and Caribbean nations.
As part of the Home Office policy of housing asylum-seekers on barges, the first 15 refugees boarded the Bibby Stockholm on 7 August 2023. The initiative invites a number of comparisons with the use of prison hulks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These historical echoes suggest that the current policy may be less cheap, popular and temporary than the government seems to assume.
Rishi Sunak's statement on changes to the government's policy on Net Zero contained a headline-grabbing pledge to scrap plans to force households to have seven different recycling bins. While the prime minister clearly expects this to play well with the electorate, history suggests that the public are ready to adapt their habits and that there are dangers in playing politics with waste disposal.
Kier Starmer appears to be looking more and more to the New Labour era to guide him to election victory. He may well be right to do so, since 1997-2010 was a period of sustained electoral success for Labour, unparalleled before or since.
Professor Virginia Berridge who helped to found History & Policy is the co-author of a new book on e-cigarettes and the politics of harm reduction.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Historians, in partnership with History & Policy at the Institute of Historical Research, are planning to hold a series of seminars exploring the past, present and future of official history.
H&P is working in partnership with the Prime Minister's Office and the National Archives to help revitalise the history content of the new History of Government Blog website.
H&P commissions and edits the No. 10 Guest Historian series, written by expert historians from the H&P network, as well as creating lively new biographies of previous Prime Ministers.
H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.
We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.