Speak for Britain!

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Speak for Britain! A New History of the Labour Party
Speak for Britain.jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorMartin Pugh
CountryUnited Kingdom
  • 2010 (Bodley Head)
  • 2011 (Vintage)
Media typePrint

Speak for Britain! A New History of the Labour Party is a 2010 book by British author Martin Pugh.


Speak for Britain! is a comprehensive history of the Labour Party from foundation to New Labour. The author argues Labour never entirely succeeded in "converting the whole working class to Socialism", instead adopting radical liberalism in some areas and populism in others to win over different voters. The book criticises the failure of the party to embrace constitutional reform in the United Kingdom, "compounding common ground with Conservatism". Hugh Gaitskell is also criticised for alleged failure to understand the Labour movement and the abandonment of the commitment to full-scale public ownership of industry is also examined.


In The Guardian, former Labour politician Roy Hattersley wrote that "a 'new history of the Labour party' needs to be far more than a catalogue of names and events. Pugh certainly has opinions which, irrespective of their merits, make welcome additions to the narrative...But most of Speak for Britain (one exception is constitutional reform) lacks analysis. As a result, it informs without teaching the lessons that Labour needs to learn."[1] In the New Statesman the book was described as "timely".[2] In World Socialism, published by the Socialist Party of Great Britain, the book was characterised as "a good factual picture of the Labour Party’s history" and also noting that the author "clearly has it in for Blair, regarding him as an essentially Conservative figure" and that in the index listing of "Thatcher, Margaret", the index lists a few page references and then states, "see also Blair, Tony".[3] The book was also reviewed by a Conservative Party MP in the Total Politics magazine.[4]


  1. ^ "Martin Pugh on Labour Party History". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Working class Labour Party". New Statesman. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Book review". World Socialism. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Rebalancing Labour Party past". Total Politics. Retrieved 11 May 2015.