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New Dawn? 20 years since the 1997 general election

New Dawn? 20 years since the 1997 general election

23 March 2017

25 March - 4 June 2017, New Dawn? @ People's History Museum

The 1997 general election was a unique moment in Britain’s modern democratic history; one which is captured, examined and discussed in an exhibition taking place at the People’s History Museum, running from Saturday 25 March to Sunday 4 June 2017.  The exhibition will explore ‘New’ Labour’s victory, helping visitors reflect on the issues it raised and the impacts that are still being felt 20 years later.

New Dawn? The 1997 general election is curated by Professor Steven Fielding of the University of Nottingham.  Steven said: ‘The 1997 election ended 18 years of Conservative rule with a bang and was the foundation for an unprecedented 13 years of Labour government.  Only a few years before Labour had suffered its fourth election defeat in a row and been written off.  It is important to cut through the misconceptions that surround 1997 to assess how and why such a remarkable event happened, and ask what were its consequences?’

Campaign posters (including ‘Labour Isn’t Working’), iconic newspaper front pages (including ‘The Sun Backs Blair’), famous photo-call moments (including Tony Blair with the cast of Coronation Street), memoirs, manifestos and analysis feature within the exhibition.  Also running through will be themes such as the role of the media and the reaction of Jeremy Corbyn to the emergence of New Labour.  Beginning in the days of Neil Kinnock, examining the impact of the death of John Smith and the environment from which New Labour emerged, the exhibition ends with the Iraq War and the 2008 financial crisis.

A series of accompanying events will further explore the dynamics of the 1997 election, as Professor Steven Fielding invites guests to join him in conversation with some of the key players of the time.

New Dawn? programme marking 20 years since the 1997 general election:

Sat 25 March – Sun 4 June
New Dawn? The 1997 general election
The 1997 general election was a unique moment in Britain’s modern democratic history.  It saw a rebranded ‘New’ Labour Party end 18 years of Conservative government and lay the foundations for an unprecedented 13 years in office.  How did this happen?  Why did it happen?  What did it all mean?  This exhibition will explore this vital but controversial moment in Britain’s history, helping visitors reflect on the issues it raises and explore an election that feels much further away than just two decades in the past.
Suitable for all ages
In order to keep our exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation
Suggested donation £3
10.00am – 5.00pm

Fri 7 April
New Dawn? In Conversation with Polly Toynbee and David Walker
What was the significance of Labour’s 1997 general election victory?  Hear from the key players in their own words.  Polly Toynbee is a columnist for The Guardian and was formerly BBC social affairs editor.  David Walker is formerly of the Audit Commission.  Together they are authors of The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain?
Suitable for adults and young people
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation
Suggested donation £5
6.00pm – 8.00pm

Thurs 20 April
New Dawn? In Conversation with Peter Mandelson
What was the significance of Labour’s 1997 general election victory?  Hear from the key players in their own words.  Peter Mandelson is one of those most closely associated with the creation of the idea of New Labour and of the electoral strategy that helped the party win its landslide victory.
Suitable for adults and young people
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation
Suggested donation £5
12.15 – 2.00pm

Fri 28 April
New Dawn? In Conversation with Jacqui Smith
What was the significance of Labour’s 1997 general election victory?  Hear from the key players in their own words.  Jacqui Smith was first elected as a Labour MP in 1997, one of 101 women to do so.  In 2007 she became the first woman to be appointed Home Secretary.
Suitable for adults and young people
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation
Suggested donation £5
6.00pm – 7.30pm

Fri 19 May
Have Your Say!
Come along to this monthly discussion event where Mark Krantz will facilitate a discussion on the political talking point of that month, whilst PHM staff will draw links from the topics discussed to the museum’s collection.  This month’s discussion will focus on the 2017 general election.  Join us and Have Your Say!
Suitable for adults and young people
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation
Suggested donation £3
1.00pm – 3.00pm

Sat 3 June - CANCELLED due to the 2017 general election.  Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Conference: New Dawn? The 1997 general election
A public conference in which experts, political figures and others who were actually there discuss the causes and the consequences of the 1997 general election, and the lessons for today that might be drawn from it.
Suitable for adults and young people
Booking required via Eventbrite
In order to keep our events programme affordable please make a donation
Suggested donation £10
11.00am – 4.30pm