Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

The Culture War - the media and the loony left in London since the 1970s

This talk will look at how the notion of the ‘loony left’ (which latterly morphed into 'political correctness') has developed over the past three decades in London.

Professor Ivor Gaber will look at how the notion of the ‘loony left’ (which latterly morphed into 'political correctness') has developed over the past three decades. It began life as term of abuse invented by the Conservative-supporting press in the 1980s as a way of attacking the Labour Party in general and London Labour councils in particular, especially those that were perceived as supporting causes that fell outside the consensus of mainstream political debate. After the initial attacks, which in addition to London councils, included Ken Livingstone's Greater London Council, the term was used by New Labour in its attempts to convince the public that the Party was now ‘respectable’. And although many of the causes the ’loony left’ fought for, are now mainstream, the term remains one of political abuse - sometimes in its original form and sometimes under the umbrella of ‘political correctness’. The rise of the phenomenon will be examined followed by two specific examples - the reporting of the introduction of the congestion charge by Ken Livingstone, and the treatment of social workers, in particular in the reporting of the events in Haringey surrounding the deaths of Victoria Climbié and Baby P.

Followed by the debate: What are todays political battle lines in London?

Panel: Lord Toby Harris (Chair), Joy Johnson, Shelia Gunn MBE & Andrew Hosken

The issues raised by this talk relate to London’s contemporary political and social history. Accepting the fact that Labour in London did, in the 1980s, move to the left, how fairly did the media represent this trend? Was any lasting damage done to London and Londoners by this representation? And did it have any lasting national political impact? Are media representations of ‘political correctness’ similar to their portrayal of the ‘loony left’ and to what extent have there been, perhaps unintended, social effects resulting from this portrayal? Finally, what has been its impact on London politics? Were Ken Livingstone’s electoral successes in 2004 and 2008 in spite of, or because of, his previous identification with the ‘loony left’ and what of his chances in 2012, is it still a factor?


Professor Ivor Gaber | talks | www
Lord Toby Harris | talks | www
Joy Johnson | talks | www
Shelia Gunn MBE | talks
Andrew Hosken | talks | www


Date and Time:

14 March 2012 at 7:00 pm


2 hours



London Canal Museum
12-13 New Wharf Road
N1 9RT
020 7713 0836
Show map

Organised by:

The Westminster Society for people with learning disabilities
See other talks organised by The Westminster Society for people with learning disabilities...



£10 (£5 Concessions)

Available from:


Additional Information:

Ticket price includes wine reception and all proceeds go to 'The Westminster Society for people with learning disabilities'

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund