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Douglas delves into party history for new book

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale

A DUMFRIESSHIRE man is the author of what is being described as ‘a vital companion’ to next week’s General Election.

Douglas Beattie, who grew up in Langholm, has released “How Labour Wins”, just in time for July 4.

It’s a history of how the unfolding drama of each election from 1900 to 2024 has shaped the Labour Party and modern Britain.

In assessing the fortunes of the party, it asks a simple overarching question – how does Labour win and why does it lose?

The Labour Party has been out of power for almost 15 years and lost four consecutive elections since 2010 during turbulent times which have been defined by austerity, a Scottish independence referendum, Brexit, and the rise and fall of Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson.

Now, under Keir Starmer, the party has been ahead in the opinion polls for over two years. Douglas explores how the lessons of past elections inform us about what Starmer must do this time round.

It contains exclusive insights from former leaders and Prime Ministers – including Gordon Brown and Neil Kinnock – and delves deep into the secrets of long-forgotten campaigns, tracing the party’s roots, examining the strategies, leaders, transformative moments and missteps which have defined Labour at the ballot box and shaped modern Britain.

After leaving Langholm Academy, Douglas studied politics at Glasgow University and became an award-winning BBC journalist.

He is also a Labour insider, having had first-hand experience of elections; he stood as the Scottish Labour candidate for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in the 2017 General Election and also been a Labour councillor.

Now living in London, he works as a trade union media and political director.

Douglas is fascinated by tribal divisions and his previous book is an acclaimed history of British football derbies, The Rivals Game, Inside the British Derby.


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