historical stuff by Gareth Millward



1998 – Google, Inc.


4 September 1998 – Menlo Park Hoover, Xerox and Coke have come to mean vacuum cleaner, photocopier and cola in colloquial English. Such was the success of those brands, either as inventors or popularisers of day-to-day products that we use their trademarks more than the more generic terms; even when Vax, Epson and Pepsi are Read More

1992 – The Premier League


15 August 1992 – London, Ipswich, Liverpool, Southampton, Coventry, Leeds and Sheffield The sport of Association Football was invented in 1992 when the Premier League first kicked off at 3pm, 15 August 1992 in nine grounds around England. It developed out of primitive proto-football games played in local parks, the British Colonies and, for 104 Read More

1989 – The Fall of the Berlin Wall


9 November 1989 – Berlin Mauerfall1 is one of two iconic events in my lifetime that might be said to mark the “end” of the twentieth century world.2 I would say it was the most important. The world before 1989 was a different place. That sounds trite, but it’s true. I’m too young to remember Read More

Beyond the Barriers – New Spartacus Report


The Spartacus group, which produced Responsible Reform, has just published its latest report on the Employment and Support Allowance. Beyond the Barriers has taken evidence from around Europe, the results of the government’s own enquiries and some primary research of its own to produce a highly critical report. It suggests alternatives to the controversial Work Read More

The Poor


Here’s an interesting piece on poor people and the middle classes. Originally published in 1963, it seems strikingly similar to the way conservative politicians (small “c”) on both sides of the Atlantic continue to see the “have nots”. From Oscar Lewis, The Culture of Poverty, Society 35(2) (1998), pp. 7-9. Middle class people, and this Read More



See also: modern (modernity) In history, progress is the belief that a sequence of events leads to a particular thing becoming better. For example, we have the narrative that in the United States black people were slaves in the 1800s; then they were emancipated in the 1860s; then segregation ended in the 1960s; then a Read More