In Defence of Halloween

Written by Jessica Maberly
Third Year History Undergraduate

Halloween is often described as the one night of the year that the portal between the world of the evil dead and the world of the living opens, allowing damned souls and unspeakable creatures to roam this world, leaving chaos, destruction and evil in their wake… it is also often described as the one night of the year children can interrupt people’s otherwise rather pleasant evenings, demanding to be given sweets.

It tends to be a day that people either love or hate. For all those who dislike Halloween, regarding it as an overly commercialised, Americanised, or even pointless time of year, it is perhaps worth finding out a little about the history of it. Without the context of its historical development it can certainly seem a rather strange celebration. Spiders, skeletons, vampires, pumpkins, witches, gravestones… all things haunted, cursed, magical, evil and dead get there moment of glory on this day of gore and fright. But why?

For all those who dislike Halloween, regarding it as an overly commercialised, Americanised, or even pointless time of year, it is perhaps worth finding out a little about the history of it.

Like many of the yearly holidays we celebrate, Halloween (also known as Hallowe’en, and All Hallows’ Eve) seems to have its roots in certain European pagan festivals, such as harvest celebrations and days of the dead, and in particular the Celtic celebration of Samhain. It was then believed to have been adopted and adapted by Christian tradition, though as with anything, there is historical debate surrounding its creation and evolution.

Most people are aware of the stories – whether myth or fact – surrounding certain traditions of Christmas (for example the story of St. Nicholas is believed to be one of the foundation stones of the mythical – or, for those who are still children at heart, very real – figure of Santa Claus). However it seems fewer people are clued up on where the seemingly rather random customs and activities linked with Halloween come from.

Dressing up in costumes at this time of year perhaps began with the Ancient Celts, who dressed up in animal skins and other things to celebrate Samhain, and later, people began dressing up as ghoulish creatures so as not to be recognised by the evil spirits believed to be roaming the world on this one night of the year. Dressing up (though not so much in animal skins) has been, and still is, a prominent Halloween tradition in England and Ireland.

However, the kinds of things we dress up as seems to be changing. In Britain, the traditional idea is still to wear costumes of scary creatures/people/things, such as witches, vampires, and Frankenstein’s monster. But, due to North American influence, this is perhaps changing, with the trend becoming just dress up in any fancy-dress costume. The popular film Mean Girls highlights this shift in attitude in the scene where Cady, the main character, dresses as an ‘ex-wife’ for a Halloween party, wearing an old wedding dress, false teeth, a black wig, and blood… all good, stock, Halloween items, only to be confronted with genuine shock and horror, and the question ‘why are you dressed so scary?’ The lesser focus on all things terrifying is due to a movement in America in the late 1800s to make Halloween less ‘scary’ and more about ‘community’.

Another of the most well-known and practised Halloween traditions is that of carving pumpkins, or ‘jack o’ lanterns’. According to the Irish legend, a man named Jack played tricks on the Devil to prolong his time on earth and prevent the Devil claiming his soul, but when he died, God would not let him into Heaven, and the Devil did take him to Hell. Stuck in this world, neither dead nor alive, he was sent off by the Devil with just a lump of coal for light. Jack carved out a turnip and placed the coal inside to keep it burning, and has been roaming the Earth with ever since… People in Scotland and Ireland carved scary faces into potatoes and turnips to keep Jack and other evil spirits away, and soon, the pumpkin took over as the protective ‘lantern’.

What these scary vegetables don’t seem to keep away, however, is children. The tradition of ‘trick-or-treating’ probably dates back to the giving of ‘soul cakes’ to the poor during All Souls’ Day parades in England. In return for the soul cakes, usually pastries, people would promise to pray for the dead relatives of those who were giving them out. This practice of ‘going-a-souling’ then became the practice of children visiting neighbourhood homes to ask for food and sweets. However, historically in Scotland, the idea was that children would be given food or money by their neighbours to roam the streets where they lived dressed as an evil spirit to ward the real ones away. In modern day Scotland it is customary for children to perform a song, or tell a story, to receive sweets and goodies.

There are many other Halloween customs that have been practised and enjoyed throughout its history, some of which are still practised today, and many of which aren’t. If you are someone who despises the commercialisation of Halloween, perhaps it would be worth being a little more creative this year. Why not dig out some old scary stories to read aloud, or make some of your own ‘soul cakes’?

If you are someone who despises the commercialisation of Halloween, perhaps it would be worth being a little more creative this year. Why not dig out some old scary stories to read aloud, or make some of your own ‘soul cakes’?

As a holiday with deep roots in so many parts of European and American culture, and one which stands out among other holidays with its deliciously dark nature, its relation to the idea of the spirits and souls of the deceased still remains strong. Whether or not you like Halloween as a celebration, it is easy to appreciate its long and complex history. With its pagan, Christian and modern twists, there is something in this unique day for most – even for those who usually spend it behind the couch or with a disconnected doorbell.

And as my own personal conclusion on the subject of Halloween, in the words of the wonderfully dark Wednesday Addams (from The Addams Family, 1965):

‘We like it. It’s so nice and eerie.’

How far did Nikita Khrushchev go in reversing Stalinism between 1956 and 1964?

Written by Matt Kaye
First Year History undergraduate

To quote Mark Sandle, ‘the period between 1956 and 1964 appears to be one of change, renewal, reform in the Soviet Union, of a more humane liberal approach after the brutal horrors of Stalinism’. Whilst there was a degree of continuity, Khrushchev did reverse many of the Stalinist controls over Soviet society.

Agriculture and peasantry were consistently repressed and exploited during the Stalin years through grain requisitioning in order to feed industry. The ‘kulaks’, rich peasants, were removed as a class through execution or being sent to the Gulags. Famine was rife, with an estimated six million dying from famine alone in 1932-33. Khrushchev ended the exploitation of the peasantry and the neglect of agriculture in favour of heavy industry. The Khrushchev regime increased investment in agriculture and increased procurement prices which led to farm output increasing 51 per cent in the period 1953-58. In 1958, farmers received double the retail price value for their produce compared to 1953. This was because Khrushchev was more interested in stimulating economic growth than reinforcing the political controls of Stalinism, growth which could not be achieved without getting authentic mass initiative. Thus, the peasant had to be accepted as a citizen. Khrushchev clearly broke with the Stalinist mould, realising co-operation rather than coercion was the best course of action to take with the peasants.

Khrushchev clearly broke with the Stalinist mould, realising co-operation rather than coercion was the best course of action to take with the peasants.

Khrushchev also reformed the CPSU, which was eventually his undoing. He returned to ruling through the Party rather than over it like Stalin. In the 1930s, Stalin’s word became law, whereas Khrushchev actively sought a wider range of opinions in the decision-making process. This is shown with the number of full-time members in the Central Committee increasing from 125 in 1952 to 175 in 1961. He also drew in more workers and peasants into the Party ranks, and delegated more work to part-time officials and volunteers than before. This all adds to Khrushchev’s image as a reformer, reversing the political controls of the Stalin years. However, it is undeniable there was still some continuity. Of the 84 secretariats in the Party, 45 were dismissed to be replaced by Khrushchev’s own men. This enabled him to strengthen his personal power through the Stalinist way of bringing in new appointees who owed their position to the leader and were thus loyal to him. Nevertheless, the fact that Khrushchev was ousted by the Party in 1964 is testimony to the fact that Khrushchev ruled through the Party rather than over it, which caused his downfall. It is simply inconceivable that the CPSU could have ousted Stalin, whereas with Khrushchev it was a possibility that was achieved.

Coupled with ending the dehumanisation of the peasants, Khrushchev took further measures to end mass terror as a tool of government. The KGB lost powers to try, execute and sentence and his commission into forced labour camps saw most of them closed between 1955 and 1956. Furthermore, following Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ in 1956, criticism of Stalin was allowed, unprecedented in the Soviet Union. However, criticism of Stalin did not mean widespread freedom of expression. Criticism of the Party was still highly illegal. As with the Party reforms, there was continuity from Stalinism. Elements of the Gulag system remained under Khrushchev and in 1961 the death penalty was extended to economic crimes such as currency speculation. However, the basis of the Soviet state before Khrushchev had been rule through terror, so it has to be expected that change would be more gradual in this area, as reforms had to go further. Thus, whilst reforms in this area were more gradual, they should still be recognised as a drastic break with the Stalinist past where terror was the primary tool of government. Khrushchev clearly implemented alternatives to the Stalinist pattern of Soviet politics.

Elements of the Gulag system remained under Khrushchev and in 1961 the death penalty was extended to economic crimes such as currency speculation.

Thus, there was inevitably some continuity with Stalinism, but between 1956 and 1964 Khrushchev’s reforms certainly marked a radical break with the past. Rather than ruling through fear, coercion and repression, Khrushchev ruled through co-operation and in a far more humane way. He was a reformer who believed in the basic trustworthiness of the population and sought to give them material and physical security after decades of pain and austerity under Stalin. Khrushchevism certainly represented more change than continuity and reversed some of the key characteristics of Stalinism.

Self-Portraiture Paintings: The Original Selfie?

Written by Jessica Maberly
Second Year History undergraduate

A new study has suggested that today’s generation are developing into people who care only for vain self-representation and their own view and thoughts, largely due to social media. In light of this, it is perhaps worth exploring the history of narcissism and self-representation. Today, most of us are familiar with the concept of a ‘selfie’. You make sure you look presentable, you take a camera, and maybe do the classic ‘mirror’ shot, or go for the typical MySpace set-up and hold the camera at arm’s length, click the flash… and you have yourself an utterly shameless selfie!

Now, since the invention of the camera is, historically speaking, relatively new, how did people live without them, and without the selfie? Were they even really all that concerned with self-representation? If so, how did they represent themselves without the ease of a Facebook profile picture, or Snapchat? In the time before the camera, or before it became widely used, paint and paintbrushes filled this void.

Whilst artists have sought to represent themselves since ancient times, it was not until the Renaissance that the idea of self-portraiture really took off. With the growing interest in the idea of the individual, people began to look more closely at what it means to be ‘I’, and how and why people represented themselves in certain, different ways. Some artists, such as Filippino Lippi and Sandro Botticelli, painted themselves into scenes (often biblical) as a background figure or as a face in a crowd. This is perhaps not surprising, as it would certainly be tempting to immortalise yourself in a piece of work you felt especially proud of, or felt a particular connection with. However, others made their own physical (and emotional) being the sole focus of some of their works.

Whilst artists have sought to represent themselves since ancient times, it was not until the Renaissance that the idea of self-portraiture really took off.

Perhaps the most famous self-portraitist is Vincent van Gogh. Painting himself 37 times between 1886 and 1889, van Gogh’s self-portraits give a strong sense of introspection, perhaps because his gaze is rarely directed at the viewer. In a letter to Emile Bernard, van Gogh said:

‘We must win the public over later on by means of the portrait; in my opinion it is the thing of the future.’

As we now know, he was, in a way, very much correct in his prediction. Another one of the more modern artists famous for their self-portraits is Frida Kahlo, a twentieth-century Mexican painter. Kahlo summed up beautifully why her artistic focus was often herself:

‘I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.’

So this gives rise to the question: do we take selfies because we know ourselves, and want an honest representation of ourselves? My immediate reaction to this question is no… after the make-up, the hair styling, the carefully chosen clothes, and perhaps even post-shot photo edits, people often don’t look very much like themselves.

After the make-up, the hair styling, the carefully chosen clothes, and perhaps even the post-shot photo edits, people often don’t look very much like themselves.

Perhaps then, it is the loneliness aspect Kahlo touches upon that is so central in this desire. Do we incessantly take selfies because we live in a world where there is increasing importance of technology and social media networking, as opposed to face-to-face human contact, and we therefore feel more alone than our ancestors did? Does loneliness lead to an increased feeling of the need to present ourselves well? On match.com, it probably does. In other contexts, perhaps not. We can’t really know for sure.

But what we can know is that whilst our ancestors lacked the use of a camera or webcam, many of them did possess the extraordinary talent of capturing the essence of themselves in other forms of media, and many took advantage of that talent. Furthermore, it is due to these great artists and their desire to paint, draw and/or represent themselves in some way, that we have some of the most beautiful, important, and honest pieces of art in human history.

So, the next time you feel that your Twitter or Facebook page needs sprucing up, perhaps consider picking up a paintbrush or pencil instead, and see what you come up with. It might be the most true representation of yourself you’ve ever produced.

…Or it could be terrible. But still, worth giving it a go.

Who Was George Catlin?

Written by Shahmima Akhtar
Second Year History undergraduate

George Catlin (1796-1872), was a Pennsylvanian born artistic-historian. In the 1820s, he assigned himself the messianic mission of, in his own words, ‘flying to the rescue [of Indians] not of their lives or their race (for they are doomed and must perish), but to the rescue of their looks and their modes [so] phoenix-like they may rise from the painters palette, and live again upon the canvas, the living monuments of a noble race’.

Catlin’s life-long ambition was underpinned by the prevalent macabre ideology of the time, which professed that the Native Americans were a ‘dying race’. A race dying in the face of American civilization and expansion. Such an ideology can be traced to the eighteenth century; embodied in Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia (1781). Jefferson cites alcohol, disease and white expansion as the inevitable precursors of an American Indian extinction.

Catlin’s life-long ambition was underpinned by the prevalent macabre ideology of the time, which professed that the Native Americans were a ‘dying race’. A race dying in the face of American civilization and expansion.

During the nineteenth century, an era commonly regarded as the high-point of American expansion, with Americans following their ‘Manifest Destiny’ with almost-biblical zeal, the Native American population was permanently consigned to oblivion. They faced the choice between assimilating to white civilization, or else dying out. Catlin’s most famous work was produced during this period, where he fervently documented a ‘dying race’ to benefit posterity. In the 1830s, Catlin spent six years in the Plains and Rocky Mountains of North America, painting, recording and collecting for an ‘Indian Gallery’. In the 1840s, Catlin exhibited his ‘Indian Gallery’ in our very own Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London. After two years of showcasing Catlin’s ‘Indian Gallery’, which included performances by Catlin and his family ‘dressing/redding up’ as American Indians, as well as live performances by American Indians, notably the Ojibwa and Iowa Indians. Catlin packed up his ‘Indian Gallery’ and toured the British Isles; his travels saw him exhibiting in smoky Manchester, Liverpool, Scotland and many more British cities.

So why am I telling you this? Well, March 2013, marked the date that Catlin’s ‘Indian Gallery’ once again crossed the Atlantic. This time being exhibited in London’s National Portrait Gallery. 173 years after Catlin himself travelled on the Yellowstone steamer, bringing to Britain his portraits of hundreds of Indians (totalling over 600), the Smithsonian has agreed to the re-exhibition of Catlin’s ‘Indian Gallery’. This not only marks a seminal moment in representations of American Indians, but ushers in a new dawn in history. One which seeks to acknowledge decades of neglect, which seeks to revise its treatment of those previously regarded as the ‘Other’. American Indians have once again been brought to the public sphere, but this time not as Indians performing war scenes, sacred ceremonies and tribal dances, but as individuals in and of themselves.

173 years after Catlin himself travelled on the Yellowstone steamer, bringing to Britain his portraits of hundreds of Indians (totalling over 600), the Smithsonian has agreed to the re-exhibition of Catlin’s ‘Indian Gallery’.

Catlin’s ‘Indian Gallery’ has today served as a catalyst in creating an international discourse on the condition of Native Americans. This raises monumental questions; one of the most important being: how will the present-day United States account for the their past and how will the U.S. resolve the dire situations that many American Indians living on reservations find themselves in today?

The Importance of Frankenstein

Written by Patrick McGhee

Introducing Frankenstein (1831), Mary Shelley said that she wanted the novel to ‘make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.’ Her work is a frightening and often gruesome gothic novel, but it is not merely the cautionary tale that many have come to know. Rather, it is an accessible, engaging saga of conceptual conflict and philosophical conversation that, by comparing and contrasting the scientific rationalism of the Enlightenment with the emotional focus of the Romantic movement, can ignite heated debate among students of all disciplines about the nature of learning.

The aspiring young natural philosopher, Victor Frankenstein, epitomises the commitment to reason and discovery with which the Enlightenment imbued much of the intellectual community of the eighteenth century. Meanwhile, Victor’s monstrous creation symbolises the wrath of nature when met with the intrusions and experiments of a confident humanity. While they may have become simple caricatures, the characters of Victor and his creature can invite us to consider deeper intellectual conundrums about knowledge and understanding, as well as to question our notions both of science and the irrational. Shelley’s treatment of this dichotomy is crucial, especially given the emergence of postmodernist approaches to academic discourse which, by questioning the validity of truth itself, have made debate and discussion about the nature of knowledge and reality all the more important.

While they may have become simple caricatures, the characters of Victor and his creature can invite us to consider deeper intellectual conundrums about knowledge and understanding, as well as to question our notions of both science and the irrational.

Crucially, the purpose of Frankenstein is not to dissuade readers from undertaking journeys of research and understanding. In fact, Shelley devotes much of the first volume to expressing Victor’s passionate commitment to the search for answers and his enthusiastic experiences of university education. The merits of reading, learning and developing ideas are celebrated, successfully capturing the universal persistence of human curiosity in her protagonist. This is not to say that Victor’s yearning for understanding is without consequence, however. Shelley goes on to describe her character’s Promethean downfall, foreshadowing the dangerous implications of humanity’s relentless pursuit of nature’s secrets. Whether one sympathises with Victor’s plight or not, Frankenstein opens a window to thrilling debate, encouraging students of all disciplines to question and adapt their own motives for learning.

Frankenstein also encourages political discussion by exploring ideas of responsibility. Specifically, Victor’s culpability in unleashing his terrifying monster on the world has long been a subject of critical discussion. Addressing the ‘monster’ he has created, Victor declares, ‘There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies.’ This defiant statement of certainty raises serious questions about appeasement, empathy and conflict, paralleling modern tensions between various competing ideals and political systems. Regardless of our own positions, Shelley encourages us to avoid stubborn insistence on our own perspectives, but also compels us to consider the risks of surrendering our principles to those with whom we fundamentally disagree.

Regardless of our own positions, Shelley encouraged us to avoid stubborn insistence on our own perspectives, but also compels us to consider the risks of surrendering our principles to those with whom we fundamentally disagree.

These disagreements are also explored in the final volume of the text, during which Shelley addresses the functions of spiritual appeals. Victor, desperate after a series of defeats at the hands of his creature, repeatedly addresses ‘spirits’, invokes their aid, and anticipates meeting his deceased relatives in the afterlife. These exclamations signal perhaps the most poignant aspect of Victor’s transforming psyche, as his mind, once loyal and dedicated to reason, succumbs to irrational spiritualism. Readers may disagree on whether or not this interest in the spiritual reflects a positive or negative turn of events, but Frankenstein matters precisely because it provokes this disagreement, encouraging deep and critical thought on crucial questions about the nature of our existence and our world.

Frankenstein matters precisely because it provokes this disagreement, encouraging deep and critical thought on crucial questions about the nature of our existence and our world.

These are only a few interpretations of Shelley’s novel. The real importance of her work rests on its ability to connect conflicting passions and ideologies. Shelley invites readers on a tour of some of the most important philosophical ideas in history, fusing them with radical expressions of literary and political thought that provoke debate to this day. Crucially, these are all debates worth having in seminar rooms and lecture theatres across the world, and are enhanced by the beautifully written prose in which they are presented. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an invaluable addition to the bookshelf of every undergraduate, regardless of academic discipline, not only because of the chilling atmosphere the author creates, but because her work involves us in an exciting exploration of the merits and the perils of discovery. Frankenstein challenges our deepest intellectual convictions, and it is for this reason that Shelley is able to so effectively ‘quicken the beatings of the heart.’

We asked 100 people and our survey says…

Written by Alison Watson

Now is the time of year when the lovely History department here at the University of Birmingham ask all finalists to complete the National Student Survey. This only takes 5 minutes and can be accessed here.

This is probably only the latest in a long line of surveys you’ve been asked to do over your life because, let’s face it, the world is interested in you and what you think. But surveys aren’t a modern phenomenon, thought up by over-paid creatives in shiny market research offices; they have been around for thousands of years.
The Babylonians were the first society known to have taken a population census, conducted around 3800 BC, which noted citizens as well as livestock and other goods. The Romans followed their lead (the modern word, census, comes from the Latin for ‘censere’ or ‘estimate’) and surveyed their citizens and land every 5 years for tax purposes which allowed them to grow their wealth for expansion and trade. Censuses have continued into modern times and have provided vital statistics for governments as well as a gold mine of information for genealogists trying to trace back their ancestors.

Censuses have continued into modern times and have provided vital statistics for governments as well as a gold mine of information for genealogists trying to trace back their ancestors.

‘Modern’ surveys, asking your opinion on everything from products to media, have been around for the past ninety years. The idea of marketing research was developed in the late 1920s by a man named Daniel Starch. He developed a research company which interviewed people in the streets, asking them if they read certain publications. If they did, they would then be shown the magazines and ask if they recognized or remembered any of the adverts found in them. After collecting the data, he then compared the number of people he interviewed with the circulation of the magazine to assess how effective those adverts were in reaching their readers. Thus surveying or marketing research was born.

The popularity of the telephone, the invention of computers and finally the internet have now enabled companies to survey people on a vast scale. In January 1950, the first telemarketing call was made and 45 years later, in January 1995, the first online survey was created. Many of these surveys (did we mention the National Student Survey?) take very little time to complete but have a measurable impact on entire sectors or companies. Others take longer and require more time and effort on the behalf of the person being surveyed which has led to companies being set up to offer incentives, from cash to online vouchers, for people fill these in.

Surveys have also turned into a popular form of entertainment with the TV shows, Family Fortunes, Pointless and 8 out of 10 Cats, all firm student and pub quiz machine favourites.

Did we mention that the National Student Survey is now open for all finalists and only takes 5 minutes to fill in?

Why was Thatcher more successful than Heath and Callaghan in dealing with the trade unions?

Written by Matt Kaye

The seriousness of the issue of the trade union problem really came to a head in the 1970s and the 1980s.

Edward Heath was elected Prime Minister in 1970 promising a radical break with the post-war consensus. His major attempt to reform trade union influence, the Industrial Relations Act of 1971, set the tone for his premiership. In theory, it was a sound policy. The rights of workers to strike were restricted with the introduction of the concept of ‘unfair industrial practice’. Unions were also required to put themselves on a government register if they wanted to retain their legal rights. The latter was the issue. The TUC voted to not co-operate with government measures and individual unions refused to register. This meant the policy was impossible to enforce and made the government look and weak and incompetent to the electorate. This public perception allows for an apt comparison between Heath and Thatcher in their respective ‘battles’ with the National Union of Miners (NUM).

Thatcher had planned for a prolonged struggle with the NUM and as such took measures to deal with it. Her government stockpiled coal and coke at power stations and also drafted plans for importing more if needed. This gave the government the upper hand and the ability to tackle the NUM head on. Whereas, Heath hadn’t made such contingency plans and the 1972 miners’ strike saw serious disruption in fuel and electricity supplies and reduced industrial production.

The 1972 miners’ strike saw serious disruption in fuel and electricity supplies and reduced industrial production.

Heath’s government had to introduce the three day week in 1973 to deal with this, and this portrayed to the British people and return to the days of the war, with rationing of basic utilities such as electricity. Whereas, because Thatcher had stockpiled resources, it was possible to resist NUM pressure without impacting on everyday life of British people. The comparative success and failure can be seen with Heath losing the 1974 election, seen as a direct question of who ruled; the government or the miners. This is contrasted with polls conducted after the 1984-5 miners’ strike, where it was suggested 65 per cent of people were pro-government and police as opposed to pro-miners. Her success meant that laws to forbid mass picketing stuck and this marked the beginning of the decline of trade union influence.

Callaghan as Prime Minister from 1976 to 1979 suffered from a problem unique to Labour leaders. Due to the party’s reliance of trade union funding, the election of Labour governments in the twentieth century led to an increased militancy among unions in ensuring their demands were met.

Due to the party’s reliance of trade union funding, the election of Labour governments in the twentieth century led to an increased militancy among unions in ensuring their demands were met.

Therefore, when Callaghan announced in 1977 a five per cent ceiling on wage rises, the unions took matters into their own hands, shown with ‘The Winter of Discontent’ in 1978-9. Things got so bad even the grave diggers went on strike and the dead remained unburied. But, because of Labour’s close ties with the unions, fundamental reform to deal with trade unions was not a genuine option. They couldn’t just cut off their main source of financial support.

Therefore, Thatcher was able to deal with the unions more successfully than Heath because of the contingency plans laid for union strikes, meaning the government always had the stronger hand. She also benefitted from being a Conservative leader, without the same ties to the trade unions Callaghan had, which hampered his ability to govern without their influence. Callaghan was handicapped by his links to the unions and Heath only offered ill-thought out policies that couldn’t be implemented.