For everyone who vaguely remembers the 1988 presidential election but not enough to recall why a candidate as poxed and unelectable as then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis got the Democratic Party’s nomination, you can thank Neil Kinnock, at least in part.
Kinnock was another thoroughly unelectable politician who could never hope to lead his country, only over in the United Kingdom. The spectacularly uninspiring leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992, Kinnock is best remembered in the U.K. for two consecutive general election losses, including a shocking defeat in 1992 to John Major’s Tories.
On this side of the pond, he’s best remembered for a rousing speech he gave in May 1987 — although not for the reasons he might like.
“Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university?” he said, according to Sky News. “Why is Glenys [his wife] the