Author Archives: mat

Recent blogs elsewhere…

Yes, dear readers thanks for the emails… I am still alive, albeit quite busy exploring my new land. However I have written a couple of blogs for New Zealand’s premier leftwing blog – TDB. Here are my posts: I will write more here, once things calm down. Thanks for following…  

when work is too demeaning for robots

Get a human to do it. Indeed as The Nation article says – some of the “requesters”, the people who actually offer tiny bits of tedious piecework to a vast mob of competing – desperate – workers are actually just computer scripts outsourcing work they cannot do. The site they’re talking about is Amazon’s Mechanical […]

What is a social movement?

And is Momentum the leading grouping behind Jeremy Corbyn a social movement or something else? Stephen Lambert makes some interesting points here about the nature of social movements, splitting them into pre and post-Sixties types; which I think is quite useful in understanding them. I’ve also been thinking about social movements because of of the […]

Brexit Holding Post.

I am currently drafting a proper post about the referendum and the fallout from the result, until then I recommend the following two blog posts. Kenan Malik Will Davis Both on why people voted for Brexit.  

sharing economy?

I’ve touched on the subject of Uber and Airbnb previously, if somewhat briefly. Well David Bollier recently highlighted this report on a genuinely cooperative sharing economy from the Rosa Luxumbourg Siftung. Well worth a read – workers can compete on a level playing field while organising our selves.

workers power and basic income

An increasing number of people are talking about an unconditional basic income, as a pragmatic method of eliminating poverty and granting workers more freedom to be flexible – and to challenge bad employment practices. Here are some key arguments in favour of a basic income from a “left” position. Various parts of the world are […]

cooperation and solidarity in austerity Britain

I was struggling to think of an apt title for this post and may yet come back and edit it. I wanted to write this on New Year’s Eve, eve because while politically it may seem like the future in the short to medium term is bleak to some readers, and for others there may […]

water under the bridge?

God, it feels like years since my last post – rather than just a couple of months. I have as you might expect been very busy and expect to be even busier in the coming months, thanks to the Tories decision to go nuclear against the unions among many other “auld enemies” (also thanks to […]

Panics and splits? Or not.

So the Labour leadership election, following the epic and some might say unpredicted by many defeat in May. The media and the Tories and mischief makers of all sorts have been predicting that given the seemingly poles apart positions of the supporters of Kendall and Corbyn it’s impossible for a single party to contain their […]

is the government going to be worse without the Libdems to moderate the Tory right?

No. That’s the short answer. The slightly longer answer goes something like this – The Liberal Democrats (including cuddly lefty Vince Cable) provided Cameron with a security blanket against the rightwing awkward squad in the Conservative party. The possibility is that a government with a slim majority may well be vulnerable to it’s right flank. […]

how could I post at a time like this?

not easily and this will probably be the only between now and the election. I just wanted to post a link to this interview with the last remaining Communist Party councilor in Britain. Why? Because of this quote “The Communists caught your imagination. They were radical, wanted change, they were not prepared to accept things […]

immigration and social solidarity

This is an old blog post on the LSE Europp blog, but it’s new to me so worth commenting on in my view. It refers to this paper by Brady and Finnigan which suggests that the old saw that immigration undermines public support for a decent welfare state is flawed. According to the authors: our […]

As usual something worth reading from Charles Stross right here

an unintentional passing of the baton

Across Europe from Greece to Spain to the Nordic countries we have seen not the death of Social Democracy as so many people like to assert; but the passing of the baton from established Social Democratic parties to newer upstarts that have either emerged from the bottom up, or have been parties from a more […]

A Greek Spring?

No, not the Fountain of Youth, Syriza’s victory in the recent Greek elections. Now people from the rightwing media to excitable far-left magical thinkers like Left Unity and the Morning Star have proclaimed Syriza’s result as a victory for a radical left. However as Mehdi Hasan points out here, the reality is something quite different. […]