Category community organising

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

commitment and collective action in post industrial societies

I was listening to this lecture at work today by¬†Charles Heckscher from Rutgers University, talking about how solidarity and community has not gone away, it has however been radically transformed by de-industrialisation (at least in the Global North) and new social technologies. Well worth watching, I don’t endorse all of his conclusions but he makes […]

would you like your purchase wRAPped madam?

Via the magic of twitter I cam across this yesterday RAP is a project set up by unions and community organisations in New York, in conjunction with retail workers to help them organise with each other and their communities to improve conditions in their workplaces… Most of their campaigns seem to utilise the very interesting […]

the need for self awareness

Compass recently published this article by Liam Barrington-Bush. He raises some interesting points although kind of mixes actual radicals with more moderate progressive types in order to make his point. The essential thrust of the article is two fold – the first I agree with wholeheartedly, it is absolutely correct to say that organisations that […]

world map of inequality So the Guardian have in advance of Davos helpfully published this map of the 34 OECD countries plus BRICs and others to allow us to compare relative inequality between them. Now I’m mostly interested in how Britain compares to the rest of Europe, in particular Northern and Western Europe. Why? Well because these are […]

big state, little state

A couple of weeks ago John Harris wrote his first interesting column in the Guardian for who knows how long. In it he tackles the massive growth in centralised state power over the last few decades and how Labour and Tories alike have been responsible, and he counterposes that with the sort of politics argued […]

smaller and smaller

Reading Anthony Barnett’s latest lament for the lack of an English civic nationalism or English based federalist movement here, I was struck by what seems to be the major gap in the thinking of many English based constitutional reformers and devolution “geeks”. Despite what a vocal minority seems to think or at least claim, the […]

the importance of framing and stories (part 94)

the importance of framing and stories (part 94) Great article from July that I’ve only just seen that points out the flaws in that beloved argument of liberals in particular about why immigration is good – is because it is good for the economy. The second point is particularly important for those of us on […]


I’ve just finished reading an incredibly inspiring journey around the world of public transport called ‘Straphanger‘ by Taras Grescoe. In 300 enjoyable and readable pages Grescoe takes on a tour of cities which have either found good quality mass transit solutions or completely failed to find adequate mass transit, and instead become freeway deserts criss […]

community everywhere

(or what I did on my holidays) I’ve been quiet for a couple of weeks due to being busy at work, and then going off to Spain last week, a trip that ended with flying into Gatwick at 3am and getting into work for a meeting at 8am the next morning. In Spain we stayed […]

migrant workers could influence the course of the 2014 elections

My article posted on the European Movement website earlier today the main point for me is below: How can our migrant members organise themselves and their families to have an impact on the election? If we give them a compelling narrative that engages and encourages the telling of positive stories of how working people have […]

squatting hasn’t been banned (yet)

This article by Amia Srinivasan in the London Review of Books Blog this week is a timely reminder that despite the criminalisation of squatting in residential properties by the Government last year – it is still legal to squat in disused commercial properties in the UK. See here at the excellent Advisory Service for Squatters […]