Category political comment

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 […]

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. […]

the changing shape of public ownership

As a community organiser working for a public services union it won’t surprise you to read that I’m an advocate of public ownership of services that benefit us. Every day I see evidence of good quality, innovative, and compassionate work done by workers in publicly owned and controlled services whether in education, healthcare, or local […]

Je suis..? er actually no.

enough people have said what they think about the Charlie Hebdo attack – the world doesn’t need me to add my opinions right now. I’ll just link to Kenan Malik who is bang on the money in my view.

my prediction for the 2015 general election

I’m not in the business of predicting the outcome of the 2015 election – in my opinion it’s a bit of a mug’s game given the current state of electoral politics. However i will stick my neck and predict that the betting markets are currently and will continue to be more accurate in their predictions […]

chewing the fat

I may expand this into a proper article if I get time… but for now a few thoughts about obesity. The debate about obesity in the UK is heating up following recent decisions that obesity is a disability and that organisations and employers will probably have to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate larger people. All […]