I’m a law graduate in my mid twenties, and work for a local Labour Party as a campaign organiser.
I’m really into politics, where I am inspired by three main traditions: firstly, the moderate Bevanite left of the British Labour Party.
Secondly, Gramscian Eurocommunists and the rigorous, self-questioning cultural politics of those such as Stuart Hall, their social-democratic allies, such as Democratic Left / New Times, the later phase Labour Coordinating Committee, New Politics Network, Compass, Chartist, and Renewal.
Last of all I am inspired by mainstream European social democracy, particularly where it has pursued hegemonic strategies for left-wing working-class politics, such as in Sweden in the 1960s and 70s, or the UK before and after WWII.
My basic instinct is that the left needs to build towards and display when possible social and cultural power, as well as simply seeking office – a major failure of Blairism, and the whole concept of the ‘third way’.
It needs to have organic roots in society locally, within organisations who represent those seeking change, and anywhere else that power is contested. The left must be self-questioning, vibrant, plural, and positively expressed. As a real basic, I want it to practice mature, democratic and tolerant methods of discourse and debate, both externally and internally.
I originally came into real active politics through blogging when the medium was relatively new, and it’s fair to say that I was much more of the hard left at the time. Since then I have done various things with Labour Students, Young Labour, and ECOSY: Young European Socialists. Since then I was also Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Woking, one of my two home towns, in the 2010 General Election.
Issues wise, I am very interested in language and framing, and political strategy in terms of both communications and ground organising.
Yes, I backed Ed Miliband.
Despite being a Sunderland fan, I’m originally from Newcastle, but have also lived in Woking and to a lesser extent Manchester and London for decent periods of time.
I’m not just into politics. I am also really into dodgy old punk music and a wide variety of much more contemporary stuff too. I also have a bit of a passion for guitars, and am interested in British youth cultures (as long as they involve Fred Perry shirts). Oh yeah, and I’m trying to do a bit better on high culture. We’ll see how that goes.