Left of the line

This is my truth. Now tell me yours.

The Labour right and how it got here

I’ve recently read this Jacobin article about the Labour right and its history, which is a good left critique, though it doesn’t dip too much into some of the bigger differences on issues of policy. That’s actually a welcome departure, as much material assessing the various splits of opinion between Labour’s traditions of thought and more »

I was a teenage communist

The 100 year anniversary of the October revolution is a strange one for someone who developed their political opinions as a Communist. I remember learning about the revolution in school and, unlike almost all of my classmates, being totally inspired. Though I never joined any Communist party, by late teenage years I was fully signed more »

Freedom of conscience and Muslim women – the illogic of it all

People who want to ban the veil are interesting, not least because many of them argue that they wish to do this not because they are specifically Islamophobic or sexist, but because they are against compulsion and they believe this to be rife.  This is, of course, despite women wearing the veil when out on more »

Trident is weird

Jeremy Corbyn had a good night in this evening’s debate, but had a really tough time over Trident, where he refused to commit to retaliatory use. Tough gig. Cards on the table, I am against Trident and Britain keeping nukes, an indefensible use of public money in my opinion. I’m coming at this from the more »

Thoughts on Labour’s manifesto

1. Not bad at all – quite forward looking with minimal hard leftism. 2. Beautifully designed. Really fantastic. 3. Should have had detail on costing each policy. 4. Disappointed not to see tougher lines on crime and ASB, and a plan for tackling violent extremism. 5. Could have done with more on local government and more »

Politics does not equal policy

Some Corbyn backers on the left of the Labour Party are losing optimism fast. Hope is of course necessary, but I’d argue that a bit of intellectual pessimism is always healthy anyway, myself. Some of those I’ve witnessed on social media are manning the defences, making the perhaps valid argument that “it’s not the policies” more »

Understanding the ‘ethical split’

I am increasingly captivated by accessible bits of writing about social psychology, perhaps because I think it is key to rebooting the political strategy Labour has really lacked since 2010. It can be the bridge between pretentious articles such as this one, and the pub-type situation that I always end up on relying on to more »

2016: Labour, culture and class

Though my own politics are within the tradition of democratic socialism, those who know me well will know that I am heavily inspired by thought around the tradition of Eurocommunism. This tradition was a lot more recognisable in the mid 1980s to early 1990s, but I think parts of it have insights of value today. more »

Ten internal challenges for critics of Corbyn

Having critically supported Corbyn in 2015 I count myself among the critics but not the supporters in 2016.  This is not to say that I thought the mass resignations were a good idea (though they did make a challenge necessary). I think there is a duty to serve as much as a right to step more »

Owen Smith is not Alan Milburn. Corbynites should stop pretending he is.

Some misguided ranting from Paul Mason this morning. It is a shame really as I respect Mason’s politics. I rather thought him above this kind of attack, which takes a very similar format to revolutionary left sectarian hit jobs. These include an attempt to discredit someone else’s politics by association, a refusal to examine any of more »