Left of the line

This is my truth. Now tell me yours.

Category: Culture

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 »

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 »

Tackling a shift

This graphic is from the Government’s newly announced CSR paper for this November. We are now at a 2004 level of spending but with slightly lower income. We should be concentrating on raising that income, but the basic point is that our deficit has gone from being at ‘crash’ levels to ‘New Labour’ levels. We more »

America’s insurgent ‘centre-left’?

Among some centrist Democrats, the response to the rise of the insurgent centre-left has been sputtering rage. In a widely-discussed op-ed published in the conservative Wall Street Journal, the leaders of the neoliberal think tank Third Way (whose very name is a reference to the “Third Way” movement of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair) denounced more »

Why not be a capitalist?

Sensible socialists often have to compromise with or even harness capitalism. Yet unlike Chuka Umunna, I am not happy to call myself a capitalist. I neither believe in nor benefit from supporting the class system. Which however much we bang on about ‘mobility’, remains what capitalism is. Some people can only aspire to become wealth more »

“Islam is not a race” – a complete waste of everyone’s time.

I have already written one post clarifying what is meant by Islamophobia. Now it looks like I’ll have to write one saying why I think it has racist content. Obviously on the surface it claims to be criticism of a religion – but this itself isn’t anything anyone has a problem with, if done with more »

What is Islamophobia, and why should it be taken seriously?

This was a question I felt was raised by a post from a respected Facebook friend ( know, get new subjects…) who seemed to be in agreement with the attitude taken by some liberals that ‘Islamophobia’ is a term used unfairly for those with a problem with Islamic religious beliefs. It isn’t, and that’s why more »

Labour’s relationship with Thatcherism

I thought Stephen Bush’s piece in Progress was provocative and well argued, so I also thought it warranted a quick reply. His basic claim is that ‘Labour ended Thatcherism’. This is patently not true – the Progress deity Tony Blair himself disagrees with it in numerous bits of writing and his own tributes. And he more »

Political bullying in Labour’s youth movement

Those who know me know that I’ve been on an 8 to 9 year quest with various others to democratise a lot of the youth movement of the Labour Party bit by bit. I’m a boring man. I believe in this in principle, but for the most part it has been to guarantee that leaders more »