rip it up and start again — the power of ‘freewriting’

(research notebook) Last week, frustrated by a stubbornly empty page and my equally blank mind, I opened up a new document, set my phone’s timer to five minutes and began to just write. I wrote non-stop about the first thing that came into my head, without pausing to think, without reviewing and without corrections, until the … Continue reading rip it up and start again — the power of ‘freewriting’

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electoral reform: time for a sense of proportion

Electoral systems aren’t sexy. But we’re hearing more and more about them. In the UK and in Canada, debates are taking place about alternatives to the First Past the Post (FPTP) majoritarian system. This blog looks at one of those alternatives — Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) — and answers some common questions and concerns, … Continue reading electoral reform: time for a sense of proportion

the faces of labour’s leadership conflict (part two)

This is the second of two posts offering a theory-based interpretation of the current Labour leadership crisis. Part One set out the various faces of the party — the party in office/parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the grassroots membership and activists (party on the ground) — and how Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader has upset … Continue reading the faces of labour’s leadership conflict (part two)

the faces of labour’s leadership conflict (part one)

Still keeping up with the goings on in the Labour Party? Every day, there’s another twist and turn (of the knife). All of which leaves little time or energy for confronting the government or listening to the communities who have shunned Labour (or did Labour shun them first?). What explains the dramatic rift between the … Continue reading the faces of labour’s leadership conflict (part one)

a progressive alliance for positive, democratic change

A big lesson from Brexit is that while change is inevitable, there is nothing inevitable about positive change.  With this in mind, the Green Party of England and Wales has sent an open letter [full text here] urging the respective leaders of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru to explore the possibilities for a … Continue reading a progressive alliance for positive, democratic change

after the brexit vote: more of the same — but more so?

This is the first of a series of posts reflecting on the Brexit vote. I did start writing an earlier piece trying to make sense of my feelings right after the result, but it was a little overwrought! Even now, nearly two weeks later, it’s difficult to keep up with all that’s happening. But ideas … Continue reading after the brexit vote: more of the same — but more so?

‘der brexit’? views from the german left

Recently we’ve heard voices from Germany urging the UK not to vote to leave the EU. Chancellor Angela Merkel stated, “I personally hope and wish that Britain will stay part and parcel of the European Union” before suggesting that the UK wouldn’t be able to achieve the same “quality of compromise” in post-Brexit negotiations. Meanwhile, … Continue reading ‘der brexit’? views from the german left

‘why the left party?’ reflecting on the research journey

(research notebook) Something I’ve often been quizzed on is my reason for writing about the Left Party. In fact, my Viva examination opened with this very question. By that point, I’d been buried in theory, literature and writing for so long that the initial inspiration seemed but a distant memory. So this post is about … Continue reading ‘why the left party?’ reflecting on the research journey

class and farce – two comments on the london election

So Sadiq Khan is now officially Mayor of London. The media haven’t missed an opportunity to point out that the city is the first major western European capital to be run by a Muslim. I read a comment on social media which argued that, interesting though this fact might be, the important thing is that … Continue reading class and farce – two comments on the london election