Here's something I heard on Radio 4 the other week: 'Hatred that starts with Jews doesn't end with Jews.'¹ There's been a lot of focus on antisemitism lately. Antisemitism was a contributory factor in Labour's failure to gain control of a target council (Barnet) in recent local elections. It's also been something of a talking … Continue reading talking about antisemitism
Government or opposition? This is the question intensifying already deep divisions within Germany's Social Democrats (SPD). Initially intent on opposition after a terrible General Election performance, the SPD leadership has been negotiating terms for another ‘grand’ coalition (‘GroKo’) with Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats — despite a slump in support for both parties. At the SPD's … Continue reading learning from labour
A week on from the General Election and the road ahead still unclear, what should Greens make of it all? With the exception of co-leader Caroline Lucas’ deservedly brilliant result in Brighton, it’s fair to say the hard work and passion that went into a particularly tough campaign wasn’t reflected in the results. Naturally there now … Continue reading after the election: which way for the greens?
‘Naïve’, ‘red’, even ‘dangerous’ — I recall my teenage self and fellow anti-nuclear campaigners being on the receiving end of these and similar adjectives while we leafleted for CND on Saturday mornings. And at least for a while after the end of the Cold War, add ‘irrelevant’ too. But now? The nuclear question has become an issue … Continue reading keeping it civil
‘Political renewal and the future of Labour’. This was the title of a recent conference convened by Labour Together, bringing various groups and interests within the Labour movement together for the first time to exchange and explore ideas in a common space. The conference aimed to initiate discussion: how should Labour ‘rediscover its sense of historic … Continue reading a healing process: labour’s future (conference report)
Jeremy Corbyn is confirmed as the leader of the Labour Party, with an increased mandate, after a contest that seemed to be mainly about MPs vs grassroots members and Westminster vs everywhere else. Now Labour has to overcome two big challenges: bringing together its own membership and transforming its grassroots supporters into voters. Both are … Continue reading reaching out: what’s on your mind?
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
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)
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 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