Skip navigation.
Vol 28 No 2 2020

Free downloadShaping the ‘new normal’

Editorial // Dan Bailey

In the face of the immediate threat of the coronavirus, the struggle to establish a ‘new normal’ has begun. The left must make the case for deep structural changes towards a more just political economy, and must do so in the light of the broader crisis of climate breakdown.

Free downloadThe NHS takes control: consequences for health policy in England

Notebook // Steve Iliffe

The public health response to the pandemic has been shaped by rapidly shifting strategies and many years of underfunding and austerity. But the NHS has stepped up to the task and taken control. Many of the changes in organisation and management style that have taken place as a result are likely to be difficult to reverse.

Free downloadPower and the pandemic: civil liberties in the age of coronavirus

Notebook // Alexandra Runswick

Faced with crises, governments take emergency powers. While the suspension of normality is often necessary, the radical change in the relationship between citizens and the state poses dangers to civil liberties. Without consideration and accountability, temporary powers can have long-term, permanent effects.

Time for basic income?

Notebook // Peter Sloman

By exposing the tight margins on which many UK households operate, the Covid crisis has given a major boost to the case for a universal basic income.

‘Nature is healing’: The politics of enchantment

Notebook // Cathy Elliott

The coronavirus crisis is demonstrating nature’s enduring power to enchant us. But we must move away from constructions of ‘nature’ as separate from – a threat to or victim of – humankind. After the crisis we must build more sustainable relationships between us and the natural world.

Covid-19, the foundational economy and ‘rooted firms’

Notebook // Will Brett

‘Rooted’ firms deliver much more than just goods and services: they give places meaning. After the crisis, rooted firms must be prioritised, by promoting local and regional economic strategies and developing social licensing regimes.

Not the end of ideology

Notebook // Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite

The government response to the coronavirus crisis involves an unprecedented level of intervention in the peacetime British economy. But the rhetorical and ideological underpinnings of these new policies reveal that little has really changed in Conservative thinking.

Lockdown Labour: lessons from mutual aid activism

Notebook // Mark Perryman

Labour is currently an organisation of the few – a small activist class. We must learn from the mutual aid activism of the coronavirus crisis and transform it into community Labour.

Free downloadInterview: The politics of climate crisis

Feature // Alyssa Battistoni, George Morris

A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso, 2019) seeks to reframe left politics for an age of climate crisis. Renewal spoke to one of the book’s co-authors about the political project of the Green New Deal.

Labour’s rural problem

Feature // David Drew, Richard Jobson

Labour’s identity is deeply tied to ideas about industry and the urban, but the party must now reconsider its engagement with rural issues. One first step in setting out a social democratic vision for the rural future is an evaluation of recent Labour policy.

Free downloadThe fragile society

Feature // Lyn Brown

The coronavirus crisis has intensified the inequalities in our already fragile and unequal society. Labour must address these problems, through supporting universalist and poverty-reducing policies in the face of an increasing rhetoric of deserving and undeserving poor and soaring unemployment.

Boris Johnson, Thatcherism and the rhetoric of ‘wealth creators’

Essay // Felix Römer

Johnson’s use of the rhetoric of ‘wealth creators’ demonstrates a continuing reliance on the Thatcherite idea of ‘trickle-down’ economics. But even in the 1980s, it required much political spinning of statistics to keep the trickle-down notion alive. Labour should now challenge it vigorously.

Free download‘Redlining’ the British city

Essay // Sam Wetherell

The ‘redlining’ of urban space was one of the many ways in which the US New Deal excluded millions of black Americans from its benefits. The concept also helps us to better grasp the operation of racialised inequality in Britain, not just in the neoliberal era but also under the aegis of post-war social democracy.

Roads not travelled: Piketty’s history of inequality

Review // David Cowan

Building on, and revising, the best-selling Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty’s new book offers a sweeping history of the ideas which justified inequality in the past. It poses uncomfortable questions to the British left in the present.

Privacy policy