The British countryside is at a particularly perilous moment. Starmer is right to address this, but needs to be careful not to further entrench urban/rural divides.
Work can’t frame every policy or position, but it can offer a substantive unifying programme.
It’s not Starmer’s patriotic turn in itself that’s problematic. It’s how that patriotism sits with Labour’s values.
Anneliese Dodds has set out a framework that would have been fine under the old regime—in fact, it marks a return to the Corbynomics of 2017.
Labour politics is all-too-often a spectator sport. Mark Perryman argues we need a transformational political culture; ‘small’ politics – politics from below – has the potential to generate the broad political alliances that we need.
Debate and discussion about how social democratic parties should be defined and what such parties should be trying to achieve goes back many decades and will continue. Jobelius and Vӧssing have made a significant intervention. But to be convincing, it needs to be clearer by which values social democratic parties should be defined and why those values are of most importance for social democratic parties. Clarifying both the relationship between social democratic parties and socialism, and the meaning of socialism, would greatly aid that task.
A selection of articles from issue 28/4, free to read online.
Open Labour gained 9% of the vote in the recent NEC elections. Founder member Tom Miller talks to Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite about its strategy for building the soft left’s influence within Labour, and what defines the soft left approach.
Why did so many people vote for the cynicism and egoism that Donald Trump represents? Thad Williamson examines the reasons for Trump’s success, and suggests that we must make political struggles and material interests central to our analyses of social justice.
Joe Guinan talks to Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite about the outcome of the US election, the unfolding crises of Covid19, the openings for a transformative political economy and what the strategies for the left of the Democratic party should be now.
Joe Biden is now President-Elect of the United States, partly because Donald Trump’s own efforts to steal the vote using suppression, legal challenges, and the power of timing narrowly failed. Andrew R. Hom explores the GOP’s use of creative re-timing in its efforts to time the cast and then time the count.
The true sources of Labour’s divisions for the past five years lie somewhere else altogether – at the level of approach and mindset. If we are to understand what has happened to the party since 2015 – and to stop it from happening again – we must acknowledge this.
Renewal relies on subscriptions, but each issue we put up a selection of articles to read for free on the website.
Sam Pallis weighs up Conservative attempts to launch a project of national refounding, and suggests how Labour might respond.
Hannah O’Rourke reports on Labour Together’s cross-party commission examining Labour’s loss of the 2019 General Election.
As Labour develops its international agenda, John Chowcat suggests that the 40-year history of the European Parliamentary Labour Party offers a rich resource of practical lessons.
Three recent episodes, Mark Perryman suggests, reveal the potential for pluralism to overcome factionalism. The language we use in politics tells us much. ‘Hard Left’ is sometimes an insult, but is embraced by many. Is the hard left principled and unbending, or brittle and, when it snaps, shattered and fragmented? ‘Soft Left’ is, again, both an insult … Continue reading Opportunity Knocks: The case for a plural left
Portia Roelofs This year, the UK ranked among the top twenty least corrupt countries in the world. Yet as the details of the government pandemic procurement emerge, it’s hard to ignore how many contracts have gone to the family members and close associates of senior Conservative Party and Downing Street figures. Whilst Nigeria might not be … Continue reading How Nigerian debates about transparency can help public scrutiny of the UK’s Covid 19 response
Rajiv Prabhakar Young people are likely to bear much of the economic fall-out from Covid-19. The education of young people has been disrupted by the closure of schools and colleges. Youngsters also work disproportionately in sectors badly hit by Covid-19 such as hospitality. There is concern about the ‘scarring’ effects of a lack of employment opportunities for future employment and pay. … Continue reading COVID 19 and the Child Trust Fund
In a post-crisis world, society should take an equity stake in firms that benefit from government payouts, writes Stewart Lansley. When he was London’s mayor, Boris Johnson called for the nation’s super-rich to be awarded ‘automatic knighthoods‘. In contrast, David Cameron’s government launched a rolling programme of benefit cuts, together with new punitive rules on … Continue reading Knighthoods for the rich, sanctions for the poor: time for a new settlement
Padmashree Gehl Sampath Last week, Africa recorded over 225,000 COVID-19 infections. While this count seems low when compared to the total tally of COVID-19 infections in Western Europe or the United States, the pandemic places low-income countries worldwide in a particularly disadvantaged position. Their disadvantages – a joint outcome of long-term poverty and resource-constrained healthcare systems – … Continue reading COVID 19: The Need for a New Global Compact
Sixteen hours on an all-day food bank collection has Mark Perryman asking what this means for how the Labour Party organises. For me the defining characteristic of a progressive politics is a mass politics: neither the vanguard party sorting out others nor the charismatic leader for the rest of us to be in thrall to. All well … Continue reading Food for thought
Cathy Elliott Time is out of joint in the UK and around the world. But even before the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdowns which are sweeping the globe, time was already out of joint in UK Higher Education. Last November, on the eve of the first wave of industrial action in the current dispute between … Continue reading Timing the strike: The temporalities of industrial action
Jon Wilson “we failed our party, our people and our country”. Darren Jones “we as the Labour Party have to galvanise round our core principles and make sure we deliver for our people”. John McDonnell “when we win, it will not be for ourselves, it will be for all those communities who need us now … Continue reading ‘Our People’
Craig Berry There is nothing like a pandemic to amplify the class dynamics, hitherto on mute, which underpin social order. In the Anglosphere, public culture combines awareness of each and every person’s proper place — signalled by accent, attire, and demeanour, etc., as well as education, occupation, and postcode — with ignorance of how those … Continue reading Workers of the world, self-isolate!
The Labour Party that emerges from the coronavirus crisis needs wholesale change of its organisational culture. Mark Perryman explains why and how. For the past two and a bit weeks, like many Labour Party members, I’ve been pretty full on with coronavirus mutual aid activism. I’m an event organiser by habit, and sometimes trade too. Organising popular … Continue reading Lockdown Labour
Will Brett There’s a lot of soul-searching going on right now, much of it at the personal and domestic level. But as millions ask themselves what’s really important in their own lives, many too are asking similar questions about the economy, and what must change once we come out of this quiet nightmare. Which parts … Continue reading This crisis is revealing which businesses really matter – the ‘rooted firms’
Thad Williamson Thad Williamson argues that Elizabeth Warren is the presidential candidate best placed to transform the argument on economic justice in the United States. My first book, published in 1998 when I was a 28 year old theology student, is a detailed look at alternatives to capitalism, What Comes Next? Proposals for a Different Society. It … Continue reading The Socialist Case for Elizabeth Warren
Lewes CLP’s innovative discussion events have caught Angela Rayner’s eye. Mark Perryman explains how and why. It’s not often that the Labour Party in the East Sussex town of Lewes gets a mention in Labour circles of any influence. Imagine our surprise, and pride, therefore, when Angela Rayner picked us out for an honourable mention in her … Continue reading Across a (very) crowded room
Christine Berry Ever since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader, he has been described as “divisive” by those on the right of the party – who themselves were determined to ensure the party remained divided as long as he was in charge. But the aftermath of Labour’s defeat is actually exposing just what a broad coalition … Continue reading The Post-Election Woes of the Labour Left
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