After the byelection boost – and amidst the chaos – time for some thinking 

After Labour’s byelection victory in Wakefield, Keir Starmer pledged that a future Labour government will have a ‘restless, reforming zeal’. The word ‘reform’ is popular in politics because it sounds like big change and creates a sense of forward-thinking (are you for or against reform?) without having to say much. 

Pronouns in bio

Virtue signalling gets a bad rap. On the internet, in particular, the line between virtue signalling and the simple signalling of one’s position is thin. Who, after all, does not believe, or at least pretend to believe, that their own positions are virtuous?

Morality, culture and nation

Labour Together’s Labour’s Covenant argues Labour should oppose market liberalism and identity politics. But the historical narrative which links the two is questionable.

The limits of communitarianism

Labour Together offers a communitarian way forward for Labour, but doesn’t fully recognise the political constraints on the realisation of that vision.

False retvrns

Re-writing history is a much more interesting act than simply lying. Those who do it may not be being honest about the past, but they are being honest about their politics.

COP26: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

We have until 2030 to solve the climate crisis. But little has changed. That’s terrifying.

Newcastle Utd. A question of equity

The takeover of Newcastle United widens the already yawning chasm between English football fans and the clubs they love. Labour should heed the danger—and the opportunity.

Lockdown’s moral mission creep

The campaign that called on people to stay at home to “protect the NHS” was effective and necessary; its upshot, however, is that we have all spent a more than a year engaged in a campaign of state-sponsored curtain twitching of a particularly extreme bent.

2001: Revisiting the ‘Death’ of Multiculturalism

It is twenty years since British cultural politics was reconfigured around the assumed death of multiculturalism, and the ascendance of populist xenophobic anti-immigration identity politics. Stuart Cartland reassesses this history and asks how its effects can be reversed.

Ten First Thoughts on Batley and Spen

A week after Batley and Spen went to the polls Mark Perryman offers ten thoughts on Labour’s narrowest of victories.

Ten first thoughts on Amersham

Mark Perryman argues that the result of the Chesham and Amersham by-election suggests the need for Labour to work with other progressive parties

The right-hand man

Richard McNeill Douglas on Jeremy Heywood

How social democracy lost the future

How does Labour, a self-proclaimed party of social change, engender less faith in its plans for the future than the party whose name means to conserve?

Exiting Hogwarts Castle

Good politicians have their fingers to a pulse that most of us never even know is there. Once upon a time, Tony Blair had this. He doesn’t have it anymore.

What Bennism has to offer Starmer

The Labour Party faces an existential crisis. It must expose the contradictions of the new Tory agenda, and face up to the challenges facing the country.

Carers’ Agency: Building agency and institutions

A year into the pandemic, Renewal is publishing a series of essays by careworker Paul Cotterill on power, professionalisation and decommodification in care work. The final essay in this series grapples with the tasks of professionalisation, the role of progressives in facilitating the agency of careworkers, and how careworkers as a profession can lead the … Continue reading Carers’ Agency: Building agency and institutions


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