All entries by this author

Labour’s Nuclear Question

May 10th, 2016 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Can Labour find a way to bridge its divisions over Trident? Or will a policy to scrap the nuclear warheads strike a final nail into the party’s electoral coffin? BARRY WINTER calls for a national debate and a Labour-led referendum on the issue.

Britain’s nuclear defence strategy has often sown deep divisions within the Labour movement. No less so today given Jeremy Corbyn’s ardent opposition to the party’s current policy to renew Trident. While 68 per cent of members today share his views, he faces formidable, not to say fierce criticism from within the party and the unions.

Assessing the Blair Supremacy

Mar 15th, 2016 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Frontpage, Lead

BARRY WINTER considers the culture, impact and legacy of Tony Blair’s leadership of the Labour Party, greatly aided by Lewis Minkin’s The Blair Supremacy, published to great acclaim two years ago.

In his dual role as academic and political insider, Lewis Minkin has produced three monumental books on the Labour Party. Each is a substantial achievement. Taken together, I’d argue, they have no equal. This latest work, The Blair Supremacy, offers profound insights into the dominance and effects of what some call the ‘Blairocracy’.

Ada Salter: Pioneer of Ethical Socialism

Feb 8th, 2016 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Graham Taylor’s fine biography of Ada Salter provides a vivid account of the ILP’s ethical socialism as she lived it, says BARRY WINTER.

Ada Salter’s hands-on approach to making the world a better place is told with clarity and passion in Graham Taylor’s new biography of the pioneering ILPer. Moreover, Ada’s busy life is explored without subordinating her to her husband, Alfred Salter, who became MP for West Bermondsey (1922 and 1924-45). Indeed, having become a Quaker herself she converted him, for theirs was a creative partnership, personally and politically.

One afternoon, 100 Speakers, One Hell-of-an Experience

Feb 18th, 2015 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Comment, Features, Frontpage, Lead

BARRY WINTER was intrigued, confused and stimulated by the recent Compass carnival in London, the second of its ‘Change: How?’ events.

The Case for Democratic Devolution

Jan 19th, 2015 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage

In recent decades our society has become seriously and, indeed, dangerously unbalanced in a series of crucial, yet interlinked, ways. BARRY WINTER argues that regional devolution could play an important part in re-democratising and re-balancing society.

Unbalanced Britain is being subjected to growing poverty and widening social inequalities generally; to increasing and irresponsible financial and corporate power, with the rich growing ever richer; and, in England (London aside), to a degree of political centralisation unequalled in much of western Europe.

Owen Jones: Our Prophet of Hope?

Nov 26th, 2014 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage

BARRY WINTER was one of 260 people who piled into the largest lecture theatre at Leeds Beckett University last week to hear left wing author and journalist Owen Jones. He left feeling impressed, and a little bit inspired.

Unbalanced Britain: This Sorry State

Oct 20th, 2014 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Comment, Features, Frontpage, Lead

BARRY WINTER assesses the work of David Marquand and considers what it can offer a left desperately seeking some answer to society’s massive imbalance in power and wealth.

Scotland’s Referendum: Reimagining a Nation

Sep 5th, 2014 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage

BARRY WINTER reviews Common Weal, the new book from the Jimmy Reid Foundation, which sets out a vision for Scotland run by its people, for its people.

“Scotland’s people are in a unique position – we have been invited to imagine our nation afresh.” So argues Robin McAlpine in the opening sentence of his interesting and unusual book, Common Weal. In doing so, he vividly displays the enthusiasm shown by many on the Scottish left – and beyond – for the opportunities presented by the referendum.

Unbalanced Britain: Corporate Power and our Me-Based Culture

Jul 1st, 2014 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage

Over the past 30 years the New Right, aided and abetted in some respects by New Labour, has introduced changes that have profoundly damaged, not only our economy, but British culture and politics. The result, says BARRY WINTER, is a seriously unbalanced society.

We live in an era of what the American philosopher, Michael Sandel, describes as ‘market triumphalism’ – a society dominated by the demands of huge corporations, for which we are paying a heavy price.

Tony Benn, the Labour Left ‘and all that’

May 30th, 2014 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

BARRY WINTER reflects on Tony Benn’s personality and politics, interweaving his own memories of the period as he considers the left’s failures in the 1970s and ’80s and the lessons for those seeking progressive change today.

Few people in contemporary politics have attracted such public affection as Tony Benn. In spite of years of vilification by the media, he remained popular to the end of his life. In fact, he was an inspiration to a surprisingly wide range of people, young and old, politically active and otherwise.