It’s widely assumed that the Bank of England creates money, but only 3% of the money in circulation is physical cash. The other 97 per cent is produced online by the big, commercial banks. And what’s more they make whopping profits from doing so.
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BARRY WINTER reviews the second edition of Jack Dromey and Graham Taylor’s book about the Grunwick dispute which has been republished by Lawrence & Wishart to mark the strike’s 40th anniversary.
Forty years ago an amazing trade-union struggle took place in Brent in north London. Beginning very locally at the Grunwick Photo Processing Plant in 1977, the strike soon hit the national headlines. It lasted more than 18 months and sadly ended in defeat.
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.
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’.
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.
BARRY WINTER was intrigued, confused and stimulated by the recent Compass carnival in London, the second of its ‘Change: How?’ events.
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.
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.
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.
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.