Features

Standing Without Clapping – Assessing Corbyn’s Labour

Oct 10th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Labour’s position now looks similar to its 1945 stance, but we live in an entirely different nation and a much altered world. HARRY BARNES considers what the ’45 government achieved and what Corbyn’s party can learn from those years.

The 1945 Labour government created full employment, a welfare state, the NHS, nationalised industries, the 1944 Education Act, a major council house building programme, and began the shift from Empire to Commonwealth.



Cable Street Anniversary Prompts Call for Support

Oct 5th, 2017 | By Matthew Brown | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Hope not Hate have marked the 81st anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street with a call for donations towards its current day efforts to “present a steadfast and united opposition to fascism”.

The day on 4 October 1936 when the people of the east end of London united to halt Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists (BUF) marching through Stepney is a historic date in the story of the anti-fascist movement.



Fear and Hope in a Divided Country

Sep 1st, 2017 | By Matthew Brown | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

England is both an increasingly tolerant and open society and a more divided place, according to the latest ‘Fear and Hope’ survey published this week by Hope not Hate.

In its fourth survey of attitudes to race, faith, belonging and identity since 2011, the anti-extremist campaign group finds that England is more tolerant and open than it was six years ago, despite recent turbulent events such as the four terrorist attacks in the last three months, the Brexit negotiations and the Grenfell fire.



Alfred Martlew and the Richmond 16

Jul 20th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

ROS BATCHELOR examines the short life and sad death 100 years ago of an early ILPer and World War One CO who paid a heavy price for sticking to his conscience in defiance of military orders.

On 11 July 1917, a young man was found drowned in the River Ouse at Bishopthorpe, a village south of York. He was eventually identified as Alfred Martlew, a conscientious objector, whose stand in the spring of 1916, had led to his forced enlistment in the army.



Labour Saves Itself, and Restores Hope

Jun 11th, 2017 | By willb | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Labour’s unexpected ‘success’ in last week’s general election has been greeted with relief and joy across the left. But we need words of caution as well as cheers, says WILL BROWN, for there is still much to do to turn this opportunity into a real transformative victory.

Given what seemed possible a few weeks ago, and even as voting closed on Thursday, this was a good result for Labour: a large increase in its share of the vote, an energetic and mostly effective campaign, and no huge loss of parliamentary seats that some, including myself, had feared. But should we be as cock-a-hoop as some Labourites clearly are?



The Progressive Alliance and a War of Position

May 25th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Is the Progressive Alliance an idea whose time has come? GERRY LAVERY thinks so after reading a new Compass pamphlet on the election initiative.

The call for a Progressive Alliance starts from the idea that our electoral system gives the Conservatives a built-in advantage and enables them to govern nationally even though most people do not vote for them. With some co-operation between ‘progressive’ parties, we could counter this injustice and ensure a candidate from a non-Tory party takes the seat.



The Age-Old Roots of Labour’s Current Crisis

May 9th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Labour is facing an existential crisis, and parallels with the 1980s are painfully obvious. But the roots of the current crisis go much deeper, writes MARTIN WRIGHT.

The Labour Party is the child of hope and compromise. Its political DNA was made from two main elements more than a century ago. One was the counter-cultural, revolutionary enthusiasm of the late-Victorian socialist movement. The other was the pragmatic realism and political muscle of a trade union movement that wanted its own political party.



‘Common Sense’ and Benefit Sanctions

Apr 27th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage

In an extensive discussion paper, Unite Community member GERRY LAVERY considers how Antonio Gramsci’s ideas could help challenge popular attitudes towards benefit claimants and the fight to end government sanctions. Here, he provides a brief introduction.



Re-balancing Education: Dear Labour Councillor…

Apr 25th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

BEN SELLERS wrote an angry and articulate open letter to Durham County councillors on his blog last month, following their decision to suspend plans to cut the pay of local teaching assistants. As part of our series on education, we are re-publishing his letter below, prefaced with an explanatory note from ILP chair DAVID CONNOLLY.

Plans by the Labour controlled Durham County Council to sack 2,700 teaching assistants and then ‘re-engage’ them with term-time only contracts, involving a 23 per cent wage cut, has led to a long-running and bitter dispute…



Unbalanced Britain: Education and Inequality

Apr 12th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

MELISSA BENN examines the continuing inequalities in our education system, and the failures of recent governments to close the gaps. What could Labour do to promote an alternative vision?

Despite endless policy initiatives, exhaustive reforms and official obeisance to the questionable aim of ‘social mobility’, our education system still has yawning gaps in outcomes between children from poorer and more affluent families. Despite the permanent revolution, surprisingly little has shifted.