Features

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.



Re-balancing Education: The Democratic Deficit

Apr 5th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

VICKY SEDDON attended the ILP’s Unbalanced Britain conference on education last month. Here, she argues that any future progressive reforms must include changes to our structures of democracy and control.

The ILP hosted a very interesting discussion on 4 March in Sheffield. Melissa Benn was informative, strategic and focussed; Julie Thorpe was interesting and thought-provoking on the Co-operative College model. Both provided very good introductions to the conversation.



Back to the Future: Re-balancing Education

Mar 13th, 2017 | By Matthew Brown | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

Every government since New Labour has made education its top priority yet inequality still runs through the system from top to bottom. So why have they failed and how can Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party win support for a return to the principles and values of the comprehensive system?

That was the question raised by writer and campaigner Melissa Benn at the ILP’s fourth Unbalanced Britain seminar in Sheffield on 5 March.



The Road to Brexit: Why We Are So Divided

Feb 11th, 2017 | By admin | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage

Our society is deeply divided and full of uncertainty. HUGO RADICE asks how we got here and wonders what it might take to create a more equal and united world.



Taking Back Control of our Money Supply

Feb 11th, 2017 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage

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.



The Strike that Changed the Rules

Dec 12th, 2016 | By Barry Winter | Category: Articles, Features, Frontpage, Lead

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.