The Future Left

BARRY WINTER considers the prospects for the left after the 2010 election. He argues that any future centre left alliance must include socialists, and that the politics of the city can play an important role in reconnecting the left. ‘Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have...

The Candidates’ Manifestos

The Dronfield Blather blog has run a three-month campaign to get manifestos from the Labour leadership candidates. This week it published the responses of all five Labour leader hopefuls. ‘On 16 June we commenced a campaign to get the candidates in the Labour Leadership Election to issue what we called “Manifestos of Intent”,’ says the...

A galaxy but no stars

WILLIAM BROWN reports from the Compass annual conference where the Labour left considered the post-election political landscape In a conference hall not so far away, the labour left gathered on June 12th for the Compass annual get together. Launching this year’s event, optimistically titled ‘A New Hope’, Compass chair Neal Lawson set off on...

Desperate times

Could this be the last Labour government? DAVID CONNOLLY looks at the Compass group’s call for electoral reform The left wing pressure group Compass has an impressive record of campaigning on a wide range of issues, attempting, with some success, to challenge the neo-liberal agenda that shapes much of government policy. Whatever the outcome...

Lies, hubris and neo-liberalism

Barry Winter examines how capitalism went from boom to bust and where it leaves us Introduction I begin this introduction with what may seem like a diversion. I want to take us briefly back to the horrors of the First World War in which often enthusiastic, armies of young men across Europe were sent...

Crunch Times

“There is a sense of uncertainty and flux, a feeling that we’re coming to the end of an era in politics. It’s one that we’ve never much liked, yet we know what’s coming could be so much worse.” With those unsettling words David Connolly, chair of Independent Labour Publications, opened the ILP’s weekend seminar...

Pushed into enemy hands

One of the sad aspects of Labour’s farcical London mayoral selection contest, argues BERNARD HUGHES, is how the leadership is turning even some of its closest friends into foes. When Glenda Jackson announced on 19 January that she would ballot her constituency party on how she should cast her second vote in the London...

London Labours

DAVID CONNOLLY wonders what happened to Tony Blair’s once passionate support for one member one vote. In his book, The Unfinished Revolution, the new Labour strategist Philip Gould comments on the rivalry between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at the time of John Smith’s death in 1994. Of Blair he says that “it was...

From third way to one way

DAVID CONNOLLY ponders the latest examples of new Labour style democracy. With the best will in the world it is difficult to take Philip Gould seriously. Anyone who has read his book The Unfinished Revolution will know that his political starting point is a deeply felt hostility to the Tories. He is genuinely desperate...

dot.com/sustainedgrowth?

WILLIAM BROWN sifts through the remains of an e-commerce party that never was, and warns that the ill-winds of an economic downturn could soon be blowing across the Atlantic. Maybe it was the end-of-the-century party mood, or a kind of millennium bug which affected economic forecasters, but the 1990s were awash with optimistic economic...

Underground manoeuvres

ANN BLACK sees the forces of conservatism flourishing behind the closed doors of the National Policy Forum. Five years ago I attended my first conference. I haggled over benefits and human rights in compositing meetings, on equal footing with union grandees and delegates from constituencies across the country. Because of that participation, those contacts,...

Traitor or whistle blower?

GARY KENT reviews Liz Davies’ recent book on the politics inside new Labour. Liz Davies is an embittered traitor spilling the beans on party business. Or she has done us all a service by blowing the whistle on new Labour’s “twists, turns, machinations and doublespeak” and the “paranoia and pointlessness” of the party’s ruling...