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In political discourse in recent decades, class has been repositioned as an essentially cultural historical phenomenon rather than a dynamic, lived reality connected to the changing temporalities of British capitalism. This is visible in SNP rhetoric as well as in Labour’s current ‘culture wars’. But Labour must reconnect with an economic analysis of class, for it is this that could in fact reunite the culturally polarised elements of a Labour electoral coalition.
Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford
It is rare to live through a year and to know, with some degree of certainty, that it will be a marker in scholarship and memory for generations. Rarer still, perhaps, to know this while also doubting whether coherent and truthful public reflection on politics will be possible for much longer.
Brexit offers an unexpected opportunity: to use the taxpayer’s stake in RBS to begin to transform our banking sector into a locally-based, locally-focused system that works for small and medium-sized businesses in the real economy.
The Conservative Party is now profoundly divided ideologically, into ‘hyperglobalisers’ and the more mercantilist pragmatists. Theresa May enjoyed a unique window of power when she first became PM to fashion a clear vision of the form of Brexit that ‘reluctant’ Tory Remainers like herself would favour. But May chose ‘safety first’, trying to balance the Remain and Leave camps in her party, while focusing on wiping out UKIP as a threat to the Tory vote.
23 June 2016: the EU referendum result is one of those moments that will be forever etched in my memory. Like the death of Princess Diana, it is a marker in time. I was working for Stronger In, the official Remain campaign, when the result came through. The rejection felt personal. It was a rollercoaster ride. The Leave campaign won, by the slightest of margins, but with a stench of toxicity that was more keenly felt if one was off-white like me.
Neal Lawson, Mat Lawrence
Many see it as a ‘silver bullet’ policy innovation: the RSA is behind it, as is Compass, and support also comes from the Adam Smith Institute and Silicone Valley tech-utopians. Neal Lawson and Mat Lawrence debate Basic Income in theory and practice.
One of the most surprising things about the success of the Leave campaign is that so many are surprised by it. Could we really have expected any other result – after forty years of misrepresentation of the EU by politicians and media alike, and in the midst of a calculated intensification of hostility towards immigrants?
Jonathon Ashworth, Josh Simons
Economic trust is key to election victories in Britain. But what does it mean, and how can Labour win it back?
Opening up leader selection to non-member supporters is a growing trend among political parties. Qualitative research on Labour’s new grassroots suggests that efforts to convert a larger selectorate into an organised activist base need to appreciate the full range of motivations for partisan commitment.
Lewis Minkin’s research into New Labour’s party management offers indispensable lessons for those concerned with the party’s current managerial problems, showing the limits to the ‘Blair supremacy’ and its long-term effects in alienating some party members.
For six years the Conservatives have been waging a covert war against institutions and organisations capable of holding the government to account, masked by rhetoric lauding their efforts to restrain lobbyists. In the process, they are undermining the very basis for social democratic politics.
Marjorie Kelly, Sarah McKinley, Violeta Duncan
Across the United States a growing number of communities are experimenting with innovative ways to create a more equal, democratic, and community based economy from the ground up.
Martin O'Neill, Matthew Brown
Martin O’Neill speaks to Councillor Matthew Brown about Community Wealth-Building and Alternative Economic Strategies in Preston.
James Stafford, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite
Labour, and the left, are in a mess, and there are no easy answers. Recognising this is a precondition for the renewal we need.
In his new book, A Better Politics, Danny Dorling asks what policies emerge when we take happiness as the priority for politics and economics.
Noisiness in political debate can be a virtue and a vice. Jeremy Corbyn’s incredible victory in the Labour leadership contest is testament to this: from one point of view he has shown the sheer mobilising power of a clear, polemical ideological vision, even when articulated in an unassuming, modest style. [...]