Invent the Future

"We must dare to invent the future" - Thomas Sankara

This article originally appeared in the Morning Star. Living in the heartlands of imperialism, you learn to expect censure if you defend socialism and oppose war. To be attacked by the forces of the hard right is nothing unusual; as Sekou Toure observed, “if the enemy is not doing anything against you, you are not doing anything.” Hence getting trolled by Donald Trump Jr for example can comfortably be worn as a badge of honour. To be attacked by a stalwart of the left, someone who had been a prominent supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, is of course less welcome. In […]

This article originally appeared in the Morning Star There’s been a worrying upsurge in anti-China propaganda on both sides of the Atlantic. While imperialist hostility towards China’s rise has become an intrinsic characteristic of the current era – particularly since the launch of the ‘Pivot to Asia’ by the Obama administration in 2011 – the rhetoric has become increasingly hysterical and absurd over the last few months. There are currently four main lines of attack being pushed on a daily basis by the US and British ruling classes: The newly-introduced National Security Law is an attack on the basic freedoms […]

This article first appeared in the Morning Star on 25 March 2019. John Lister’s well-written and scrupulously researched book is a crucial weapon in the defence of the NHS. It advances a rigorous explanation of the economic theory behind the private finance initiative (PFI), its putative benefits and the reality of its implementation in the NHS over the last quarter-century, drawing on the specific experience of the Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals in Yorkshire built as part of a £311 million deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Championed by Tory chancellor Norman Lamont, the concept of PFI originally surfaced in […]

This post was updated on 7 April to reflect the updated situation and to include some discussion on the impact of Brexit on Ireland. The date set for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, 29 March 2019, is now in the past. The Brexit deadline has been extended, and is likely to be extended again. MPs can’t agree on what a deal should look like, only that the deal presented by the government isn’t very good. Labour and the Tories are in negotiations with a view to finding common ground on a softer Brexit, but at the time […]

A slightly modified version of this article first appeared in the Morning Star on 03 March 2018. Simon Hannah’s recently-released book ‘A Party with Socialists in it: a History of the Labour Left’ provides a timely, concise and very readable account of the ongoing struggle between left and right within Labour. The title is inspired by Tony Benn’s comment that “the Labour Party has never been a socialist party, although there have always been socialists in it”, and the text charts the attempts of those socialists to promote their vision over the course of the past 118 years. This fight […]

This wasn’t supposed to happen. When Jeremy Corbyn announced, a few months ago, that he was throwing his hat in the ring for the Labour leadership contest, many – myself included – were sceptical. The whole project seemed irrelevant and hopeless; even if he did get sufficient MP nominations to get on the ballot, everybody knew that his candidature would end in ignominious defeat. The episode was set to provide yet more proof (as if any were needed) that the entire ‘left Labour’ project was long past its sell-by date. The bookmakers, whose predictions are generally far more reliable than […]

This is an expanded version of a speech given by Carlos Martinez at the event ‘STRIKE THE EMPIRE BACK: legacies and examples of liberation from neo-colonialism and white supremacy’ As far as most people are concerned, ‘ideology’ is a term of abuse, an insult you fling around: we accuse people of being “too ideological”, of being bookworms, of dividing people with “isms and schisms”, of “thinking too much” (I have to say I’ve never in my life met anyone who actually thinks too much, but I’ve met plenty of people who don’t think enough!). The Cult of Activism There is […]